Last week I told you about how my wife and I like to try and cook together at least once a week. Sometimes, this just isn’t possible, and this happens to be one of those weeks. This week, my wife and I have been busy planning and prepping to build a fence on our property. When Friday night rolled around, neither of us were in the mood to cook.
My wife suggested we take a trip downtown and check out a new(ish) restaurant called The Hot Dog Factory (THDF). We were a bit concerned that hitting up a downtown restaurant around 6 pm on a Friday night might be a little tough, but to our surprise, the downtown core was like a ghost-town. Even more surprising, we had apparently come downtown during a special event weekend called Culture Days. Where the heck were all the people? Sadly, it seems to be the similar fate of many growing cities: downtown cores that are left neglected in favour of suburban-like mall complexes with one-stop-shop big box stores. But I digress, I didn’t come here to lament the woes of the city we call home. What I came here to tell you about are the delicious gourmet hot dogs we enjoyed at a groovy little restaurant in beautiful downtown Belleville.
Stepping into THDF was a bit of a time trip for my wife. She’s seen a lot of restaurants set up shop and close, not only in the downtown core, but in this particular spot. She remembers hanging out there as a teenager when it was Larry’s Diner and the Bohemian Penguin. I remember having lunch there just last summer when it was yet another restaurant. Darn! There I go digressing again…
This was our first trip to THDF though. First impressions? Inside the restaurant you’ll find a clean, crisp and modern look branded in THDF colours. Overall, it’s pretty slick (IMO). It’s a small sit-in restaurant with a mix of tables and booths. When the weather permits, there’s also an amazing patio that overlooks the Moira River to the rear of the restaurant. It’s one of the few patios overlooking the water in our downtown core. I will never understand whose bright idea it was to line prime river edge real estate with parking lots (oops, digressing again).
After perusing the sleek digital menu on the wall, my wife and I opted to try a couple of their signature dogs: the Mac-Daddy and the Canadian Goose. We also ordered sides of coleslaw, which also come in some signature flavours. The Mac-Daddy is topped with a triple macaroni and cheese and crumbled corn chips. It paired nicely with a Traditional Coleslaw. The Canadian Goose is topped with homemade baked beans, Canadian bacon, and maple drizzle. My wife paired this with their Green Apple Slaw. So good.
Two things you should know about these dogs. They’re messy – really messy… and they’re frickin’ delicious. Our server offered us forks and knives, but we declined because we wanted the whole messy experience. It’s also a bonus that dining out didn’t break our bank. Great prices, great food, great atmosphere! It’s a win and we hope more people head on down to check out this groovy eatery. If you’re not in the Quinte region, then consider supporting small, local eateries in your community. It’s often these small businesses that bring the most interesting things to our communities. It’d be a travesty if we ever lost them.