THE SAUSAGE PARTY
on 7th Avenue and Macleod Tr SE
Hockey-loving, screen writer wanna-be, Christen Cook has been dishing out hot dogs and sausages from just in front of old City Hall for about five years. He runs The Sausage Party, which serves spicy buffalo sausage, bratwurst, and all-beef hot dogs from spring to November. Young and ambitious, Cook works hard in the summer so that he can play hockey all winter. His best seller? The spicy buffalo dog—which is “just comfortably spicy.”
HAPPY DAYS FRIES
on the southeast corner of 6th Street and 7th Ave SW
He’s the new guy on the block—Julian Radev first set up his stand last August after arriving in Calgary from Ontario. A friendly guy who likes to kibitz with customers, Radev takes pride in finding the highest quality of sausage possible. “I use a butcher in Airdrie who can customize the sausages to suit my customers’ tastes.” Radev serves a variety of sausages on a bun: hot Italian, ham-garlic bratwurst, and beef honey-garlic bratwurst, as well as home-made beef burgers. Amongst his many (and somewhat unusual) condiments is hot sauce, because, notes Radev, “80 percent of Calgarians like it hot.”
KRIS KRINGLE’S GRILL
840 – 9 Ave SW in front of the Roadhouse
“Most of the hot dog business in Calgary is done at night,” says Tom Powell who runs a stand catering to the bar crowd in front of the saloon-style club, The Roadhouse. A 20-year veteran of the street vending business, Powell is supplied partially by Spolumbos, a local icon in the sausage business. Powell also offers an Yves Veggie Dog, and he’s also one of the few vendors who steams his buns. He hopes that one day Calgary will be like New York with lots of vendors on the streets.
northwest corner of 6 Ave and 4 St SW
Every day from 10 am to 2 pm, Leslee Mathieson serves her authentic Montreal smoked-meat and smoked-Triple A Alberta beef sandwiches. Her Reuben is already famous—even in Brooklyn, New York—although she’s been in business less than two years. On reason is that she uses authentic Montreal smoked meat—her supplier is right in downtown Montreal. Mathieson has also developed her own blend of sauces and mustard dressing. It’s best to arrive at her shack early as her customers are often lined up down the block.
Stephen Avenue Walk
The Yodeling Sausage at Centre Street S.W. and Stephen Avenue Walk serves a different version of the hot dog: more like “dogs-in-a-blanket” where a tender steamed sausage is placed in a hollowed out French loaf. Klaus Marahrenes and his wife serve a variety of sausages: bratwurst, smoked beef, kolbassa, hot pepperoni and spicy BBQ, which can be accompanied by pizza sauce or curry ketchup if a customer so desires. Most days by noon, the line-up at their open-air lunch cart is around the block.—Carol Miyagawa