NBC's Television Network is breaking records with viewing audiences and Canadians are snagging never-before-won medals like ice dancing on home turf. But besides the sports events at the Winter Olympic Games 2010, sports fans are waiting in long lines to try out a culinary highlight in Vancouver, the popular local hotdog stand, Japa Dog.
In honor of Japan's figure skater Mao Asada, the food vendor has made a special Kobe beef sausage with her name and garnished it with yuba - dried tofu skin in the shape of small maple leaves, Canada's symbol.
Though lines may be long everywhere with the thousands of visitors, at the two Japa Dog carts on downtown streets, people are standing outside in cool wet weather for the popular Japanese hot dogs, waiting an hour and up to 90 minutes for a taste. Instead of the standard beef wiener with ketchup, mustard, pickle relish, and sauerkraut, the flavors include mayonnaise, seaweed, bonita flakes, fried cabbage, plum sauce, and grated radish.
The menu changes depending on the location, but the biggest seller is the Terimayo dog in several variations - beef, spicy cheese, turkey, and veggie versions. The other Asian-style sausages include edamame, ume, Oroshi and Okonomi (with Kurobuta pork a/k/a Black Hog or Berkshire with more marbling). These are served with the above-mentioned toppings. Regular hotdogs are sold, too.
Recently gaining media attention, with even Japanese Television reporting on the sensation of its famed hotdogs, Japa Dog has grown so big, it will open a storefront on Robson Street.
Is it worth the wait for a CDN$5 (€3.50) bratwurst? Apparently. Hungry eaters return, though not on the same day.