Good clean sausages steal the show at Dirty Dogs

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The other night I was having a few drinks at new-ish, over-loud Plateau bar, Les Torchés. About one hour in, an adjacent bachelorette party chose to launch into a glass-shattering a cappella version of “I Believe I Can Fly”.

This was the perfect moment to escape out onto Mont-Royal and test out a nearby sausage joint I’d heard about.

I’d been urged on more than one occasion to try Dirty Dogs, a tiny shoebox of a grill on Mont-Royal just east of St-Laurent. The long eight-seater serves only hot dogs. With single franks priced at $8–9 a piece, I took a shot, assuming their chefs knew how to handle a wiener with pride.

My assumptions paid off…for the most part.

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I asked the server as to the signature dog and was instantly pitched on the Mac n’ Cheese dog, whose name is pretty self-explanatory.

(Self-styled) food critic that I am, my mind was made up: I would ignore his advice completely. Otherwise, how could I claim for this to be a true exam?

I picked a few random options.

Open for seven months now, Dirty Dogs had recently expanded their menu. So I expected them to be up to any task, at any hour.

First up was The Boss, which is, admittedly, something of a fan favourite.

A wholesome beef sausage heaped with a “Dr. Pepper”-infused chilli and some kind of slaw, this was a beast of a sloppy bite. Had I had a few more beers before this, it would have been sinfully spot-on. Sadly, most of my faculties were intact, and though I found the sausage itself near flawless, the chilli was decidedly sugary. Now that’s not really a criticism given I ordered something with Dr. Pepper in the flavour profile. However an abundance of salt combined with this sweet touch pushed the whole thing a bit too far into drunk food for my delicate palate. I know, I have only myself to blame.

The cabbage balanced things out on top and the bun was firm enough on the outside to avoid chilli seepage while spongy enough on the inside to soak up the sauce.

Next up was the Cheese D-urger: “Home-made beef sausage with American cheddar, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles and Thousand Islands dressing.”

Keep in mind that American cheddar is processed slice cheese (different definitions on different sides of the border). Again, this was not a bad thing. In fact, it suited the tangy, crumbly sausage (pleasant and not-too-greasy), acidic dill slivers and mounds of lettuce quite nicely. A nostalgic little dog, decidedly less rowdy than the first.

Other than a wacky hint of nutmeg that ran throughout both dogs—a festive touch perhaps?—I had no major qualms with these ‘furters. I actually like nutmeg, so if anything, I was rather intrigued.

What’s more (though I didn’t try them), new options for the standard sausage include chicken and vegan. So now, no one is left out!

Given the amount of new (and old) drinking holes on the strip (with more opening up this winter), I have no doubt you’ll find yourself wandering into Dirty Dogs yourself some evening soon. My only tip: save it for after the bar.

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