Snag Stand

Cnr Latrobe and Swanston Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
+61 3 9639 6544

It seems that Sydneysiders have a thing for turning simple, no-frills street food into fancy, high-end versions of themselves. Just like Heidi Middleton and Sarah-Jane Clarke have done to a humble pair of black leggings (slap on some PVC and a price tag of $200 a pop, and watch everyone go wild), others in Sydney have done the same thing to food including burgers (Neil Perry, Rockpool), rice paper rolls (Nahji Chu, Miss Chu) and the classic meat pie (Wayne Homschek, Pie Face). Then there’s the whole taco reinvention thing, but let’s not get into that today. Of course, something as modest as the hot dog ain’t exempt from this sort of treatment – and with that, I present you Snag Stand.

Established in Sydney by American-born Phillip Blanco, Snag Stand arrived in Melbourne earlier this year and has proven to be a hit among those fed up with crappy $5 hot dogs at the ‘G and those who’d just missed out on snagging (tee-hee! Pun!) the last bratwurst roll at Queen Vic Market. Its central location makes it an ideal place for a quick bite before the train ride home and for lucky RMIT students looking for non-cafeteria options for lunch.

According to Blanco, Snag Stand differentiates itself from other hot dog providers because of the high quality ingredients used. Here, the sausages are hand-crafted, rather than bought in bulk from Coles; their casings natural, rather than synthetic and no artificial colours or flavours are used. The sausages come from all sorts of trusted suppliers around the country, with the Melbourne branch receiving most of their snags from Jonathan’s Butchery in Collingwood. Thus, one can reasonably expect that, for $6-10, their ‘haute’ dog will be one of designer quality.

The first time I went, I had the American classic ($6.90). The frankfurter was wood-smoked, presumably to give it a bit of dimension, and the bun, a toasted brioche. In between, the standard yellow mustard, tomato sauce, onions and sweet green pickle relish made appearances. The result was, well, something that tasted a little bit fancier than your $2.49 hotdog from Costco, except that you didn’t get free softdrink refills at Snag Stand. As an aside, Marty did make a comment on how the green sauce looked a lot like a caterpillar – heh!

On my second visit, I decided to go ooh-la-la-super-fancy by ordering the Toulouse, which was just shy of $10. It seems that the toasted brioche roll is the default bread option here because it made an appearance yet again, this time with sautéed onions, rosemary, mushrooms and truffle aioli along with a Bangalow pork sausage. Although I liked the sausage, which had a lovely rustic taste, I did feel that the truffle aioli overpowered what would have been a deliciously rustic and earthy-tasting hot dog with attitude (even if there was barely anything French about it – except for the brioche and err, I guess the ‘truffles’).

The chips here aren’t bad, either. For $3.90, I got a small tub of crunchy, roughly cut chips, which were made out of Tasmanian russet potatoes. Yarms. I also got some fresh herb aioli to go with it ($1 per tub). In hindsight, I should have chosen a tub of curry ketchup or chipotle mayo simply because I was already getting a healthy dose of aioli on my Toulouse hot dog but that’s not to say that the herb aioli was bad.

In short, Snag Stand is definitely a breathe of fresh air and one of the few ‘haute street food’ franchises from Sydney that I am actually pleased to see (now, if only Pie Face would just eff off, kindly). Sure, nothing will ever beat a classic bratwurst from Queen Vic Market but this comes pretty close. While I’m in no real rush to order the over-powering Toulouse snag, I will definitely order the American classic again. That is, after I’ve tried some of the other enticing options on the rotating menu such as the Greek (using a lamb, rosemary and oregano sausage, of course) and the currywurst.

On that note, I’m off to Sydney tomorrow for the weekend. While I’m not looking to encounter any designer satay cafes nor am I keen to eat a single pie, I’m definitely looking forward to finally trying the famed snow egg dessert at Quay and eating my way through a leisurely lunchtime degustation at Sepia.

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    1. Haha it was probably a coincidence that I happened to order the two that came with brioche buns! I will try the non-brioche ones next time 😀

  1. I’ve been wanting to go here actually – bummer to hear they’re not amazing, but then again, I’d be annoyed if they beat Queen Vic too. I will, of course, still try it sometime 🙂

  2. Hrmm, they do a decent sausage there, but then I reckon it’s a bit toffed up and the bread’s just too much… You should give the Riverland bar on Flinder’s a go as well; they’ve got a bbq set up with proper snags, and for cheap.

  3. OHHHH You’re going to Sydney too? I’m going next week 🙂 but not even for the weekend sigh only for a day 🙁 i can’t wait though hehe i totally agree with you though Pie Face really needs to GETTA here! Ther’es so many of them around….but NONE and i mean NONE of them are good!!!! I don’t get why they’re still around!

    My boyfriend is going to kill me lol I’ve told him about Snag Stand and showed him so many wonderful reviews about it but I still haven’t taken him lol he LOVES hot dogs and like what you said he’s sick of the crappy ones lol

    Might go tonight…or tomorrow 😛

    Have an amazing time in Sydney!!!

        1. If you’re going to be in the city, most good places would be filled with city-types on their lunch breaks but you’ll probably have better luck if you’re going to be elsewhere. Have fun!

    1. I just had a quick look at your post – while I thought the snow egg was wondeful, I WAS expecting a bit more (tastewise). The chocolate cake looks amazing and I kinda wish I ordered that instead! Glad I didn’t order the coffee. I’ve had coffee at three separate places in Sydney and not a single cup was halfway decent – I guess even the best restaurants in Sydney know how to stuff up a simple coffee!

      1. I agree, the snow egg is much lighter (with a lot of ice) so isn’t as interesting as the cake.

        I still haven’t heard of a great place for a latte in Sydney. I take my coffee black now, so maybe things will be better next time around?

  4. Passed by sooooo many times but yet to try… this may be the motivation I need to give them a go :). Have fun in Sydney! Bourke St Bakery is a must!!!!

    1. I didn’t get to go to Bourke Street bakery. Or anywhere in Surry Hills for that matter. Or anywhere near half my list 🙁

      Definitely next time!

      1. Awww that’s ok! Bourke St Bakery was like the only place I got to on my list of foodie places last time :). I’m sure you went to some pretty amazing places anyway! Look forward to hearing about them :).

  5. I’ve been curious about Snag Stand for a while.. I never seen a photo till now and I’m impressed!

    Yes, Pie Face should go away. First time I had Pie Face I was drunk and it was the best pie ever. Came back when sober and it tasted like crap and the pastry was floppy and I burnt myself. Wah.

    My fav pies are from Coles Central on Elizabeth St, and at Cafe Malitude on Exhibition St. Home made!!

    Have a fun and safe trip to Sydney!

  6. I’ve only been once and well, I thought it was a bit expensive for what I got but it did taste fantastic. I got the Wagyu beef which came with mash and gravy. Love my mash with gravy in a bun. 😀 Hope you had a good trip in Sydney!

  7. I’ve tried the Toulouse before, while the fancy name and description might sound super mouthwatering, I gotta agree that it is a bit too heavy on the truffle (but I finished mine anyway. lol)
    The prices are also on the more expensive side, but I look at it as a treat so I wouldn’t mind at all 🙂
    And I loveeee their chips. I’m a sucker for chips with chunky salt flakes. nomnom.

    Since you’ve mentioned brioche…
    I wonder where can I get a loaf of brioche here in Melbourne..

    Cheers !

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