Domo Dogs

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Location:
SW 10th and Washington

The Story:

A few years ago, before food carts became a giant part of our culture and they were simply an alternative for a quick meal, I was in Vancouver BC for business. A colleague recommended a place to pick up a quick hot dog while I was out and about exploring the city. When he told me it was Japanese fusion dogs, I didn’t really know what to expect. My first visit to Japadogs that day in Vancouver was memorable and I have been wanting to return for years. Now I don’t have to. Here in Portland, we have our own Japanese fusion hot dog cart – Domo Dogs.

Domo Dogs is the creation of Grae and Budd Lewis who admittedly get their inspiration from Vancouver’s Japadogs. No one was expanding that cuisine south, so Budd and Grae decided to introduce us to love with a few tweaks for their own. The goal of Domo Dogs is to use “Umami,” the effort of combining in your recipes flavors that touch each one of the tongue’s taste buds. This is done by adding different sweet and savory flavors together. Budd accomplishes this by creating unique sauces that he puts on the different dogs to take your taste buds on an eastern journey. I counted 4 different sauces and 5 different mayos. He even has a Wasabi Mayo. Tasty!

I noshed on the Major Domo which is a Saki-steamed then grilled beef frank on a bun with Ponzu mayonnaise, sweat chili sauce, finely chopped teriyaki onions and topped with flaked seaweed and sesame seats. It was one of those perfectly presented meals that you don’t want to eat. You want to frame it in the perfect light and take a photo. Luckily, I had my camera. (Go figure.) The dog was crazy tasty. It truly was a mixture of so many flavors that you really can’t discern one unique taste other than the taste of the dog. The use of the chopped seaweed and sesame seed mix on top truly added that Japanese flair that makes these dogs famous. I enjoyed every bite while having a spirited conversation with both Grae and Budd about food carts, hot dogs and Portland.

Domo Dogs is located at SW 10th and Washington as of June 2011. They hope to come to Portland for some of the summer events, so if we hear anything, we’ll let you know. Domo Dogs has been open now for a little over three weeks and according to Budd have been doing brisk business. Hot Dogs could be boring and bland, but not at Domo Dogs. No matter what you order, it will be full of flavor. If you are down in SW Portland Tigard or maybe on your way to wine country or the beach, drop on by Domo Dogs and say hi. Tell them Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

All dogs are $3.50

  • The Major Domo – Saki-steamed then grilled 1/4lb beef frank with teriyaki onions, sweet chili sauce, Ponzu mayo, flaked seaweed and sesame seads
  • Domi-Yaki Dog – Saki-steamed then grilled 1/4lb polish sausage, daikon sprouts, coconut cream peanut sauce, teriyaki mayo.
  • Domo Chili Dog – Saki-steamed then grilled 1/4lb  beef frank, chili, Miso-mayo, teriyaki onions
  • American style dogs also available.

Hours: Lunchtime daily
Twitter: @DomoDogs Facebook: Facebook.com/DomoDogs

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Comments

  1. Umami is actually the “fifth flavor.” Bitter, sour, salty, sweet were the four. There was, traditionally, no classification for “savory,” “meaty,” “brothy,” or, as Brillat-Savarin put it, “osmazome.” In the last ten years or so, the Japaneses word umami has been widely used to describe that particular taste sensation. Anchovies, mushrooms, worcestershire, soy sauce, parm cheese; all these have umami.

    Just as we try to balance salty and so on, what DomoDogs seems to be doing is to balance all five flavors. It is culinary artistry. I look forward to checking them out!

  2. portwes says:

    I never will be visiting Tigard or Vancouver, so can we get a cart for these japanese fusion hot dogs somewhere downtown??

  3. Markthrone says:

    If vegetarian dogs get introduced, I am so there.

  4. Hailey says:

    The hot dogs are steamed in points or peninsulas? Or did you mean they are steamed in sake, the rice wine that you are obviously pronouncing wrong as well?
    Either way, this cart sounds great! I’m dying to try the Domo-yaki dog.

  5. toast d says:

    This is great news for Japadog lovers! I travel to Vancouver at least 3 times a year and I never miss an opportunity to scarf down a wasabi dog.
    Domo Dogs has put a whole new spin on my culinary destinations in Portland. Sweet!

  6. We are always looking for alternate locations. If someone has a specific location they would like to see us set up on weekdays, please let us know. Keep in mind that we are a New York style hot dog cart (umbrella and all) so set up in a fixed location like a pod where we can’t get our cart in and out daily would be prohibitive. Does somebody have an uncle that has a store downtown??? (only half joking)

    Regarding vegetarian dogs, we have been looking for a vegetarian alternative, but most of what we found are pretty puny, and would get lost in the bun we use. If someone has a suggestion for a good LARGE veg sausage that is reasonably priced, please let us know.

