The New Year is here and a few brave entrepreneurs are jumping into 2012 with brand new businesses.
This is the last Epicurious column of 2011 and columnists often like to look back and review the year past. But instead of dwelling on the past we are going to look at the exciting future ahead.
Whistler's newest fast food offering is called Dinky Dawgs. You'll find it on Main Street and this eatery is taking the good old fashion hot dog to the next level.
Owner Duran Bodasing is returning to Whistler after a 20-year absence to get the hot-dog eatery up and running. The former Boot employee left the resort to work in the video game and marketing industry. But now he's back to serve up hot dogs, chili, macaroni and cheese, Caesar salad and drinks.
With an emphasis on kids, Bodasing has big plans that include a hot dog eating contest and happy-dog hour every day between 4 and 5 p.m. during which every dog will sell for only $5.
"I love kids," he says in his first ever interview talking about his new venture, which is aimed at offering a healthy food choice for kids of all ages, despite hot dogs having a reputation of being far from good for you.
Bodasing promises beef wieners that have never been frozen and three choices of fresh baked buns made daily in the resort. The Fraser Valley meat is "crafted from the finest meats" mixed with a home blend of herbs and spices sealed fresh in all natural casings.
"Our Dawgs are the best we could buy," brags Bodasing on the Dinky Dawgs website.
His hot dogs are available in a few varieties: Samurai Dawg, Prego Pizza Dawg, Five Alarm Chili Dawg, Breakfast Dawg and the original with your choice of topping. To go with the steamed hot dogs, Bodasing is offering more than 30 different toppings and a number of Rootbeer selections because, according to Bodasing, root beer is the drink of choice to go with hot dogs.
In addition to the hot dogs listed there is also a Big Mountain Dawg on the menu with tomatoes, hot peppers, onions, aged cheddar and dill pickles.
The Breakfast Dawg features scrambled eggs with bacon, cheese, green peppers and onions served with a Milano coffee.
These hot dogs range in price from $8. Other menu items like macaroni and cheese featuring three kinds of cheese, Caesar salad and veggie chili are each priced at $4 per serving.
His hot dog eating contest vision includes a well-known rock star that, Bodasing says, is already committed to hosting the charity event, which he expects to attract contestants from around the province.
"We're going to get 100 contestants at $100 a pop wearing the t-shirt of the businesses they are going to represent and Dinky Dawgs will have a custom made digestible sized dog, because our dogs are a little too big for that," he says. "The winner of the contest will be flown to New York to take on Joey Chestnut and Kobayashi, the world's biggest hot dog eating fiends."
Bodasing wouldn't say who the celebrity rock star host will be, but insisted the well known musician is confirmed for the event.
The restaurant opens every day at 11 a.m. and stays open until 3 a.m. Bodasing is promising a 365-day a year operation.
And if you are looking for a memory of your hot-dog eating adventure Bodasing is offering Dinky Dawg merchandise. Pictures of the titanium bottle openers, t-shirts and ball caps available for purchase can be viewed by Dawg fans on the company's website at www.dinkydawgs.com.
Something completely different is on offer upstairs at Marketplace in the old Sushi Ya location: The Royal Taste of India. Now in its second week of operations the staff was busy making final preparations the afternoon of Dec. 23 to open the doors for dinner that evening when Pique dropped by. The new Indian restaurant will operate from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. daily with Master Chef Ustad Surinder Paul managing the kitchen. It promises a mix of traditional and contemporary Indian food.
Meanwhile, Doris Lum of The Chinese Bistro in the Sundial Hotel is helping to open a new ethnic eatery called Thai In The Village just across Mountain Square from the bistro. The signs for the new restaurant are up and it is expected to be open this week. Stay tuned to Pique for more on this eatery.
Bodasing, the team at Royal Taste of India and Lum are boldly following the Creekside crew at Doc Branigan's in opening new restaurant operations at a time when funding for such ventures is very difficult to find.
So, happy New Year to these brave entrepreneurs and all the best to everyone in 2012!