Monday, November 9, 2009

Aree's Dawg House & Japa Dog in Vancouver

When I travel these days it's all about the food.  It includes friends too of course, but they should also be into the food.  Until recently aside from the eastern seaboard and having been to Chicago and the Mexican Riviera only once each, I'd never gone anywhere other than Phoenix, Arizona.  Well okay, once when I was in Phoenix, I drove to Las Vegas but that's it.  This year I managed to go to San Francisco twice, Vancouver and Seattle.  The reason being was to see a little of the area but mainly check out the food scene. and eat.  The eating hasn't been arbitrary, the friend I travel with has friends in all of the places he goes, who are also into food. We go with a plan, to eat here, there and everywhere someone recommends a place making great innovative food in their area, and of course places we already know are making amazing dishes, The Cafe at Chez Panisse for example.

In Vancouver my travel friend knows Dave who is really into food (among many other things).  It was he who told us about Japa Dog.  I had no idea what he was referring to but I was excited to check it out the following day.  Our plan was to go around the city sampling dawgs, dumplings, more tacos, and anything else that looked interesting.

As I mentioned in my Viji's in Vancouver blog it just so happened, we passed the Japa Dog cart on the way to Vij's restaurant.  I'm a nut when I travel and I get very excited about trying food that I think is going to be delicious.  I would rather taste a little of this and a little of that in several restaurants rather than siting down to an entire meal.  It might not be traditional but it's the only way to know if I want to go back or if I'd recommend a place.  Lucky for me I was dissuaded from the temptation, otherwise I wouldn't have enjoyed Vij's as much or tasted so many dishes.

First thing after the hike we headed to Aree's Dawg House where we shared the marinated volcanic smokie with onions and a garlic mayo. This is probably the best sausage hot dog I have ever eaten.  First the sausage is doused in volcanic hot sauce then it's grilled (over hot coals), then smothered in onions, the chef suggested the garlic mayo and he was right! Not to mention the bun toasted perfectly crisp on the outside and light and airy on the inside.  It's was smokin delicious!  Now, it had a nice bite to it but nothing that anyone (well almost) couldn't handle.  The texture of the meat and the flavor was firm and tasty.  I'll be back for these baby's.

Next it was onto Japa Dog.  This is very unusual, tasty, and very unique to me. (I'm sure somewhere these are common like on the corner of Burrard and Smithe). We went for the Okonomi Kuroburta Sausage (Okonomi is a Japanese sauce, Kuroburta is an area the pork is from, fried cabbage, and dried bonito). You might think the combination would be odd but let me tell you the flavors and textures go together so well and it's delicious.  I would try this again, but I actually preferred the texture of Aree's sausage to this one.  The texture of the sausage itself was a little soft for my taste, but my companions loved it. We will be back to try another the next time we're in Vancouver.

Aree's Dawg House
1740 W Broadway
Vancouver, BC V6J

Japa Dog
899 Burrard Street
Vancouver, BC V6Z, Canada
(604) 667-4663

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