Friday, March 5, 2010


A reader from Canada writes in about Vancouver's own Japadog: "These guys had some hot dog stands around town...and had huge lineups during the Vancouver Olympics. Now they are coming to your city!"

from Inside Vancouver

Indeed, writes The Province, the Japadog owner "is so encouraged by those incredibly long lineups in downtown Vancouver for his enormously popular Japanese sidewalk creations that he plans to set up shop in New York."

Knowing New York's current passion for (1) standing in line for trendy food, (2) all things Japanese, (3) adorable, artisanal sidewalk food vendors, and (4) cheap, white-trash food turned into semi-haute cuisine (burgers, cupcakes, bacon, pizza, et al.), I predict that Japadog will be immensely successful here.

from Hoggan

I also predict that they will first set up a cart in the East Village, to best capitalize on all of the above. Many fans will tweet deliriously about the seaweed hot dogs with wasabi mayonnaise. Detractors will complain in blogs about the block-long lines filled with obnoxious sidewalk hogs.

The hot dog people will then get into territorial battles with the Mud Truck and the Van Leeuwen truck. Foodie bloggers will get very excited when they finally go "brick and mortar" on 5th and B. They will open a second outpost on the outskirts of "MePa." Then another on the Upper West Side.

from Here, Eat This!

By this time, they will no longer be thought of as just "that cute Japanese hot-dog stand at Astor Place." There will be other, less kind words used to describe them. The phrase "You've been Japadogged" will spread as a synonym for what happens when a new business moves into your neighborhood and instantly becomes popular, bringing crowds of loud, oblivious people to your block.

Finally, when the now bigger, much more powerful Japadog announces plans for a three-story, outdoor, hot-dog and beer pleasure palace to be erected on a quiet street in "Nolita," the community will rally against them, successfully blocking construction. It will be another glorious win for proud NIMBYs everywhere.

At that point, the Japadoggers may wonder why they ever left the loving arms of Vancouver.


EV Grieve said...

Awesome! I envision getting 20-30 blog posts outta this!

Barbara Hanson said...

Pure genius.

ShatteredMonocle said...

Indeed, the menu looks utterly disgusting. Should do pretty well here.

Anonymous said...

Great article and totally on the money. I too am sick of the cute, trendy lines. What the hell is wrong with people in their 20s now. What a bunch of sell-outs. Everytime I see a giant line outside of Trader Joe's I just think "this used to be the Palladium. People used to wait on line to see the Ramones or the latest Rock Hotel show, now people of the same age wait on line for canisters of bargain priced organic oatmeal." This town, and the young people that now inhabit it have totally lost their balls!!!

Stephanie said...

There actually is an Asian hotdog vendor at the Brooklyn Flea. It never gets quite as much traffic as the other food vendors.

BabyDave said...

Darn! I had my own corner-of-Prince-and-Mulberry reference percolating, and you done beat me to it.

Anonymous said...

hey...these hot dogs are actually pretty decent. i met the owners last year, and am sure they are getting the worst kind of advice on setting up here in new york.

Goggla said...

I'm still waiting for the west side haggis cart to go global.

Anonymous said...

Oh hai. Me and my commenters think that everything new sucks. We HATE expensive food, but apparently we hate cheap food too, unless it's made by Ray. We think that pizza is white trash food (???) Generally, we only like talking about how we once saw the Ramones. Nothing good happened to NYC after 1987 or so. NYC was cool back then. It didn't have any "trends."

Who am I?

Philip said...

Ha! Somebody's gotta keep this town honest and real, and you're just the blogger to do it.

To the last Anonymous commenters: Perhaps this blog and some of its cousins are critical, but the alternative is to sit back and watch helplessly as the fabric of city life turns into a huge mushy, ball of "artisanal" bullshit.

Remember real butcher shops, bakeries, and the like, where not only yuppies/yunnies/ personal-brand-builders/stroller mommies could get great, affordable?

If shit sucks, it's got to be called out for what it is. This town has got to start growing a spine; otherwise, it's only a matter of time before we're invaded by Baltimore, Boston, or another town that knows how to throw a punch.

Philip said...

