AsiaDog Flips Tonkatsu On It's Bun


When I was growing up my favorite place to eat was Hotdog on a Stick. The girls that worked there (never men) wore tiny outfits, shorts, a tank top and a pillbox hat, all in red, yellow and blue. They sold two things: lemonade and corn dogs. The crispy corn dog would come in a paper tray that fit in my hand. I would pump gobs of bright yellow mustard into it, grab a stack of those tiny useless white napkins, and sit down at a table in the food court at my local mall.

Flash forward.

A few weeks back I was out late, I hadn't had dinner, I was hanging out with friends, and I was hungry. Universe: 4, Me: 0.

The last thing I remember is that we were standing next to a small storefront on Kenmare Street. The sign read AsiaDog. The warm wood interior beckoned us in like palm trees on a Hawaiian beach. The menu was dense with unfamiliar options, but there was that magical word: corn dog. It was actually Tonkatsu with panko crust and katsu mayo dipping sauce. And it was only $6. I put my order in, and then had a seat at the intimate wood booths where you instantly felt like you were sitting at a communal table. You can choose from chicken, beef and organic beef but somehow the words that came out of my mouth were veggie dog.

Tonkatsu, something I've seen everywhere in Japan, but feels like an American dish, traditionally refers to a pork cutlet that has been breaded in panko and fried. As I sat and waited for my order I wondered if I had made a bad choice with the veggie dog.

In the end it didn't matter. The inside was tasty and held up well despite being deep fried. It lacked the fatty meat flavor, but I didn't miss that. The panko crust was crunchy and the katsu sauce (a blend of numerous ingredients including soy sauce, sugar, and rice wine vinegar) was a nice creamy, savory dipping sauce. It could have been improved by some Sriracha, but I always say that. It also would have gone nicely with a beer, which they have. Be sure to order that too.

I only had one thing at AsiaDog, so this post will be brief. So brief I'll call it a postlet.