Friday, June 17, 2011

Quick trip to VanCity and Emi's first UFC Event

Emi is a great wife. Both of us have were traveling last week for work. The plan was for Emi to extend into the weekend with friends down in Las Vegas and I was planning a guy's weekend up in Vancouver, BC. After my friend bailed on me at the last minute Emi hopped on an earlier flight home after only getting a few hours of sleep to accompany me up across the border. What a trooper, especially coming from the long nights in Vegas.

At least in the end she got to go to her first UFC fight and we were able to enjoy one last weekend of gluttony up in Vancouver. The plan was to eat well, but hit the gym and diet hard over the next few weeks to get in shape for our upcoming cruise.

At Emi's first fight she got to sit for a few fights up by the Octagon and met current heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez. She came in skeptical of the sport, but left a fan.

After an early morning flight and then 2 and half hour drive, Emi was starving, so we headed to the Japadog store front. We've blogged about the famous Japadog hot dog stand, but have never been to their store front, until this past weekend.

This was my Okonomi with kurobuta pork, Japanese mayo (sweeter than what Americans are used to), okonomiyaki sauce (a little salty and sweet, sort of like a sweeter tonkatsu sauce), fried cabbage, and bonito flakes (dried fish flakes, that melt in your mouth). All in a grilled bun, sweet, salty, juicy, and delicious. Nothing like it.

Emi went with the Kurobuta Terimayo, a teriyaki style kurobuta pork hot dog, covered in the sweet Japanese mayo, some teriyaki sauce, grilled onions and covered in salty seaweed. Again something you just have to experience. There are some imitators here in Seattle, but nothing compares to the original Japadog in Vancouver.

Our new favorite was the "shake fries" which we ordered covered in seaweed or furikake. Amazing. I don't think the hot dog stands sell these, but the storefront with their deep fryers do. This alone makes it worth while to check out the store front.

Vancouver similar to Portland's streets are teeming with food trucks and store front restaurants. They had everything from gyros, to specialty hot dog stands (not just Japadog), to Pan-Asian food trucks. Normally I stay away from "Pan-Asian" anything, especially when the truck has a corny dragon painted on it and it's incorporated into the name. My reasoning is you're probably looking at anywhere between a Panda Express to a Wild Ginger. Crappy, imitation "Asian" food. Hey some people enjoy both places, one is cheap and quick and the other is high end and expensive, but look around, do you see any Asians?

Well Emi talked me into checking out the food truck and I'm happy I did because these guys knew what they were doing! The Roaming Dragon food truck was amazing and I just read that they were voted the #1 food truck by Vancouver Magazine, so make sure to check it out next time you are up north.

We only had a few Canadian bucks on us, so went with one taco and a drink. Which is all we really needed since we just ate a fat Japadog and split an order of french fries....

The drink was a lychee basil lemonade. Very refreshing with cut up chunks of lychee in an effervescent lemonade with a nice basil finish. Different and enjoyable. I love lychee anything and on a nice sunny day it was perfect.

We went with the Korean Short Rib Taco. Different from any Korean Taco I've ever consumed. It was made with a marinated beef short rib which was more like braised beef instead of your average thinly sliced Korean taco meat, sesame sauteed spinach, bean sprouts for that added crunch, carrots, shitake mushrooms, topped with Korean BBQ sauce and shredded nori (seaweed), served in a corn tortilla. We couldn't get over how good this taco was. Each ingredient added a new flavor and texture to the taco. One of the only times I've said this, but I could have enjoyed it even without the meat!

And there's more! The next morning we headed down to Richmond before crossing the border for dim sum and it was really, really good. Plus we just got our new camera! Hopefully we'll be posting some of our new and improved food photos soon! More to come.

- Kyle

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