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The Little Dog Steamies & Fries

Posted by Staff / Reviewed on June 22, 2011 / review policy

Little Dog TorontoThe Little Dog popped up a couple months ago in the former space of it's older sibling, The Big Chill, on Manning at College. This tiny joint doesn't serve the usual street meat but a tasty assortment of weiners all steamed rather than grilled or boiled. Steamies ...if you please.

Little Dog TorontoTo be honest, I had to look up the term "steamies". It seems pretty apparent, I know, but I was only familiar with dirty water varietals. Apparently, steaming a dog locks in the moisture rather than grilling which would blister the casing, thus leaking the flavour. Hesitant by the sound of the term at first, I'm surprised to say there's a difference in taste for the better.

Little Dog TorontoNow to the dogs. They offer four types: Montreal's Lester's ($1.99), NYC's Nathan's Famous ($3.49), Chicago's 58's ($3.49), and a Veggie option ($3.49). I topped the Lester dog as All Dressed which includes mustard, relish, onions and slaw. It's the smallest of the bunch but thee classic snack, bringing back memories of the kind of hotdogs growing up. The 58's flavour reminded me of a ballpark frank which I find a bit too salty. Definitely, the most bang for your buck, with the dog extending beyond the bun.

Little Dog TorontoBut for me, I was happiest to see Nathan's on the menu! Reminiscent of my college years in New York, I would take many a trip to Coney Island to eat at Nathan's and take a spin in the Tilt-A-Whirl. Plump and tender, Nathan's for the win!

Little Dog TorontoFor sides, we went with the chili cheese fries and poutine (both $3.99). The poutine was a decent size for the price, topped with tasty curds and a chicken based gravy, tasting very similar to St-Hubert's brand. Chili was solid and probably a great topping on the dogs. I only wish the fries were thicker cut and not shoestring to hold up the gravy and the chili. Since we were in Little Italy, an ice cold Brio washed it all down.

Afterwards, we walked next door to The Big Chill for a scoop of ice cream. A symbiotic relationship benefiting from the recent hot summer days, encouraged by the large area of outdoor patio seating. The Little Dog is open til midnight on weekdays and until 1AM on weekends. A good option for a nostalgic lunch or when you stumble home drunk late at night.

Little Dog TorontoWriting by Ryan Spencer. Photos by Peter Henderson.

Discussion

33 Comments

DaMoose / June 11, 2011 at 09:36 am
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Seriously great steamies. They nailed it!! Just like Montreal.
Mike / June 22, 2011 at 11:26 am
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They might be decent steamies, but they're double the price than in Montreal. Ouch!
PrinceRonces / June 22, 2011 at 11:37 am
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So, they have Chicago hotdogs, Montreal Steamies, but no Cleveland Steamies?
JoeCarter / June 22, 2011 at 11:46 am
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I recommend that if anyone doesn't know what a Montreal Steamie is, they check this out ASAP.
gabe / June 22, 2011 at 12:08 pm
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Have they claimed a Toronto steamy yet?
Should have been the original Toronto Steamy!!! there's still time
Alfie replying to a comment from PrinceRonces / June 22, 2011 at 12:27 pm
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I can arrange the delivery of one to you, if you so desire.
Alek / June 22, 2011 at 12:31 pm
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Yay for the steamies! Looks like they are Toronto-style-overpriced though...
Daniel / June 22, 2011 at 12:40 pm
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YUMMMMMMMM...another place to get Nathan's dogs.

Anyone know if they use the natural casing variety????
Rachel / June 22, 2011 at 12:47 pm
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Is there a veggie option for the poutine or is this a real Montreal kind of deal?
Aydin / June 22, 2011 at 01:20 pm
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I hope they do well. For some reason, Torontonians have been brainwashed into believing that hot dog vendor dogs are good. No other city grills, hacks into and subsequently burns hot dogs!
A good hot dog is all about the snap, and Nathan's dogs give you just that. Can't wait to try it.

