While most people wouldn't think of a hot dog as a sandwich, Merriam-Webster defines a sandwich as "two or more slices of bread, or a split roll, having a filling in between." So a hot dog, in a bun, according to the dictionary is in fact a sandwich. Put that same hot dog in a bun and top it with ingredients normally found in a sushi restaurant, and you've got a Serious Sandwich. Or, as it's called in downtown Vancouver, a Japadog.
Open for almost two years, Japadog is exactly the kind of hot dog stand you'd expect in Vancouver, where the population is almost one-third Asian. In a lot of ways, it's like your typical downtown hot dog stand. They serve your standard all-beef dog, a few kinds of sausage, a turkey dog, and a veggie dog, all from a normal hot dog cart with that offers the typical condiments. But the real draw is the "Japa Style Menu." On it, you can choose from among three different Japanese hot dog concoctions in which the standard sauerkraut, ketchup, and mustard are replaced by seaweed, soy sauce, and wasabi mayo.
The Terimayo ($4.25) is the most popular. An all-beef dog, grilled and topped with nori (seaweed), grilled onions, teriyaki sauce, and wasabi mayo.
Or you can go a little "lighter" with the Miso Mayo ($5), a turkey dog topped with sesame sauce, wasabi mayo, and kaiware (daikon radish sprouts).
I chose the Oroshi ($4.50), a pork sausage topped with daikon oroshi (grated radish), scallions, and soy sauce. The Asian ingredients had the flavor effect you would expect and mixed perfectly with the smoky pork sausage.
All the fatty goodness of a hot dog, grilled to perfection and balanced with the cool crispness of Japanese condiments, and the kick of wasabi. Simple and amazing. How did the Canucks beat us to the punch on this one?
Address: Corner of Burrard & Smithe, downtown Vancouver
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