Japadog

Okay, so I had a Pro-D today and it was all the way in Tsawwassen. Boy, was the traffic miserable getting there. A big lineup on Hwy 99 backed up almost to Westminster Hwy! Luckily I picked up Miss Y along the way, so we could take the carpool lane. The sessions were quite informative and interesting (it's true, I'm not just saying it to look good); however, the "healthy" ham sandwiches for lunch left us longing for some real food... Japadog!!!

What the heck is Japadog you might ask? Well, unless you've been living in a cave (sorry if I insulted you), Japadog is a hot dog cart right in front of the Sutton Place Hotel in downtown Vancouver. You might be wondering why in the world would I drive all the way from Tsawwassen to downtown for a hot dog, especially since Miss Y and I live in Burnaby. Well, these are no ordinary hot dogs! First of all, the wieners themselves are very good - meaty in texture and not overly salty in taste. That's a good thing, because the toppings make the hot dog. Various Japanese toppings are used to create a truly distinctive and delicious taste.

There are 4 Japanese-inspired hot dogs to choose from: Terimayo, Oroshi, Misomayo and Okonomi. From the picture of the menu, you can see that these hot dogs are not cheap; but for the taste experience, I think they are worth every penny. I decided to have the Terimayo and the Okonomi. The Terimayo is an all-beef dog with teriyaki sauce, Japanese mayo, fried onions and nori (seaweed). This is their best-seller and if you try it, you'll know why. The
combination of ingredients work really well with each other that gives you a taste explosion. The teriyaki sauce gives the salty and sweet kick, while the mayo mellows the flavour with a sweet smoothness. The nori adds a touch of aroma that is purely Japanese. However, I thought the onions were not caramelized enough and seemed too raw (I personally don't like raw onions).

I also had the Okonomi, which is a wiener made of Kurobuta pork (known as Black Hog or Berkshire Pork has more marbling, thus more juicy and tender pork), topped with Japanese mayo, fried cabbage, and Bonito flakes (dried fish). This hot dog is much more subtle in taste than the Terimayo since all of the toppings are quite mild. The cabbage supplied a very nice crunch, while the mayo kept the hot dog moist. The Bonito flakes gave a hint of fish flavour, but ever so slight. One thing I was not fond of was the casing for the weiner, it was very hard to chew.

On another visit, I gave the Misomayo a try and although it has some of the same components as the Terimayo, it has a flavour all to its own. First of all, it has a sesame miso sauce which is saltier and less sweet than the terimayo. Second, it has a turkey smokie rather than a beef dog. Although it does have the same creamy sweet mayo. Finishing the hot dog are radish sprouts that really don't add a whole lot in my opinion.

I haven't tried the Oroshi or the other fancy new dogs, but to me at least, nothing beats the original Terimayo. Interestingly, Miss Y had 2 plain hot dogs with sauteed onions.... As Forrest Gump would say, "and that's all I have to say about that...". So the only way you'll understand why we drove so far to fight with downtown traffic, try to find a parking space, lined-up in the freezing cold for a couple of hot dogs is to try it yourself!

The Good:
- Unique hot dogs
- Interesting flavours
- Quality ingredients

The Bad:
- It's a hot dog cart outside (not good in winter)
- Long lineups
- Can get expensive

Japadog
899 Burrard Street
Vancouver, B.C.
www.japadog.com

Business Hours:
12:00pm - 7:30pm (Mon - Thu)
12:00pm - 8:00pm (Fri - Sat)
12:30pm - 7:00 (Sun)

Japadog on Urbanspoon

5 comments:

Cosmo Kramer said...

First it was “awesome” fish n chips. Now it’s a “taste explosion” at a hot dog stand? You come across Delicious with a capital “D” food like I come across B.O. with a capital B on the Skytrain.

I’m marinating in B.O. on the train and you’re “Whoops another taste explosion!.” How fair is that?

And your Ms. Y…ordering plain hot dogs! Travesty!!! Or perhaps she had one look at what I can only imagine a taste explosion look would look like on your face and wisely opted for the plain. “Two plains, please!!!”

Seriously though, yes, I hear great things about Japadog. Will be sure to try it out! Great post again!!!

Ada said...

Yes! This place is awesome! Luckily, I didn't really have to line up each time...maybe non-peak hours?!?

Aey said...

This looks interesting.

Phyllis said...

Hi Sherman,
I just posted on Japadog and linked to your fab review & photos in my blog:
http://mehungry-phyllis.blogspot.com/2009/07/vancouver-street-food-japadog-tenku.html

Cheers!
Phyllis

Anonymous said...

The guy who started it was a former ad salesman
http://www.japansugoi.com/wordpress/japadog-japanese-hotdog-success-in-vancouver/