  7. Hi
    We are a little league that will be holding an all-day event next Saturday, May15th. It was a last minute discussion of having food.
    Would this be something you’d be interested in attending?
    thanks
    Yolanda Dozier

  8. Sen PDX says:

    Those of us who work in the Lloyd area (you would be amazed by the number of cubicle dwellers we have over here!) could really use something quick, inventive and reasonably priced. There has been an occasional dog-cart that stopped in the area, but largely we are left to a few places for sit-down service or the mall. Come save us from mediocrity! Bring your cart to our side of town!

    – The park just off the light rail stop at Lloyd Center would be a fantastic place to set up residence!

  9. Yolanda,

    We are currently booked for the 15th – we will be at the Alberta Art Hop.

    We have discussed the possibility of little league events, but didn’t know who to contact. We’re both past the child bearing years and the grandkids aren’t of little league age yet. We would love to talk to someone about future LL events. Could you please email us (domodogs (at) gmail.com) and we can see what we can work up?

    Thanks for the suggestion!

  10. Sen PDX,

    That would be Holladay Park? We’ll check into it. It may be a situation like in Hillsboro where they don’t allow street vendors in city parks. (Maybe why the other cart is now gone?) If there was a business park around there that would like a roving cart to show up a day or two a week, that may be doable also. Do you have a contact name for someone in charge that may allow a roving cart on their property? We would love to break up the culinary monotony!

    Thanks for the suggestion!

  11. Sure do wish I could try one of your Domo Dogs! Can you come to the mountains of Colorado and tie down your umbrella? 80 mph winds and snow in May are for the strong willed cart vendors. Sure would be a nice change for some of our events we have here in the Valley.

  12. Darren A. says:

    The cart was about to be broken down when I ordered from these guys. My experience with them has been…”phenomenal” would not do these people justice, because they were- and are!- beyond that. The dog they gave me- I remember that it had teriyaki sauce and peanut sauce in it- had my mouth watering. And man, it was worth the every bite. Grae and Budd, thank you for serving such delicious food. I hope you two enjoyed the Art Hop.

    Keep up the great work!

  13. Skip H. says:

    I had my second Domo-Yaki while at the first Last Thursday event. Domo-Yaki comes with a great peanut sauce on top which stands out as the top flavor player. It also comes with daikon sprouts for the needed fresh crunch. There’s also a ponzu inspired mayo fusion sauce to add creamy sauciness. I don’t recall a Japanese …peanut sauce like this great one. To me, the Domo-Yaki dog reminds me of my favorite Thai comfort food, Pad Thai. A noodle dish known for the peanut sauce, crunchy bean sprouts and the lime squeezed all over the top.

    Disclaimer; reviewer not paid, fed or compensated in any manner except for the pleasure of hanging out at the cart while enjoying their company, plus seeing the other customers domo inspired happiness…

  14. Thanks for making the trek in to Last Thursday and for the great review Skip! You are number one on the frequent flyer list. We can always count on you for a Domo Double Down (2 dogs).

    We told Skip when he came to see us that we have another Domo in development to replace the Domo Chili that we took off the menu and that we use him as the litmus test. “What would Skip like?” If Skip likes it, it’s gotta be good! Same with tweaking our sauces. The Domo-Yaki’s peanut-coconut cream sauce has now been enhanced to include flaked coconut and pineapple in a delicious blend. Budd calls it the Peanut Colada.

  15. In answer to Domo Dogs’ question about good vegetarian (vegan!) dogs, I suggest either the foot longs by Tofurky or their beer brats. Thanks Domo Dogs for researching veg options for those of us who still worship at the temple of the dog…even though we don’t partake in the animal bits.

  16. Are you still at Belmont and 26th? or do you move around? I’ve been looking for you but couldn’t find your cart?

  17. Hey Nicole,

    The best way to find out where Domo Dogs is going to be is by checking out our facebook or Twitter.

  18. Domo Dogs is actually at S.W. 9th and Washington, not S.W. 10th. I went there today and had an … interesting experience. The dogs were not that great, in my opinion, but worse was the fact that they freely tell you they “got their inspiration” from Japadogs and then proceeded to say how their dogs are soul-less and how they have added so much “love” to theirs. Okay, whatever. The one part that concerned me the most is when he was telling me how his dad taught him everything about grilling and that the key to great grilling is to NEVER CLEAN THE GRILL OR ANY UTENSILS. At this point, I’m thinking, “But OR law says you have to maintain a certain level of cleanliness … oh lord, am I going to get sick from this?” Suffice it to say that my stomach has not been feeling 100% and that Pepto is being consumed as I write this. The idea is intriguing, the execution was not that great. I’d rather try and figure it out on my own knowing that things are clean and I can add as much love to them as I want.

