Ma Cherie works next door to the King St West location and we were eyeing to visit this spot for some time. I initially thought it is a gourmet hot dog place actually and was pleasantly surprised to find out the much more diverse cuisine Lou Dawg's has to offer.
Passing it on King St, it is hard not to notice the unique wooden sign with the burned, cut wordmark and some bullet-like dents in the wood. A banner with a humorous illustration stating "Home of the Brave" waves on the top. We almost entered the left door with the same illustration style decal, but realized that is not the restaurant. Instead, we went from the somewhat unremarkable right door which was followed by stairs going down - with a red zig zag to confirm the restaurant.
We span into the space coming out of a corrugated tin circular wall. Our waiter let us pick any spot. We settled deep inside the hall, right next to a wall finished with reclaimed wood. We noticed the kitchen paper on every table and some vintage signage pointing our mood in the right direction for a good old-fashioned southern fare. Blues playing in the background, also helped. Our waiter, Ryan, was very friendly and chatty. Lou Dawgs was almost empty for lunch so we were spoiled with attention - hope it is just as good when they get busy. Their paper menus caught our attention: black-and-white, slab-serif font. We noticed plenty of poutine options, ribs, chilies and nachos to choose from.
Ryan made a quick comment about the chilly weather outside, stating that our ancestors should've come to a different country. He also dropped a couple cups of iced water and recommended a Pulled Pork and Beef Brisket sandwich as the most popular options. These were the options we went for. We were also suggested their fresh-cut, never frozen, fries which we also gladly ordered. The atmosphere around us was very soothing, we were enveloped in a warm vibe with light woods adjourning the walls and incandescent lights everywhere.
Our Smoked Beef Brisket was loaded with meat - up to the point when it was a bit difficult to eat. Nonetheless, it was a very flavorful meal especially when coupled with their home-made barbecue sauce. We found the beef to be a bit too fatty, but that's personal. The amount of meat in the Pulled Pork sandwich was also astonishing. Somehow, it appeared a bit dry to us (we went with pork rather than pulled chicken to avoid that), but that was easily compensated with sauces. Their come-cut fries are definitely a must if you are looking for a wholesome experience. Try it with their home-made ketchup. Ryan split our sandwiches in two so each could try the other's fare. The experience made for a very heavy lunch, maybe that was the reason for not having a lot more people visiting for lunch? Not every company will allow you to take an after-meal nap at your desk - a very southern approach. Nachos might have been a better options for us.
As southern cuisine goes, the only veggies we had came in bottles of sauces on the table - to be expected though. We found that any sandwich can be made into a Po'boy by simply adding a side of coleslaw - not quite what we learned in New Orleans, in terms of what constitutes a real Po'boy. However, a load of coleslaw could have been a refreshing side. Lastly, we were happy to find out that they don't smoke their meats through the night, but start in the early morning so the lunch faire is the first batch. Also, the full kitchen is open late into the night and we will try to come back for a snack one day.
PS. free phone charging stations next to the kitchen were also a nice touch.