Friday, February 6, 2015

It' Dog

The newest eatery in town? It' Dog! A Korean fusion joint specializing in gourmet hot dogs and fried chicken, It' Dog is located on 109th Street right beside Remedy Cafe and Movie Studio. I first heard about this place on Instagram and Twitter, when a few people posted pictures saying they had just opened on January 6th. Unsurprisingly, I took a visit here the next day with CJ. I guess you could say I like to stay on top of my #yegfood adventures, lol! 

The interior.

CJ and I left for It' Dog right after school. I really like how close this place is to the University Campus, so it's perfect to go to for lunch or for a bite during breaks in between classes. We were the only people there when we arrived, so we had a lot of time to take in the menu and the interior! 

The menu.

The menu at It' Dog is simple and quite easy to read. Their food includes hot dogs, fried chicken, and poutine, along with drinks such as pop, juice, or beer. It's clear that the hot dogs are the main focus of this eatery, considering that it takes up an entire board! There are definitely a lot of options... kimchi, bulgogi, and truffle mac and cheese were just a few of the hot dogs that intrigued me the most! 

Our hot dogs.

The hot dogs here are loaded with toppings! It was so fun to take pictures of them because CJ and I had never eaten hot dogs like this before. Not to mention that the colours of our food was so vibrant and pretty. Our hot dogs came out a bit slower than was expected, but it was probably because there were suddenly more and more people pouring into the eatery. We were both happy to have beaten the lunch rush. 

Crispy Chicken Dog.

I finally decided on the Crispy Chicken Dog ($7.50) for my hot dog. I wanted to try both the hot dog and the crispy chicken, and since this option incorporated both I thought I'd kill two birds with one stone. The grilled beef sausage is also topped with lettuce, spicy mayo, and onion. At first, I was quite overwhelmed by how big this hot dog was (from my viewpoint, at least). How was I supposed to eat this and not cause everything to spill out! I ended up just cutting up the hot dog into pieces with a knife and fork. Yes I know, not fun at all. In terms of taste, I found the sausage to be bland and nothing special. Tasteless, almost. While the pretzel bun added a unique touch, I thought it was a bit dry and difficult to chew on. The spicy mayo had a subtle yet enjoyable heat - more sauce, please! The crispy chicken topping was the best part. So good and crunchy! Korean Fried Chicken (KFC) done right. 

It' Hot Dog.

CJ's pick was the It' Hot Dog ($10). This hot dog is topped with bulgogi, tempura shrimp, mushroom, caramelized onions, mozzarella cheese, green onion, and sweet wasabi mayo. This one was the most expensive hot dog option. During our trip here, I asked CJ to write a review of his food for me instead of me just asking him what he thought. He definitely had a lot to say: "The individual hot dog tastes like one that comes out of the can from the Dollar Store. I didn't like the mushy texture of it. The pretzel bun didn't work because it just absorbed too much. I felt my throat becoming drier while eating it. Everything else tastes like how you would expect it to. Overall, meh experience. 5/10 because it was $10 for a hot dog - a little bit too pricey for what it tastes like to me. However, this all may be due to me being sick and all my taste buds aren't here. It was hard for me to eat the hot dog when I would usually just scarf it down." 


The verdict on It' Dog? The food we got was just okay, but there is certainly some room for improvement! I think the combination of the toppings are what makes the hot dogs special, but the actual sausage and bun could use some work. I would come back here for the fried chicken for sure - it was awesome and even comparable to Coco's Deep Fried Chicken! It' Dog also offers sweet & spicy, sweet mustard, and soy garlic chicken for the fried chicken lovers out there. The pricing of the food is inexpensive overall, which is a plus for us university students haha. I personally think the convenient location and close proximity to the University make It' Dog a great place to go to for an after school lunch with friends. They are also open until 3:00 am on Fridays and Saturdays for any night owls. Give it a try!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Artisan Resto Cafe

Whenever I head down Whyte Ave, Artisan Resto Cafe has always caught my eye. Located on the first stretch of the popular avenue starting from 109th Street, this restaurant is found in the lower level of the Garneau Building. During the winter break, CJ and I decided to check it out for our first lunch date of 2015! Yes, I've decided that because I haven't gone on too many food adventures so far this year, it would be a good time to post about the 2015 ones before I backtrack and write about the 2014 adventures! I plan on spending my upcoming reading week updating this blog. 

The interior.

When CJ and I stepped into this restaurant, we found that it was actually quite spacious with a lot of natural light shining through despite it being on the lower level. I would describe the atmosphere as being quaint and cozy - perfect for breakfast, brunch, or lunch! 

Artisan Resto Cafe offers a lot of options for breakfast, along with a selection of soups, salads, sandwiches, desserts, and so much more. Many people on Instagram share that this place is the best breakfast spot in the city, so I knew I had to try one of their breakfast options! I was craving eggs anyways, lol. 

Our food.

You can never go wrong with having breakfast for lunch! Our food did take awhile to come out even though there were only a few other people eating here. Hmmm.

Prairie Gold.

I decided on the Prairie Gold ($10.29) for my meal, which is one of the five options listed under their Classic Eggs. In this dish you get two eggs of any style, your choice of bacon, ham, or sausage, grilled potatoes, tomatoes, and toasted pan bread. There is also a selection of fresh fruit for garnish. My mom would always make my eggs sunny side up when I was younger, so this style is obviously my favourite! I easily got through the eggs, toast, and potatoes - it was definitely the perfect combo and not too greasy at all. The cantaloupe and orange slices were fresh, but the honeydew had a weird bitter taste to it. I didn't touch the grapefruit or tomato slices either (just because I don't really like these foods in general!). Overall, I found this dish to be a great breakfast option: classic and simple. 

The Breton.

CJ is more of an eggs benedict lover, so I wasn't surprised when he ordered The Breton ($11.29). This dish comes with two poached eggs on toasted English muffins, along with mushrooms, melted brie cheese, and their classic hollandaise sauce. It also came with the same grilled potatoes and fresh fruit arrangement as my dish. CJ seemed to enjoy his food, but I guess it wasn't too filling for him since he kept grabbing food off my plate! 


One thing that I loved about Artisan Resto Cafe was the affordability of their menu options! It's not too expensive at all, and you still receive a tasty meal. I was quite relaxed the whole time as well, which definitely makes for a positive dining experience. I would love to come back here again for an actual breakfast (not breakfast for lunch), and maybe I'll try one of their crepes or Belgian waffles next time! Consider checking out this place for your next brunch destination!