  19. Hi all,
    Concerning the above review from “Tress”, first, we’d like to thank her for coming by the cart and point out that the address of the parking lot where we are located is actually SW 10th and Washington, but our cart space was assigned to the SW 9th Street side. We usually just give the address of the lot and tell everyone to look for the “dinky little cart with the big red umbrella”. Insofar as the banter, our usual customers seem to enjoy the casual and hopefully funny repartee and join in. Humor is a free ingredient added to our day, like that “spoonful of sugar” in the song. My dad did indeed give me the inside on grilling and I thought it would be obvious that keeping a super-clean grill was the foremost principle. My grill is cleaned every day before and after each use, with fire, a steel wire brush, cloth and a solution of bleach and water, applied with elbow grease. Again, our friends who are inspectors and officers at the Oregon Environmental Health Department who know me, know my rants on insisting in uber cleanliness and my own ethic is best described by my personal motto, “K.I.S.S.” (Keep It Safe & Sanitary). Remember, I have to eat from that grill, too, every day. Dozens, hundreds and thousands of people have eaten our food and no one has ever complained about the cleanliness factor or the jokes I tell. If someone doesn’t care for the taste of the food, no worries, everyone has different tastes, likes and dislikes. I still offer my “One Bite Guarantee”. Which is, as I tell my customers, in a humorous way, “If you try it the way we make it, take one bite and don’t like it, I’ll buy it back from you.” I still offer my guarantee to Tress. Please drop back by and pick up what you paid. You can’t please everybody and we don’t expect to. If it irritated Tress that we openly state that we got our original idea for Japanese Hot Dogs from Japadogs in Vancouver, B.C. and we like to make our sauces fresh, doing the mixing of additives ourselves rather than pouring them from a bottle, then what can we say? Our sandwiches are not just thrown together, each one is built on a specific recipe resulting in a superior taste and gastronomic experience. Each taste bud is touched by our ingredients and as we always say, ‘You finish the cooking process as you chew’. All the flavors come together in your mouth, on your tongue. If it didn’t come together for Tress, we are saddened that she missed the Domo Dogs experience. We hope our many satisfied customers and people who love our food so much that they have become our friends let her know how they feel about our food. And, hopefully my warped sense of humor. But then again, there are people who didn’t think George Carlin was funny, either. About my humor, I’m no Carlin! About my food, please drop by and pick up the $4.50 you paid for your Domo Dog. It was our pleasure serving you. We honestly hope you’ll try us again.
    My Name is Budd Lewis and I approve of this message.

  20. taking Bud’s “never clean a grill” literally should not be the basis for a bad review. if it was in question, why not ask what he meant when he said it, a business owner that actually doesn’t clean wouldn’t admit to it.

    just as you should never clean a cast iron pan with soap, and a dish or pizza pan made of stone should never be cleaned with soap, a grill doesn’t need soap either. that doesn’t mean Domo Dogs does not have the highest standards of cleanliness, only that he knows the proper way to clean a grill.

    full disclosure – I am not a personal friend or relative of Bud, simply an impartial customer who loves Domo Dogs and chatting with Bud when we visit (with our dachshund Basil).

  21. Sunshine says:

    Hey D Dogs Your DOGS are awesome. Some people would complain if they were hung with a NEW rope.

  22. Domo Dogs’ Budd and Grae are the nicest and most professional people I’ve met. Their food is amazing and the sense of humor is always fun and a breath of fresh air. These days it’s hard to find people with good customer service. They treat their customers like family and I appreciate that.

    I am sad that someone took something completely out of context and used it as a weapon to foul their name on here. If you don’t like it, thats fine. Different strokes for different folks. As far as tummy troubles, well… when you think about something long enough, you start feeling the effects. Not to mention you can eat those hot dogs raw and be perfectly fine. They are a class 3 cart, so everything is already cooked and safe to eat right out of the package. So perhaps if you do indeed have tummy troubles you should take it up with the hot dog manufacturer.

    All that said, I look forward to getting back out there and getting a Domo Double Down and hanging out with B and She for a bit. Great people… great food!!

  23. I first encountered Domo dogs at a very tiny brewfest and there wasn’t much to be had in way of food at this event. When sampling multiple beers, it’s best to have some food in your stomach. My husband is a vegetarian (but not always strict). The only thing there that sounded or seemed edible was Domo Dogs. They looked wonderful! I got one for myself and offered him a bite. After one bite his eyes lit up and he informed me he needed one of his own. We have both been Domo Dog fans since. We have followed their trials and tribulations and cheered when they triumphed. We are happy and proud to have Domo Dogs as a member of our Portlandfood culture. Go Domo! (and the heck with sour-puss Tressa!)

