After a bumpy three-year run - 21 in real restaurant years - Buddha Dog (163 Roncesvalles, at Fern, 416-534-2007) has been quietly put out of its misery. The pricey Roncey take-away grills its last gourmet mini-wiener Wednesday June 30th.
According to the Dog's website, owner Andrew Hunter and company are "ready for our next steps."
"We're not leaving the city but rather focusing on growing our company to do more to promote and support local agriculture and our community's connection to the good people who grow for us," the statement reads. "We encourage our fans to visit in the next few weeks to have a dog under the Venus Florist sign and say goodbye."
The eco-friendly franchise started five years ago in Prince Edward County's Picton before launching on Toronto's west-side. The Dog also has a continuing outpost in Collingwood and a booth at the Brickworks' farmers market Saturdays. The reviews haven't been kind.
NOW's Graham Duncan found Buddha's dogs "bland, fairly dry" and "unfun", noting that it took "about three Buddha dogs to equal a regular portion of street meat which adds up to $7.50 before tax." Contrarily, Duncan enjoyed the salad, finding it "so earthy, fresh and delicious that it was like performing cunnilingus on Alice Waters' vegetable patch."
Hogtown may not have been ready for haute hot dogs, but we sure can't get enough burgers and burritos. Kensington Market's popular Big Fat Burrito has just opened its third late-night cantina in the downtown core (112 Dundas W, at Bay, 416-340-0340) while out in the no-man's-land between Leslieville West and the East Beach, the Burgers' Priest (1636 Queen E, at Coxwell, 416-856-0568, theburgerspriest.com) proves the un-named nabe is ripe for gentrification.