Sunday, February 13, 2011

International Report II: JAPADOG!

Vancouver is a strange city, totally mixed up in what it is-Asia, Canada, Amsterdam? So it makes absolute sense then that a place like Japadog would exist here. What is it? I dunno. Is it Japanese food? Is it a hot dog? Who cares, just eat it already. Japadog is a straight up conundrum. Let it be. What if you found out Bigfoot wasn’t actually a mythic beast but was just some strange hairy dude. You might be disappointed that the mystery, the value we’ve invested in Bigfoot, the wicked riffs he’s inspired, the sweet van art, those rad “In Search of…” documentaries would lose their cultural weight and all those wonderful things you loved would turn to shit. Anyway, Japadog is good as hell. And Japadog is odd. It’s on a block with a great smelling noodle bowl place, and then this other totally strange shop called BEARD POPPA’S that sells these puffy pastries filled with cream. I love fake Japan block, it’s very awesome. I’d been holding Japadog out to Peveto like a carrot, kept saying I was gonna go, but shit kept getting in the way. Finally, my buddy Coggins and I headed over there for a quick bite. Coggins is the king, check out the mini truck! Complete with Mexican blanket upholstery and black metal soundtrack. Again, Vancouver = anomaly. Trve Kvlt Mini truck?

So Japadog is world famous because the dude who started it got all these photo endorsements by tons of famous people like that governor of California who came back in time to kill us all, and some other dudes who do some things that have absolutely no bearing on my life whatsoever. So, Japadog is kinda popular. The place was packed when we went, tons of people (ok, the place only seats 20), Japanese tourists and regular downtown folk alike. They have some signature dogs, which are really brats versus the traditional frank, but like, why the fuck would you expect tradition next to a place like BEARD POPPA’S? That place is a mystery, or in fake Japanese, MYSTERYU. Japadog’s basically what you’d expect though: a brat on a bun, with like, wasabi mayo or shredded daikon and bonito flakes on it. It really does sound stranger than it is, though. We tried 2 each, the Terimayo (beef teriyaki with shredded cabbage & wasabi mayo) and the Oroshi (the brat I mentioned with the chilled daikon and green onions), added some chili garlic french fries, and got pretty stuffed. They also have like, a wagyu beef one or something.

Look at Coggins wolfin’ that shit down.

I would have ordered the Love Meat, but I just wasn’t in the frame of mind to tell the petite and super polite Japanese girl behind the counter I wanted LOVE MEAT.

Japadog is good, pretty cheap, and a little strange. I’ll totally eat there again, though and this time I’ll stop by FUCKING BEARD POPPA’S. I just found another place here the other day that I need to go check out, we’ll see if takes me a year to do it and report on it like with Japadog.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Hot Dog Showdown!

This is big news people. Serious Eats and Everyday with Rachael Ray combined forces to create the ultimate Hot Dog bracket. 64 hot dog joints from around the country are going to square off to find the true champion.

Now, I'm known to boycott just about everything Rachael Ray gets her chubby little mitts on, but this is about hot dogs people. Everybody knows that Superbeast holds hot dogs in high order.

We've got a lot of friends on this list. Most importantly:

Our favorite dudes from Frank in Austin Texas.
Hot Doug's in Chicago.
Monster Dogs and Po Dogs in Seattle.
And last but not least the venerable Wienery in Minneapolis.

My money is on a Frank/Hot Doug's showdown for the ages. Then the world will explode and all that will remain is that weird neon green relish. May the best dog win!

** Jake are you telling me that there is a new hot dog bus in Minneapolis that serves gourmet dogs and you haven't reported on it yet? WTF man!