Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Japadog 02-12-2012

Japadog: 30 St. Marks Pl
Time: 3pm
People: 12 Ramen and Friends: ALev, MGru, BLee, JBH, Alexis, PMont, JT, Effie, Binx2, Jaimee, RB and myself

Feelings: I was beyond excited for the opening for Japadog, Vancouver's Japanese style hot dog stand in East Village. Japadog combines american street food (hot dogs) with Japanese street food such as teriyaki, okonomiyaki, yakisoba and croquettes.

With friendly service, this new outpost of Japadog has a rather spacious seating area, which is rare for the St. Marks area. It would actually be ideal for large groups and kids. Since their hot dogs are voluminous and could get messy, it's nice to have a table available to thoroughly enjoy the sloppiness of the dogs.

It is cash only, and the combo meal, which includes shaken fries and a drink can range around $7-$14. My negi-miso veggie dog with miso sauce topped with cabbage was subtly flavored, almost to the point of blandness. The bun and the sausage created a stereotypical Japanese hot dog: Soft, super-white bread and non-fatty, boiled sausage. Yes, we Japanese even enjoy hot dogs in a subtle, non greasy way.

I understand that the dogs are the star of this establishment, but I enjoyed their shaken fries more. Many fast food joints in Japan, even McDonalds, offer shaken fries: The delicious bag of fries that come with seasoning of your choice. Since the bag comes pre-mixed, you need to shake it before you dig in. Generous PMont ordered several flavors of shaken fries, and out of all that I tried, butter+shoyu flavor stood out to me the most. The curry flavor was also popular among our table.

Holding the okonomi dog with kurobuta sausage topped with bonito flakes and okonomiyaki sauce, "Reasonably priced and delish. Not too heavy. Interesting flavors," said Effie. JT also enjoyed what seemed to be the most interesting dish, croquette hot dogs. "I enjoyed the starchbomb of the croquette hot dog. The butter fries were also tasty combination of sweet+fat+salt."

BLee also liked her "Love Meat" hot dog with meat sauce and melted cheese. She said, "Despite the meat sauce and cheese, it didn't feel too heavy. They fries were nothing special, but I liked my Aonori topping, and in general that they offer so many different unusual flavors."

At Japadog, hot dogs are treated as sandwiches. JBH stated, "It was kinda lackluster." It is an interesting concept, and while they offer a glimpse of Japanese street food, I am not sure if this is something I'd want to eat too often. No matter how Japanese and light it may be, it is still a hot dog after all. They are quite tasty so definitely worth a try, however.


kim said...

I KNEW you'd drop by this joint sooner or later. :)

Interesting concept. Fusion is all the rage in recent years, but sometimes, I just want something authentic, like just a plate of fresh zaru soba. :)

Yosh. O said...

Yeah, you could never beat zaru soba!!