When you visit Vancouver, the locals will ask you, “Have you had a Japadog yet?”At first, you’ll feel awkward about it, because is Japadog a racist thing to say? (Canadians are definitely less worried about being PC…)
Later — after you’ve eaten one — you’ll find out that most actual Vancouver natives have never had a Japadog, or have only eaten it once with a visiting friend. But it’s one of those things. You have to try one. Would all of these random celebrities steer you wrong?
I think “No Japadog, No Life” is a bit of hyperbole. Especially because — is there a WORSE food for sustaining life than processed meats? (My doctor just gave me an over-the-phone lecture about meat — thanks, genetically high cholesterol and lactose intolerance. Together you are ruining my blog!)
At the end of the day, it was very a very convenient “snack trek,” because one of the stands was parked outside of my hotel.
Apparently each stand has a slightly different menu (collect ’em all!). I wasn’t sure if you could mix ‘n match meats and toppings, and from what I gathered the answer was “no,” so I ended up getting the beef “terimayo” (with a teriyaki/mayo sauce), even though I was having mayo fatigue. (It’s hard NOT to eat mayo in Canada.)
And what does a Japadog taste like? It’s a beef hot dog, deeply striated along the top so that the hot dog sort of has bite-sized pieces (that was cool), grilled (I think), drizzled with teriyaki and mayo and covered with seaweed strips (I think they’re similar to the snacky ones people buy at Trader Joe’s — which they don’t have in Canada, btw). That’s what it tastes like.
I thought it had a good bun. I thought it needed a little mustard (which they had available).
So if you like hot dogs with a sushi-tasting twist, you’ll enjoy them. I enjoyed mine. It seemed to be a quality beef hot dog. But you won’t feel healthy about it. I felt a little extra-gross because I’d just been to The Infield the previous weekend. And because I typically don’t eat mayo.
So now you know everything you never knew you wanted to know about a Japadog, and you can even recreate one in the comfort of your own home.
But you should still get off the couch and visit Vancouver. It has many delights to offer.