Dougie Dog Diner Truck – The Donut Burger & Modern Hot Dogs

Restaurant: Dougie Dog Diner Truck
Cuisine: American/Burgers/Hot Dogs
Last visited: June 12, 2013
Location: Vancouver, BC (Downtown)
Address: 600th block on Hamilton Street
(between Georgia and Dunsmuir)
Phone: 604 454 8068/604 HOT DOGS
Transit: WB Hastings St FS Gilmore Av
Price Range: $10 or less

1Poor 2OK 3Good 4Very good 5Excellent 6FMF Must Try!

Food: 2-2.5
Service: n/a
Ambiance: n/a
Overall: n/a
Additional comments:

  • American comfort food
  • Hot Dogs/Burgers
  • All natural hot dogs
  • Family friendly
  • Budget friendly/cheap eats
  • Catering available
  • Twitter: @DDdinertruck

**Recommendations: Donut Burger

Dougie Dog Diner Truck (2)This is a food truck you’re either going to love or hate. I am not really the market, but it has a market. It is the same market that likely visits all of Guy Fieri’s recommended Diners, Drive Ins and Dives on Food Network. The owner “Dougie Luv” could even pass for his long lost cousin.

It has been on Canada’s reality TV show Dragon’s Den twice, and has even gained a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for making “The World’s Most Expensive Hot Dog” ($100). Dougie Dog is a marketing machine and it has received lots of press and hype from these achievements, although short term. I could see it having great appeal to tourists since it has Canadian recognition and TV cred, but locally the news and shock factor is a distant memory.

Dougie Dog Diner Truck was once a permanent hot dog shop on Granville Street, but it has now closed. It was more or less associated with feeding the 2am crowd, but they have taken the business on the streets.

Dougie Dog Diner Truck (1)It used to specialize in a large selection of hot dogs, but now it serves indulgent all American truck stop diner food. Burgers and hot dogs might not sound too exciting, especially compared to other eclectic and sophisticated food trucks in Vancouver, but these aren’t just any old hot dogs and hamburgers.

You either look at the menu and think “ew” or “delicious”, so don’t take it too seriously because they like to play with their food.

The style is a retro definition of “gourmet comfort food with a twist“, and it is a blast from the past. That being said it is still made upon order with all natural wieners and meat. I’m not sure if that matters though (health-wise) after it gets piled with toppings and sauces.

It is a fun place to try if you go with the right mind set… which is after 12 am on a Friday night. Sorry to say, but even if it no longer caters to that Granville Street crowd, “you can take the girl out of the trailer park, but you can’t take the trailer park out of the girl”.

The menu features some outrageous items which is pretty much what I came here to try. There comes a point when you need to leave your “food snobbery” at the door, take a step back, and think why not? Don’t judge it until you try it. Part of me finds these novelties a bit exciting too, and often it is a “try it once” kind of thing.

On this occasion I attempted the 3 most daring items on the menu which they gave complimentary (for work purposes… I’m serious). Anyway I went in apprehensive and disinterested, but I ended up getting into it. You have to, or what’s the point? The concepts for the menu items have their place and I could appreciate it for what it was, but the execution could improve and the recipes could get better. They committed to the idea, but not so much the follow through. Food can be fun and crazy, but it also has to be good in the end.

The idea might sound played out, or from the 90’s, but there isn’t anything else quite like this on the streets of Vancouver. This is messy no fuss street food that will put you to bed right after. It gives you something to talk about, and it’s an entertaining experience if you can get into the Dougie style spirit… well, that came out wrong… but that’s okay because this food is all sorts of “wrong”.

On the table:

Dougie Dog Diner Truck (3)Charlie Mac Dog – 2/6 (Okay)

  • Crispy Bacon, homemade Macaroni and Cheese, and melted Cheddar Cheese $8
  • Mac and cheese on a hot dog? Ugh… but you know what? Why not?!
  • I’ve had sausage and hot dogs in mac n’ cheese before, so really this was no different. In fact, I’ve had mac n’ cheese with a fried egg on top and I loved it.
  • You have to eat this hot, or it’s not as good, but that being said the mac and cheese wasn’t that great.
  • If the mac n’ cheese was awesome, this would have potential.
  • The mac noodles were quite soft and seemingly unsalted.
  • The sauce was a roux with some melted plain orange cheddar and perhaps mozzarella marble cheese, but it was standard cheese.
  • The bun was also regular, so it was essentially something you could remake at home, but with your favourite mac and cheese recipe.
  • The wiener was all natural with a snappy skin and it was an European wiener or Vienna sausage.
  • It reminded me of the ones from Hot Dog Day and I actually didn’t mind it, but I wouldn’t necessarily choose it. I’d eat it though.
  • The bacon I lost completely and it would be better sprinkled on top.
  • The concept I ended up being fine with, but the quality and execution was a bit below average especially for $8.

