Day 2 in Calgary: Shortly after lunch and some presentations, S, H, J and I decided to go explore the city a bit and look for some snacks. S had previously checked out the top places on Urbanspoon, and Tubby Dog was one of them. Since it was quite a far walk, we decided to take a cab instead. Upon arriving, there was a man cleaning the windows, hence the bizarre picture.
They had their menu on their door, and it reminded me of Japadog, but North American style. The prices are quite high for a hot dog, so I was hoping they better be good.
Inside, they have the menu again, but also with some specials. I wish I got a picture of the kitchen area, since you can watch your hot dog get cooked and assembled in the front. You basically order at the counter, and they call your name when it’s ready.
The place is super retro and hipster. If I were still in high school, I would probably think that this would be where the “cool” kids hung out. I love how they had a cabinet full of food items that seemed to be collectibles. They definitely weren’t the typical packaging you could find in a grocery anymore. I’m guessing some of them might’ve been limited editions.
And they even have a mini arcade! I can totally picture some skaters coming here for a hot dog and playing games after school. It’s so old school and almost gives you a “back in the day” vibe. The place has posters hanging around the walls, and they all add to that hip vibe. Even the employees have a retro vibe to them.
Tubby Dog – homemade chili, bacon, cheese, onions, mustard
And now finally onto the food! We decided to share a Tubby Dog since we had just ate lunch. We weren’t sure which hot dog to choose, but I guess you can’t go wrong with the one that’s named after the store! It was layered with tons of chili, onions, cheese and bacon bits along with a mustard sauce. It is definitely quite a large hot dog for one person, and would be decent to be shared between two for a snack. You basically need to eat this with knives and forks though, since there is no way to avoid a mess. I actually found that the bun was a bit soggy though, and wasn’t as crisp and toasted as I would’ve liked it. The onions were also barely cooked so the taste of raw onions were quite pungent. I loved the chili, bacon bits and loads of cheese though!
We also ordered a side of T-Rings. These are essentially double battered onion rings. I can almost be sure to say that they are also double fried… These things are deadly and oily! Because they are double battered, the batter is extremely thick and oily. I actually found that distracting and would’ve liked a thinly battered onion ring instead. It felt so unhealthy eating all that oily batter! The onion rings, however, were huge in circumference! Each order came with 5 onion rings.
Overall, I wasn’t extremely impressed with Tubby Dog’s food. I didn’t think it was as amazing as the reviews said. If I were to pay a price of around $7, I rather buy a Japadog instead. I guess Calgary needs to try some Japadogs, and they may rethink about what a good hot dog is! I do, however, love the atmosphere at Tubby Dog. That retro vibe is difficult to find, and they definitely played it well at this diner. A really cool place to hang out with some friends and devour some greasy food!