Quick Bites: Street vendor hot dog, Bao Bar, Ed’s Real Scoop

Street vendor hot dog
Hot dog from street vendor at King and John

Street vendor hot dogs have mostly disappeared from the city, which is too bad; they’re certainly not gourmet, but when you need a quick bite, they’re pretty tasty.  I actually made a short film about street vendor hot dogs back in 2007, so yeah, I like them.  This particular one wasn’t the best I’ve had (the secret of a good street vendor dog is to grill it until it’s got a crispy exterior and a smoky, charred flavour, and that didn’t happen here), but for five bucks for a quick meal, it’s hard to complain.

Great Chicken and Crackle Belly baos from Bao Bar
Great Chicken and Crackle Belly baos from Bao Bar

I think part of the reason I don’t want to dwell on negativity on this blog is that it’s very possible to catch an otherwise good restaurant on a bad day.  So rather than trash a place that doesn’t deserve it, I feel like it’s a better idea to just focus on the places I like.  That being said, I tried a couple of the baos at this place, and nothing about them — not the bread, the meats, or the sauces — was even remotely good (I should note that “great chicken” is the name of the dish, and certainly not my description of it).  But then Bao Bar is generally fairly well regarded online, so maybe it was just a bad day.

Pumpkin and sweet cream from Ed's Real Scoop
Pumpkin and sweet cream from Ed’s Real Scoop

I have a love/hate relationship with Ed’s Real Scoop (well, love/hate is a bit strong… love/like I guess?); when it’s good, it’s very good.  But I find it to be the most inconsistent of the better ice cream shops in the GTA.  But here’s them at their best: on this particular visit I had pumpkin and sweet cream, and both were fantastic.  The pumpkin had a really satisfying pumpkin pie flavour, and the sweet cream (which is reliably the best flavour here) was as delicious as usual.  Having them together is basically like pumpkin pie with whipped cream on top.  It’s a boffo combination.

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