Dougie Dog Diner Truck (4)Bacon Chili Cheese Dog – 2.5/6 (Okay-Good)

  • Homemade Chilli, two strips of crispy Bacon, diced Tomato, and melted Cheddar Cheese $8
  • This was a bit nostalgic for me because as a kid I used to like the Chili Dog from Orange Julius. Yes, I did.
  • Again, the concept I had no problem with (it’s just a chili dog), but the execution and quality was subpar.
  • The chili actually tasted more like a bolognese sauce, so overall the chili dog was more like a sloppy joe.
  • It was a very mild chili and very basic and simple in ingredients, quality, and flavour.
  • There were fresh tomatoes on top and melted cheese, but it lacked effort.
  • It wasn’t dominant with bacon flavour and I lost the bacon again.
  • The wiener was their standard all natural wiener with a snappy skin.
  • It was the same European wiener or Vienna sausage from the Charlie Mac Dog.
  • The bun was standard too and it was a saucy mess to eat.
  • I think they could work on their chili recipe, or if it’s a logistics thing just source it from ChiliTank.
  • It didn’t taste bad, but it could be easily better too.

Dougie Dog Diner Truck (5)Next up! Donut on a hot dog… err I mean a donut on a burger… or wait, I mean a Donut Burger!? Don’t do it… please, don’t do it… but you know what? Why not?! I know it doesn’t look so intimidating like this…

Dougie Dog Diner Truck (7)… but how about like that?

Dougie Dog Diner Truck (9)**Donut Burger – 3/6 (Good)

  • Organic beef patty, bacon, pastrami, provolone, guacamole, fresh Tomato slice, topped with a fried egg and served on a Donut Bun $10
  • I already tried the other two and I’m still alive, so what’s another Donut Burger? I couldn’t leave without trying the item they were most proud of.
  • It was really hard to eat and it wasn’t pretty, but that’s stating the obvious. This is Homer Simpson food.
  • The “organic beef patty” was a bit humourous considering the context, but I respect the thought and initiative even though it was only for the one ingredient.
  • The donut was just a honey dipped donut from Tim Horton’s, which I actually like if I’m choosing a donut from a standard fast food chain.
  • It was sweet and savoury, but more savoury than sweet since there were way more savoury components.
  • The donut wasn’t substantial or strong enough to hold the ingredients, so it was really more of a novelty than a functional idea.

Dougie Dog Diner Truck (10)

  • I wasn’t going to knife and fork this. It is not a pretty cross-section photo, but “pretty” is not the point. I wanted to show the layers.
  • It actually didn’t taste bad at all and I liked it for more than a bite.
  • I liked it the most out of the three things I tried. I was surprised.
  • The pastrami was salty and together with the bacon they canceled each other out. I couldn’t really taste them unless I ate them alone.
  • The ground beef patty was mixed with some minced jalapeno, egg and breadcrumb.
  • I prefer 100% all beef patties with no breadcrumb, but the patty tasted fine although it’s not quite gourmet.
  • There was so much going on I couldn’t even tell you if it was dry, but when I had it alone it wasn’t.
  • The avocado was more like a guacamole and I would have loved wedges because I lost it in the huge burger.
  • I have always been a fan of fried eggs on almost anything, including burgers, so that wasn’t anything new.
  • It was hard to get a bite of everything in one bite so I lost a lot of things as expected.
  • It’s a novelty and it was fun to try and better than I thought, but not something I would crave or have to revisit.
  • Another crazy burger I’ve tried was The Everest Burger at Hilltop Cafe Diner and the Olympic Burger at YEW.

Dougie Dog Diner Truck (11)DougieDog’s OWN Butterscotch Root Beer2.5/6 (Okay-Good)

  • $2.50
  • I’m not enthusiastic about pop, but I can appreciate an artisan soda. I know it’s apples and oranges.
  • This tasted like cream soda to me more so than butterscotch root beet.
  • It was sweet, but not overly so and I was expecting it to be way sweeter.
  • It is made with natural cane sugar which is better than high fructose corn syrup or refined sugar.
  • There was added caramel colouring though, so I’m not keen, but it didn’t taste bad.
  • It was a lighter, slightly sweeter and more delicate root beer, but again I prefer other styles of soda and drinks.

Dougie Dog Diner Truck on Urbanspoon

8 Comments

  • LotusRapper says:

    I still haven’t made it to Dougie Dog, ever. Although that’s a relief for my GP when it comes to my annual physical check-ups ! 🙂

    I ran into Dougie not too long ago, in a place where we had some time to chat, about hot dogs, Dragon’s Den and other things related to why we were in the same place at that moment in time. He seems like a very nice guy, friendly and open to others and to their opinions of his business ventures. I believe he’s going to be going across Canada (or parts of it) with the truck, doing roadshow/promos and talking to folks across the country. If that does happen it’d be cool to see what new hot dog ideas might come out of it.

  • KimHo says:

    I did visit its store location in Granville Street eons ago and… It was OK. I guess rent in the area was too high and he has downsized. Having said that, there are two things that make me wonder: (1) Wasn’t one of the criteria (two years ago) to be original food? I mean, didn’t we had too many hot dogs stands?) (b) $8 for a hot dog?!

  • LotusRapper says:

    @Kim: seems to me the burgers are better value than the hot dogs …… way more fat & calories/$ 🙂

  • Bow says:

    Messy food and expensive…if the price point was $5.00, mebbe. I can still get a burger and 2 beer at Vera’s(on Commercial) at lunch for $9, and I get to sit down.

  • LotusRapper says:

    @Bow – a regular-sized burger + 2 beers for only $9 ? Temporary special ? Which store(s) ?

  • Bow says:

    @Lotus Wrapper…it’s Vera’s Burgers on Commercial; 2 English Bay draft and a burger for $9.99(well, that was last year…dunno if it’s still on; and only at that location). Went by a month ago and saw specials on the menu.

  • LotusRapper says:

    Thanks Bow !

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