First there were 11, then there were three and now there is only one. The gold standard hotdog has been found and its name is Hebrew National, otherwise known as Hotdog Number One -- to the more than 150 media, fans, sports celebrities and culinary experts who participated as judges in the selection process that was held at Air Canada Centre in September. This championship wiener will be the official house dog of the Centre, and launches to the public today, at the first regular season Maple Leafs home game.
"We believe this hotdog to be the true gold standard. In a vote by fans where the identities of the hotdogs were concealed, the Hebrew National hotdog won by a landslide," said Bob Hunter, senior vice president and general manager, Air Canada Centre. "Hebrew National is one of the most popular arena hotdogs in North America, served at many of the finest facilities and we're delighted to serve it here."
The Hebrew National is the largest kosher meat processor in the world and will supply Air Canada Centre with more than 200,000 kosher hotdogs in the next year. In the interest of serving the best hotdog, Air Canada Centre purchased new steamers to prepare the dogs. According to Brad Long, the Centre's executive chef, the traditional method of steaming hotdogs keeps moisture and flavour in, resulting in a plumper, more flavourful wiener.
But the news doesn't stop there. This fan favourite hotdog will be served on a new, tastier bun supplied by Weston Bakeries - Air Canada Centre's new corporate partner for buns. Weston Bakeries' buns will also envelop an all-new, handmade hamburger and a new Debrezini style sausage by Vienna Sausage - two other new additions to the menu.
The five-ounce, all-beef hamburger will be handmade with fresh ingredients by Air Canada Centre's chefs on game-days, offering fans the gourmet taste of homemade hamburger. Only the best will do for this all-star burger and that means ingredients such as real crushed garlic and fresh eggs. Of course, the cheeseburger could only be topped with a slice of real, zesty cheddar cheese.
"We take food very seriously here at Air Canada Centre and we want our fans to know it," said Executive Chef Long. "The food fans consume while they're here is a big part of the total experience and we want that experience to be the best! We've even re-vamped the condiments and plan to offer specialty mustard, a new tomato and corn salsa as well as a new pickle."
Another new addition to the menu is the chicken pita sandwich. A fresh pita, stuffed with sliced chicken breast and topped with tzatziki provides a flavourful and healthy meal.
Executive Chef Long says that they've even added some new items to the quick-service dessert menu. Breyer's Ice Cream will supply scooped ice cream in several flavours including chocolate, strawberry and vanilla and "The Game Bag", a favourite dessert item formerly available only at The Air Canada Club restaurant will now be available in the 100 level concourse. The "Game Bag" is a Maple Leafs or Raptors themed baggie filled with baked goods including a special Maple Leafs or Raptors cookie.
The quick-service menu at Air Canada Centre also includes tasty foods such as back bacon on a bun, a corned beef sandwich and a carved roast beef sandwich. The snack selection includes nachos, peanuts, popcorn, warm pretzels, and a choice of candies and chocolate bars.
The champion hotdog is priced at $3.75, the handmade hamburger at $5.50, the sausage at $4.50 and the chicken pita at $6.75. Visit Air Canada Centre at www.theaircanadacentre.com.