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CANADA | Saturday, 12 June 2010 | Views [2196]

In downtown Vancouver, there's a hot dog stand on nearly every corner. Most of the time, the wafting smell of the sausages cooking is delicious and very tempting. And then at other times, it's more like a stench of old meat that makes you want to gag. Eating a hot dog from a tin cart on the side of the road is apparently a gamble and we were not yet brave enough to try one.

During our first week here we came across one particular stand called Japadog. A line of people were queuing at the little cart, huddled as close as possible to its red umbrella. It was, of course, raining but this didn't seem to dampen the punter's eagerness to get their hands on a Japadog.

As we continued walking, Josh and I discussed the possibilities of what a Japadog could actually be. We decided that it's either a cross between Japanese food and a regular hot dog or a sausage with Hello Kitty's face printed on it. We were intrigued, but not enough to turn around and line up in the rain.

A few weeks later we were googling best cheap places to eat in Vancouver. And number one, as voted by critics and bloggers, was Japadog. Josh and I looked at each other in disbelief. A hot dog stand is number one?

So it turns out a Japadog is a hot dog with Japanese toppings (A little disappointed as I was hoping for Hello Kitty). But how could the voters and the line of people always at the stand, no matter the time of day or weather, be wrong? We decided it was time for our first Japadog.

Luckily, our local is only a couple of blocks away. After a quick walk, we excitedly examined the board of unusual hot dogs and basically chose two at random. Josh ordered the Beef Terimayo: a beef sausage with Teriyaki sauce and Japanese mayonnaise, topped with dried seaweed. I chose the Oroshi: a pork sausage with grated radish, green onion and special soy sauce.

Terimayo on the left and Oroshi on the right.

And they were pretty good. The Terimayo was the better of the two, as the mayonnaise was delicious and the seaweed was like a crunchy surprise. But don't think we'll be rushing back now that we know what its all about. It was the element of intrigue that had us so eager to try one. After I took my last bite, I said, “At least we can stop wondering now.”

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