Thursday, October 15, 2015

Japadog Tourist Trap

Of course while visiting Vancouver one does have to try out some of the more popular food locales.  Over the past couple of years many have raved about Japadog and it's unique culinary take on the average hot dog.  Japadog takes the average hot dog and tops it with various unique toppings like meat, seaweed and other gourmet toppings.   Starting out with a single hot dog cart, this restaurant chain has grown into several more carts and a storefront location in the Vancouver area plus a couple of carts in California.

Japadog has been noticed by many food blogs and tourist guidebooks since it's first cart that routinely had long line ups.  Hence, my interest in trying at least once an culinary sensation from this popular restaurant family. With a Japadog storefront nearby at 530 Robson Street, it wasn't to hard to find my candidate location.

Japadog Storefront
Japadog Storefront overlooking Robson Street

I visited on a weeknight for dinner figuring it would be less lined up than on a lost tourist infused weekend crowd.  I was correct in my assumption and only found a relative handful of people there.   Being only second in line upon entering things moved fast especially considering the relatively cramped quarters of the restaurant compared to the more spacious Five Guys Burgers & Fries across the street.

The Order: 1 Love Meat Hot Dog (Japadog's home made meat sauce is fused together with melted cheese).

After ordering and paying for the meal, customers are issued a receipt with an order number on it.  Next customers wait for their orders to be prepared by the Japadog staff team.  This can take anywhere from a five minutes up to, I imagine, on busy days twenty minutes.  With a cramped kitchen area due to the small retail space, there are only so many staff members that can assemble orders.

My order was easily assembled and picked up in less than ten minutes. I left for the nearby condominium to grab a drink and other assortment of sides.  I could have ordered a side, but at $5.99 plus tax for my hot dog alone, it was a little steep.

Japadog Love Meat Hot Dog
Love Meat Hot Dog

The Love Meat Hot Dog was o.k.  the hot dog itself was an average street sausage you could easily find at the nearby Costco Food Court.  The most interesting part was the meat toppings. Interesting taste similar to a chili dog.  But perhaps the most impressive thing was before I was given the order, the Japadog staff member used a blow torch to melt the cheese sprinkled on top.

Overall, was the hot dog worth $6.00 plus tax? Not really, but it was a good one time experience that I can say I did while in Vancouver.  I wouldn't make this a regular trip as for the price of food for the amount received is a little lacking.  But for novelty sake, it is worth a trip if you're playing tourist.

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