If you’ve never had a Japanese hot dog, it’s not exactly ballpark fare. Unconventional and highly flavorful topping combos like wasabi mayo, nori, bonito flakes, and sukiyaki beef make for a completely different experience. It’s not for everyone, but at about $5 each, the risk is minimal. No seating, as this is a food truck; look for it at the corner of 1st and Pike, very close to the Pike Place Market entrance. Veggie dogs are available. Cash only.
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Japan x Hot Dogs = Simple Satori at Gourmet Dog Japon
Mr. Maruyama stood at the hot grill at Gourmet Dog Japon’s black food truck. They were not yet open and he recommended we return at 11:30am. We were not the only anxious customers he turned away that late morning; a pair of Japanese tourists were examining the menu as we left.
We returned at the appointed time to find a small line. The meat sizzled and hissed at the grill and the smell was so tantalizing I thought it should be bottled. I ordered the Matsure, the most popular hotdog. My wife was drawn to the Yakisoba, tempted by its noodles.
It is surprising that there aren’t more Japanese hot dog stands around. On my Matsure the nori fused well with the carrots, onions, Japanese mayonnaise, and kielbasa. The soba on my wife’s Yakisoba had the sweet and which paired well with salty frank. The simple hot dog, made less simple by the complex flavors of Japanese cuisine, had me thinking of all the great pairings food and otherwise that have yet to be discovered.