10 Oct2011

JAPADOG, Vancouver

by Marketman

A “hotdog” or more accurately put, a “kurobuta pork sausage” with japanese sauce, fried cabbage and bonito flakes in a classic side-cut hotdog bun — you would think I was joking, right?!? But this is for real at JAPADOG, and this specific version is called the okonomi. This unusual fastfood place came highly recommended, not only by dozens of marketmanila readers, the press and Mr. Bourdain as well, but I have to tell you, I was extremely SCEPTICAL just thinking about it. Then, at the store itself, before ordering, I looked at Mrs. MM and said I was glad we just had a hearty brunch at the Granville market less than an hour before! We weren’t really hungry, but we thought we should at least give the place a try, so we decided on the okonomi, one of their most premium selections at C$6.25 for a single hotdog!

Located just around the corner from our hotel, this small storefront is actually quite upscale compared to their other street cart locations… Apparently the brain child of a Japanese immigrant who wanted to offer a new take on a classically American dish, he melded all kinds of heretofore unthought of toppings for the hot dog. Thank goodness for the folks who choose to venture beyond the ordinary…

They have 9 different variations and their own versions of french fries as well. Choose whatever floats your boat and a few minutes later you are face to dog with one of their concoctions…

Staring at the dog, again I have to say I wasn’t thrilled, and if I had to vote with my eyes, I wouldn’t have necessarily eaten this without prodding, but the simple verdict is this… Forget it’s a hotdog and think gourmet sausage sandwich instead. The kurobuta sausage in ours was DELICIOUS on its own. I would have been happy to eat a couple of kurobutas in a bun, plain or with a little mustard. But the interesting thing is that the sweetish japanese sauce, the likewise sweetish mayonnaise and the fried cabbage and bonito flakes all seemed to work together. It was a mouthful but a delicious mouthful. We only had room for one sandwich between Mrs. MM and myself… but if we ever return to Vancouver, I am certainly game for more. :)

www.japadog.com

 

COMMENTS:

  1. jade186 says:

    Maybe one day we’ll hear about a Filidog…

    Oct 10, 2011 | 4:49 pm

     
  2. Betchay says:

    The 1st time I learned about this Japadog was on a street cart food episode in one of the TV shows at Discovery TLC and I was intrigued. The concept was very innovative. So you did get to taste it MM—lucky you!

    Oct 10, 2011 | 7:41 pm

     
  3. Christine says:

    My korean husband and I would have pizza nights and hotdog nights where we experiment on different variations of those two. Among our hotdog experiments, my favorites are the hotdog with japanese mayo, okonomiyaki sauce and top with bonito flakes! Second place would be the hotdog sandwich with japanese mayo and Kimchi on top! The one with kimchi is surprisingly good!! =)

    Oct 10, 2011 | 8:17 pm

     
  4. rosedmd says:

    oh, it’s open now!!! i had my japadog in their other branch. this store was still being constructed at that time. i waited in line for my japadog, alot of people told me to try this!! i think, i went to the one near a hotel.

    Oct 10, 2011 | 8:30 pm

     
  5. Andrea says:

    I just tried out Raku (a hokkaido ramen shop) in NAIA terminal 3. Their gyoza is garnished the same way, and was quite delicious. They also have their own version of japanese-style hotdogs … teriyaki dogs, california maki dogs… think it’s worth trying. :)

    Oct 10, 2011 | 8:40 pm

     
  6. EL says:

    Heard couple days ago that Japadog’s opening up a hotdog stand in NYC’s East Village in November

    Oct 10, 2011 | 11:07 pm

     
  7. Joseph (Vancouver) says:

    Japadog is set to open their first US location in NYC by the end of the year. It’s a storefront location like the one you visited and not a hotdog cart.

    Oct 10, 2011 | 11:47 pm

     
  8. Natie says:

    Hmmm….gotta try that when it opens in NYC. My kind of fadtfood

    Oct 10, 2011 | 11:55 pm

     
  9. Mila says:

    Hmmm, I wonder if the state fair entrepreneurs have already started trying out variations of the corn dog using asian flavors (kimchi corndogs/okonomiyaki style corn dogs/sate corn dogs). Or just take your ordinary corn dog and then garnish it with the bonito flakes and other toppings.

    Oct 11, 2011 | 12:01 am

     
  10. Joseph (Vancouver) says:

    Natie, here’s more info on the Japadog NYC location.

    http://www.vancitybuzz.com/2011/09/japadog-opening-up-in-new-york/

    Oct 11, 2011 | 12:17 am

     
  11. Mart says:

    @jade186
    I’d think twice if they marketed the ‘filidog’ as ‘Ascal’ :P

    A friend of mine tried the Japadog a few years back (when it was still operating out of a hotdog stand) but didn’t come away impressed. Now from MM’s review, maybe it was just a “labeling” problem. People going in expecting/hankering for a hotdog and getting something else; which, although may be entirely good on its own, fell short of “expectations”.

    Oct 11, 2011 | 5:51 am

     
  12. betty q. says:

    Mila…there is already one in place in NYC. I was watching the Food Network about 1 month ago about the food trucks and one of them took corn dogs to a different level.

    Oct 11, 2011 | 6:08 am

     
  13. Vancouver Interior Design says:

    That is one fancy looking hot dog and looks like it could be quite tasty. Not sure I can say that about the others!

    Oct 11, 2011 | 7:36 am

     
  14. ami says:

    I like Japadog because of its original concept and it doesn’t hurt that the hotdogs are delicious. I’ve tried both okonomi and terimayo and like the former more because of the delicious kurobuta hotdog and I love bonito flakes.

    One tip though is to try to get to Japadog early when there is a Canucks game because the place is gonna be packed with hockey fans.

    Oct 11, 2011 | 8:03 am

     
  15. W says:

    And then there’s Hapadog in the Philippines (located at SM North Edsa):
    http://hapa-dog.com/index.html

    Oct 11, 2011 | 9:21 am

     
  16. PITS, MANILA says:

    LOOKS GOOD! DO THEY USE JAPANESE-MAYO? REALLY HUNGRY NOW …

    Oct 11, 2011 | 7:27 pm

     
  17. natie says:

    Thanks, Joseph of V!!

    Oct 12, 2011 | 2:44 am

     
  18. Ros-Anna says:

    “. . .IF we ever return to Vancouver . . .”; I’d say WHEN you and Mrs. MM return to Vancouver. We’ll be here waiting. . . ;-)

    Oct 12, 2011 | 8:14 am

     
 

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