The Manuel

FoodI just can't go downtown without buying a Manuel. It's part of the ritual and something I've been doing for almost twenty years. Whether it's going to SkyDome, the ACC or just checking out the strip, at some point a Manuel becomes part of the experience.

The Manuel is a BBQ'd hot dog from a street vendor. The term was coined one summer, I believe it was 1988 but it could have been 1989, when a Shopsy's television commercial aired for a brief period of time celebrating these street vendors and their tasty wares. In this commercial, the vendor's name was Manuel and my friends and I adopted this term to describe any street vendor hot dog in the city of Toronto.

Many cities have a flagship food, the Philly cheese steak comes to mind, and Toronto is no exception. Here it's the Manuel that defines us. The Manuel is our beacon of light that guides us, protects us and shows us the way.


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Manny Labour

13 years later, you finally get a response to this.

This is the only reference to this commercial I can find on the entire interwebz. Unless it's in a block of commercials on Youtube, it's not even on Youtube.

One of my all time favorite commercials, and because Canadian TV has only so many commercials at a time to run, it got a lot of airplay during its time. I don't know when it first started to run, but I remember it being big during spring/summer 1989. It became a long running inside joke between my brother and I.

"Hello Manuel, I missed you yesterday. Give me a Shopsy's"

Glad I'm not the only person who remembers this gem, and your co-opting of the term to refer to vendor hot dogs is fantastic. Kudos to you, sir!

June 14, 2018 @ 1:28 PM

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