I am waiting for the first comment that goes something like:
"$7.50 for a hot dog and a poutine? I'll stick to my $2 street meat, thank you!" Morons. You get what you pay for.
Mike / June 22, 2011 at 01:49 pm
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Hey, so if they say "All beef" beside the gourmet dogs wth is in the Montreal Steamies?
MrPotato replying to a comment from Aydin / June 22, 2011 at 01:52 pm
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$7.50 for a hot dog and poutine! I'll stick to being a potato instead!
Uhhh / June 22, 2011 at 03:13 pm
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2 pictures of the menu, 1 picture of the hot dogs...
MiataRed / June 22, 2011 at 03:19 pm
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The Lester sell for under a $1 at La Belle Province in Montreal, but I'm OK with double the price - he's the only show in TO - I wish them well, may they survive.
michael / June 22, 2011 at 03:56 pm
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Just came back from trying this spot out YUMMERS! and it is a one minute walk away!
Fig / June 22, 2011 at 04:40 pm
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Checked this place out on the weekend - loved the steamies!
hop / June 22, 2011 at 08:21 pm
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Natural Casings?
Alex / June 22, 2011 at 10:30 pm
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Too bad they couldn't follow it up nwith Montreal-style fries... but it's awesome to hear there's now steamies in TO!
Dale / June 23, 2011 at 11:12 am
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Yeah they're expensive, but they're damn good. I live right beside this place and if I carried cash more often I'd be eating in there all the time.
MiataRed / June 23, 2011 at 11:46 am
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it's a steamé - not steamies.

Menu has a good Michigan missing : hot dog steamé with spaguetti suace.

Montreal fries - I'd go for that too. But in TO people prefer frozen and re-heated dry fries.
SteamieWonder replying to a comment from MiataRed / June 27, 2011 at 05:04 pm
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mmm... frozen re-heated dry fries. Delish....
Horonymous / June 28, 2011 at 08:50 pm
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Steamies were great but the creamy coleslaw served when I was there yesterday (Monday 26) dooesn't belong on top of a steamie.
The photo in this article clearly shows a steamie with the right coleslaw (Chou).
The writer needs do a fallow up on this steamie faux paw in this hot dog dilemma
Joe from Brampton / July 4, 2011 at 10:24 am
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1AM closing time is horrible.
Miatared replying to a comment from hop / July 5, 2011 at 05:39 am
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Nevermind the casing, aren't wieners lips & assholes anyhow?
Bobby / July 7, 2011 at 12:15 pm
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Ya, their chili has beans in it for some reason, real coney dogs have beanless chili, and I had to explain to the dude how to make me a coney. Also you can't get a chicago style hot dog here cause they don't have tomato or sport peppers
garbage / July 31, 2011 at 11:47 am
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It is overpriced and isn't the real "Montreal" deal. They don't have any real healthy options anywhere in both shops, there is a rumored mouse infestation and the owner Sam is a real d-bag.

Otherwise, its great!

*sarcasm*
Jennifer / March 27, 2012 at 11:47 am
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I've seen nearly the same comment from Garbage posted on 4 different places, always anonymously. I get the distinct impression the "mice" rumor has been started by him. Each comment contains a mention of the owner's personality. Sounds like someone was fired.
Fev / July 16, 2012 at 08:43 pm
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Hot dog steame a toronto!!!!
Tabernac I cant eait to try it
Too bad they dont use year old potatos like Lafleurs
Nah Bro / September 4, 2012 at 02:40 pm
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While Nathan's does originate from New York, Chicago 58 is not from Chicago, it's just a name. They're from Woodbridge, Ontario.
Eve / September 4, 2012 at 04:16 pm
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Is GARBAGE honestly looking for a healthy alternative at a hot dog shoppe?! C'mon people, if you want to eat healthy maybe don't choose a hot dog shoppe!
f / September 4, 2012 at 10:30 pm
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i can drop a Cleveland steamer
NDG / December 29, 2012 at 11:13 am
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As a kid in Montreal,after skating, a 'chien chaud steame''was de rigeur,eh?
CGL / June 3, 2014 at 11:26 pm
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Got served creamy coleslaw on my steamies! BEN VOYONS!
I asked for sauerkraut instead, but it didn't quite do it for me. Don't advertise original Montréal steamies if you can't get it right.

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