Japadog - and I Don't Mean Nala!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010 - 
One of the major excitements for me when I travel is the food.  I love to get recommendations from the locals on the fantastic places, as well as research the big chefs of the city.  So when hubs and I made our way to the west coast, I immediately asked for recommendations via twitter and facebook.  When researching Vancouver specifically, one location was a shout out by many - Japadog.  Honestly, how could you resist a location with a name like that?!  Japanese style hot dogs...let's do this.

As hubs and I pulled into the city and turned onto Robson Street, I could barely contain my excitement when I saw this...
That is correct - across the street from our hotel was the coveted "must try" Japadog.  I couldn't wait to check in so we could go get our lunch!  I asked the concierge what the must try item was, and she told me the terimayo and butter & shoyo shake fries.  I had no idea what either was, but as always, I'm game to try anything.  We crossed our street, got into the line (absolutely there was a line - this is after all a BIG deal in Vancouver - people like Anthony Bourdain go here afterall!) and started to drool while we reviewed the menu.
I stuck with the recommendation of the concierge and ordered the terimayo beef hotdog, while hubby ordered the tonkasu beef.  

Let me tell you, this is probably the best hot dog I've ever had in my life.  

I dove right into this and was extremely happy.  The seaweed gave it an unexpected crispness, while the mayo was a whole different flavor.  I would have never thought of mayo on a hot dog (but why not, people put it on hamburgers, right?), especially a teriyaki flavored mayo.  It gave it a creamy, but slight sweet yet savory flavor.  There was a row of condiments, but it wasn't needed at all.  Hubs tonkasu was a fried pork hot dog slathered in tonkasu sauce and topped with fried cabbage and mayo.  A whole different taste from mine, almost smokey flavor like barbecue.  His was slightly more messy, but just as delicious.  Both were served (or should I say stuffed) into a soft roll to keep the fixings inside.  Happy to report - the roll was not soggy - thank you Japadog.

In addition to the dogs, our combo came with 'shake fries' - essentially fries with some sort of topping.  Going once again with the concierge recommendation, I ordered butter & shoyo fries while hubs ordered aonori.  The butter & shoyo fries were basic - some salt and butter.  I was actually disappointed with them because they were like any fast food restaurant.  But hubbies definitely had that "interest" factor, as his were green seaweed fries.  To me, they tasted almost like a how I would imagine a dill fry to taste.  The fries weren't epic like the dogs, but seemed like a side that just made sense to serve.  I don't think I would recommend the butter & shoyo...just try another if you can.
I've decided to add a little flair to these "reviews" of places we eat...a "who won" type of contest between the ever competitive husband and I.  And by "who won?" I mean who had the better meal.  So in this case, who "won" the best hot dog choice?  Well, I'm calling this one a tie.  They both were good in their own elements. Fries, hubs definitely won that one, but I wouldn't be bragging if I was him! ;)

If you ever make your way to the lovely city of Vancouver, hit up one of the stands or the store that is open (which is where we went.)  Try something off the menu and let me know your thoughts.  Did I mention they have dessert dogs?  I'd love to know how those were...