March 19, 2010


.... British Columbia, that is. Ever since I came across this blog, I knew Vancouver was in order. I think it may have been somewhere in her quirky design and the stories of her farmer's market goodies. And ever since I met him, we haven't had enough excuses for day-long roadtrips. Vancouver, being Seattle's French cousin only a few hours away, only made sense. I had some ideas, but really couldn't have anticipated this enough.

It came as no surprise to see French everywhere, even on the almond-studded chocolate bar and robin-egg blue bag of salt and vinegar chips we ate while veering our way through the city, as it was a fact I learned the hard way in 6th grade. Let me emphasize the hard way. I was a finalist in our school's annual Geography Bee. It came down to the final question, "Besides English, what language will you find most people speaking in Canada?" Being from Minnesota and all, you'd think I'd know what was going on with our brother upstairs. But southern Minnesota didn't associate much with the kanuks - so I hadn't a clue. Long story short, I lost. And now I will forever remember, they speak French - idiot.

6th grade sob stories aside, let me get to the point here - Japa Dogs. Admittedly having a crush on Anthony Bourdain, I heeded his advice from one of his episodes of 'No Reservations' to seek out this Japanese-style hot dog that was to involve wasabi mayo, diakon radish slices, teriyaki, and toasted sesame buns sold in street carts. We even arrived before they opened.

Nothing could have tasted better at 11am than a prime pork wiener that snapped under your teeth while both the sweet and sinus-clearing condiments pushed it along. And the bun, oh boy - the bun. Toasted to perfection and covered in sesame seeds, it was the ideal bed for such a pimped-out hot dog.

Don't get me wrong, some sacrifices were made for this fine specimen. I forewent breakfast, and we nearly got caught by the car police for going over our meter-allotment (thank god he happned to 'like people from Seattle' and let us go!). But it was worth every mouthful, and then some.

Although Vancouver was slowly getting over its post-Olympics hangover, there still was still light buzz in the city. I hate to say that it was all downhill after the Japa Dog, but it was a pretty tough act to follow. Byron from England entertained us for a good hour on Granville Island, where my boyfriend and I separately got pulled up on stage, which found me holding a torch like Lady Liberty herself, and my boyfriend grabbing objects between Byron's legs, just like in the video above. (Looks like Byron knows how to recycle his tricks like women are known to do with their little black dress.)

After sharing a sandwich on a nearby bench with a few seemingly friendly birds who quickly turned aggressive, we headed home just in time to beat the rain. One of the worst situations one can find themselves in is having to spend an hour looking at others' vacation photos and hear vacation stories - so I don't want to keep you too long. But let me leave you with this:

Visit Vancouver. Find Japa Dog. Stumble upon Byron if time allows. And avoid the birds.

Happy Travels!


jody said...

Randy's nose perked up when he read daikon radish.

the lacquer spoon said...

During the Vancouver Olympics, I saw on TV some Japanese foods sold in the city to welcome Japanese athletes, eg. “Mao sushi roll” for Mao Asada, a figure skating silver medallist, but can’t believe dried seaweed on a hot dog lol Amazing!!

Blair said...

I must admit after watching the Olympics i have been itching to visit B.C. it sounds amazing. How lucky you are to be able to take a road trip there! I am glad the hot dogs lived up to their reputation and you didn't get a ticket!

P.S-Thanks for visting my blog! i am excited to have found yours!

espo. said...

looks delicious.

check out my blog:

Maddie said...

Ooh, I love little adventures like this! How fun to be so near Canada, and to wander around a new place with your guy.

Also, you made me crave a good hot dog...believe it or not, I've hardly eaten them outside of baseball games, and stadium dogs just don't rival the one in your photo!

Sprout said...

Jody, I actually thought about him when I wrote that!

Spoon, it seems like Japanese food is a stable there. Unless it's leftover remnants of the Olympic tourists! Yes, seaweed - better believe it.

Blair, I feel so fortunate to be so close to Vancouver - yes. It's a shame I didn't go sooner! But I think we've all got that 'it-place' we're proud of that's close to home!

Maddie - so glad you're back! I look forward to your visits! A good hotdog is nothing to be ashamed of - I hope you enjoy !

BettyCupcakes said...

Yum and more yum. I'm a lover of all things hot dog, so that sounds divine.