*"great, affordable FOOD," that is

Jeez, the foodie trendmongers have me all apoplectic, to the point where I can't complete sentences

Jeremiah Moss said...

oh, Anon 2:34, you're being me and my commenters! how about this one?

"Hey, don't be a hater, Bra. Me and my buds just think that new stuff is obviously better than old stuff, and that everything old should be destroyed. Including old people, I mean, like, yuck! We LOVE spending our money frivolously and going into consumer debt. New York was a useless cesspool with crappy shopping opportunities until the glories that came after 9/11. Woo-hoo! 2001 RULEZ! Thank you Osama and Bloomberg!"

who am I?

EV Grieve said...

I'm not sure if $6 gourmet hot dogs fall into the "cheap foods" category.

Anonymous said...

Well, Jeremiah, I would say that you are a straw man.

Let's not forget, you were talking about a japanese hot dog here, and it unleashed a torrent of fury and resentment of comically large proportions. The only trigger I see with this hot dog is that it currently doesn't exist, and that when it appears, many people will want it for a while. This, apparently, is enough for you to put the entire weight of your anti-gentrification lament on its shoulders.

On the other hand, you are implying that someone who is excited about being able to try some new trendy street food obviously wants to get rid of gross old people and goes into consumer debt. Seems reasonable.

To Phillip, who sees this sort of tirade as "doing something" as opposed to "sitting back and watching helplessly," well, I guess we have different ideas of what "doing something" is. For me, it generally entails more than completely predictable bitching. Don't these posts just kind of write themselves?

Mind you, I like the detective work and the spotlighting of cool, interesting details. That's why I read this blog - in answer to the obvious "well, why are you even commenting here if you find the editorializing so ridiculous"

Jeremiah Moss said...

people in this city certainly don't need me to unleash their fury and resentment. nor do they need pricey hot dogs to do so. they unleash just fine on their own.

JackS said...

Here's the deal. I am sure Japadog is good, tasty and decent. I don't think Jeremiah is totally against them. But the whole "foodie" trend of attaching mission statements and B.S. to simple food is annoying as hell. And a true sign of what's wrong in NYC nowadays.

Here's the problem: Basic cheap/working-class food that used to be readily available and plentiful is just horrid nowadays. Even as recently as the 1980s you were practically assured that ANY pizza place in NYC was good, better or great? 2010? Most pizza places sell dough crap filled with trans-fats and high-fructose corn goop.

So then comes a boutique fast food place that sells slightly pricier fare that is better made and suddenly it's a foodie trend. When in reality, it should simply be a middle-brow standard.

And here's the kicker: I actually think a lot of these gourmet hot dog, burger and pizza places are good. But trying to swallow the conceit they are revolutionizing anything is just a load of crap. They are simply making decent food the way it should be made instead of the slapdash way most hot dog vendors and others make it.

It's a sad statement on the polarization between the rich and poor in this city that things have gotten to this point. And that when decent food comes around it suddenly becomes elevated to a level that is just conceit instead of it just being what it is.

Maybe this is too rambling, but the fact is that simply eating food in this city has become a tedious chore. Who knew we'd need to have someone from Canada come here to sell decent hot dogs.

Makes as much sense as chopping down trees in the U.S. to shop to China where the manufacture and sell it back to us in the U.S.

Crazy upside down world consumers live in nowadays.

Jeremiah Moss said...

you got it Jack. those hot dogs might be really good eating. but, as you say, that's not the point.

reminds me, this NYC chef is making cheese from his wife's breast milk. talk about artisanal!

Ed said...

Jack S makes an excellent point. I've repeatedly had to make the point to the mother that the "fancy" food I like is just the "normal" food she served me when I was growing up. She is finally understanding that they replaced the "normal" food with a bunch of chemicals.

I remember when one slice of pizza, bought for a dollar just about anywhere, was perfect for lunch and two slices would do for dinner. Those days are long gone, though the halal carts at least partly make up for them.

So rock is dead, and canisters of organic oatmeal really are a big deal. I agree that there is something wrong with this, not something we should be celebrating.

D said...

So funny! I'm laughing out loud!!!