Japadog (Japanese Hot Dogs) – Review 3

Restaurant: Japadog
Cuisine: Japanese/Fusion/Hot Dogs
Last visited: September 9, 2010
Location: Vancouver, BC (Downtown)
Address: 845 Burrard Street
Price Range: $10 or less

1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!

Food: 4.5
Service: 3
Ambiance: n/a (it’s a hot dog stand)
Overall: 4.5
Additional comments:

  • Started in Vancouver, since 2007
  • Quick developing franchise
  • Vancouver’s most popular street food
  • Famous for Japanese style hot dogs
  • Japanese owned/operated
  • Pork, beef, turkey, veggie options
  • 5 locations in Vancouver (4 stands, 1 store)
  • Some different hot dogs at each location
  • Most popular for Terimayo hot dog
  • Voted “Vancouver’s Best Hot Dog”
  • Local favourite
  • Long lines, busy at peak hours
  • Attracts locals, tourists and famous people
  • Sun-Thurs 12pm-8pm
  • Fri-Sat 12pm-9pm

**Recommendations: Beef Terimayo, Kurobuta Terimayo, Spicy Cheese Terimayo, Oknomi

Japadog opened in 2007 and my first post for it was back in 2009 (see post here). Since then the Vancouver institution, Japadog, has become highly recognized throughout North America and by various local and international media. Japadog has become Vancouver’s best and favourite hot dog for locals, tourists and even celebrities. The Japadog is the perfect representation of fusion cuisine in Vancouver and its immense love for Japanese food.

What once was a small hot dog stand located on the corner of Burrard and Smithe has now expanded into 5 locations throughout the downtown, Vancouver core. Each location has the regular Japadog menu as well as special Japadogs available at only that location. The highly anticipated Japadog store opened on Robson Street (530 Robson Street) in May 2010 and has quickly become the talk of the town with people and media calling it “Vancouver’s best hot dog” and “Vancouver’s Best Cheap Eats”.

The Japadog store on Robson even offers dessert hot dogs and fries!

During the Vancouver Winter Olympics 2010, Japadog received a lot of attention with hour long line ups during peak hours. People were excited to check out the hype on these “must try” Japanese style hot dogs, also known as Vancouver’s hottest street food. It’s pretty much Vancouver’s version of In-N-Out Burger. Japadog is a quickly expanding franchise and is soon to open in Los Angeles, California and other parts of Canada and the US.

Not only has Japadog grown in size and popularity, but so has the menu and the prices. It didn’t hit me until I paid $17 for 3 hot dogs. A Kurobuta Terimayo cost $6.75 last year and now it’s $7.25 (that’s only 1 year of inflation). Nothing about it has changed except for it’s perceived value. Japadog has made such a name for itself that they can basically charge whatever they want and it won’t stop the people from coming. It’s still a solid hot dog that I really enjoy, but seriously at $6.50 it’s starting to lose it’s “In-N-Out Burger” effect.

See my previous posts for other Japadogs: Beef Terimayo (100% all beef, Teriyaki sauce, Japanese mayo, fried onion, seaweed/nori) Oroshi (Bratwurst, grated radish, special soy & green onion) Edmame Terimayo (Bratwurst, edamame, Teriyaki sauce, Japanese mayo & seaweed)

On the table:

**Korubuta Terimayo – 6/6

  • Most highly prized pork! Kurobuta 100% pure all natural Berkshire pork. Kurobuta is the Kobe beef of pork. $6.47 Including tax $7.45
  • It’s a Korubuta pork sausage with Teriyaki sauce, Japanese mayo, fried onions, seaweed/Nori.  This is still the best and most popular hot dog. I still love it.
  • It’s the juiciest sausage and most flavourful. I’m a bit sad though because either they took out, or forgot, the fried onions that’s supposed to be in there.
  • It’s sweet, savoury, hearty and I love the crispy nori on top.

Of course you can’t forget the Wasabi Mayo on any of the Japadogs! (Free condiment)

**Okonomi 5/6
  • Kurobuta Pork with Bonito flakes and fried cabbage $6.03 Including tax $6.75
  • This one is very good but the Bonito flakes are a bit exotic for some. It’s just dried fish flakes and it’s almost like paper thin sheets of fish jerky that just melt in your mouth.
  • It’s a sweeter hot dog with a slight fishy taste that works well with the juicy pork. The sweetness if from the fried cabbage that gets all caramelized and the Okonomi sauce, which is similar to Teriyaki sauce but sweeter. It’s also topped with Japanese mayo to give it some creaminess.

Negi Miso 3.5/6

  • Turkey with Miso sauce $4.91 Including tax $5.50
  • This is one of the newest Japadogs to hit the menu. When I see “Miso”, I’m there! However, it was kind of boring and it really only had 2 ingredients.
  • The turkey sausage has a softer texture than the pork and it’s not as juicy or flavourful. The casing is also a bit tougher.
  • Oddly enough I wouldn’t have guessed this was Miso sauce because of the colour and the flavorful. It tastes like a tangy, savoury and slightly spicy sauce and you can definitely tell they used Ponzu sauce in it. It’s almost like a sweet chili Miso vinaigrette with lemon juice. The sauce is very good, but I wanted it to be thicker and more savoury Miso flavour. It looks like a lot of sauce, but you couldn’t really taste it, and because the turkey is mild it requires a lot more sauce.

See my previous posts for other Japadogs: Beef Terimayo (100% all beef, Teriyaki sauce, Japanese mayo, fried onion, seaweed/nori) Oroshi (Bratwurst, grated radish, special soy & green onion) Edmame Terimayo (Bratwurst, edamame, Teriyaki sauce, Japanese mayo & seaweed)


[geotag]Japadog (Burrard & Smithe) on Urbanspoon


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