By Sophie Isbister, Life & Style Editor
For our last installment of Food Truck Frenzy, I’m looking to a staple of Vancouver street food: the original food truck Japadog. Imitators beware, the Japanese hot dog stand has been doing its thing in downtown Vancouver since it was just one stand in 2005. Now, they’ve expanded to five locations downtown, including a store-front, and one location in New York City. The wildly popular all-pork and all-beef dogs have landed themselves on several tourist guides and must-eat lists, so you can imagine my delight when I heard through the grapevine that Japadog would be opening right in our humble Douglas College community, right outside the David Lam campus on Pinetree Way in Coquitlam.
Japadog first parked their red hot dog truck outside Douglas College on Monday, July 29, and plan to stay there indefinitely. Food truck operator, Yuko Sagawa, who serves me up a delicious, seaweed-loaded Terimayo dog and shaken seaweed fries, tells me that it’s been slow so far, but she thinks that business will pick up in September when the college and nearby high school are back in session. While I hung around eating my hot dog, I saw several cars pull up and line up to enjoy a street food snack on a cloudy day.
As for the food, it was delicious. Japadog is famous for its massive menu, making it nearly impossible to decide, but I went for their classic, #1 on their menu, the Terimayo dog. It features a juicy kurubata pork wiener, teriyaki sauce, Japanese mayo, and shredded seaweed. They have a variety of flavours of “shaked fries,” including teriyaki, butter and soya sauce, wasabi, and my personal favourite, aonori (dried, ground seaweed). A combo including a dog, fries, and a can of soda will cost you a cool $9.25 (they only take cash), a good deal for a hefty amount of food that you may not be able to finish. The traditional Japanese flavours blend well with the classic hot dog street food, and the real meat is not your average grocery store fare. It’s not a surprise Japadog has found success: they’ve discovered the winning combination.
Street food in the Tri-Cities area has a long way to go, but some groups are taking pains to encourage the food truck movement in our community. On August 10 in New Westminster, the first Columbia StrEAT Food Truck Fest will take place from 3 p.m. until 9 p.m. If this series has inspired you at all to check out what our fair region has to offer, the Food Truck Fest is the perfect opportunity to dig into some mobile munchies.