  24. SW 9th and Washington, actually. Superb product. Fine people.

  25. Domo Dogs’ Budd and Grae are the nicest and most professional people I’ve met. Their food is amazing and the sense of humor is always fun and a breath of fresh air. These days it’s hard to find people with good customer service. They treat their customers like family and I appreciate that.

    I am sad that someone took something completely out of context and used it as a weapon to foul their name on here. If you don’t like it, thats fine. Different strokes for different folks. As far as tummy troubles, well… when you think about something long enough, you start feeling the effects. Not to mention you can eat those hot dogs raw and be perfectly fine. They are a class 3 cart, so everything is already cooked and safe to eat right out of the package. So perhaps if you do indeed have tummy troubles you should take it up with the hot dog manufacturer.

    All that said, I look forward to getting back out there and getting a Domo Double Down and hanging out with B and She for a bit. Great people… great food!!

  26. Bud, you missed my point completely on getting the idea from Japadogs. I’m all for taking an idea and building on it, but there was a lack of respect in where your idea came from that struck me. How Japadogs just didn’t put their heart and soul into it and supposedly you have. I’m sure Japadogs put a lot of thought into their concept because they have plenty of loyal fans as well. I think it would be much more professional to simply acknowledge where you got the idea from and the fact that you’ve made it your own. There’s no need to tear anyone down here.

    And in regards to the never cleaning the grill comment, I did call you on it and either you have the most dry sense of humor ever or you really were serious when I commented that the health inspector must love that. I’d recommend making sure you’re clear in your joking with your customers. How about a laugh instead of a deadpan look?

    Thanks for the offer to return, but I think I’ve had my fill of Domo Dogs. The dogs themselves are fairly unremarkable and I think they’d be better with a higher quality dog and bun, but that’s just my two cents. To everyone that enjoys them, my best to you. I simply gave a review of MY experience there. By no means do I claim it will be everyone’s.

  27. Tress,
    Everyone is entitled to their opinion. We’re never had anyone say the things you are saying about us and therefore we must consider the source of these remarks. There are people who didn’t like “Star Wars” and hated The Beatles. Such is life. Such are human beings. It makes them feel special to be at odds with what others enjoy. We understand and you make it clear where you’re coming from.

    Just wanted you to know that I wasn’t even addressing you with my joke. You were standing to one side talking to your friend and weren’t included in the conversation I was having with our other customers. Your complaints about the quality of my food is strictly your opinion, but if you Google up “Domo Dogs + reviews”, you’ll see nothing by four and five stars. If it makes you feel good to be the one abstaining vote, by all means,enjoy your stance. Insofar as your complaints about our not giving Mr. Tamura and Japadogs their props, we go out of our way to tell our friends and customers where we got the idea. We are the first to give a hat tip when we tell his remarkable story. We don’t see how you can look into our minds and tell that we “lack respect” for what he is doing. The facts are the facts. We just choose not to use bottle sauces. The fact that he pours his sauces out of a bottle is something we decided to not to do, but to create our own recipes which are altogether different from theirs and therefore show how much we care about the tastes and ingredients in our food. Again, you have your own opinions about things and I’m sure those who know you are aware of how you think and how you roll. And thanks for coming back to here to try to give us another taste of your opinions. We wonder if you’d be happier if, based on your opinions, if we’d just tear down and go out of business.

    Yours,
    Budd Lewis
    Domo Dogs

  28. Tress must be one of those people that takes pleasure out of just being a spoiler, otherwise, why even make a second comment? Too much of “look at me” “look at me”. Yawn. I will have to make sure to look for her favorable reviews so I can avoid those places. 🙂

  29. Next time that I’m in Domo Dogs’ hood (which isn’t all too often), I will make an effort to try out their cart. If they were in my area, I’d go today. Yelp reviewers have given them four out of five stars.

    BTW, Kristina, it is ok to clean a cast-iron pan with soap as long as you re-season it.

  30. Tess, do you know what a troll is? Because that’s what you’re doing. All I know about Domo Dogs is that Budd and Grae are great people, and the food they make is enough to impress me, and I hate hot dogs. Keep up the good work, Domo Crew. I’m really happy that things are starting to look up for you guys.

  31. Shannon Maynard says:

    Tressa,

    I have worked with Budd and Grae for almost a year now, as a friend and happy volunteer. They owe me nothing and they do not pay me. So what I am about to say is only loyalty based and not motivated as “I’m an employee sucking up to the boss”

    I have worked the cart and I have watched how painstakingly they care for the ingredients, the cart and the grill. The cart gets scrubbed throughout the day with environmentally and food safe cleaners. The grill is cleaned, scrubbed with a wire brush, and sanitized. The utensils and drop in trays are washed and sanitized every night. The sauces and ingredients that require refrigeration are stored in the cart’s ice chest.

    We make it our priority to make sure that our ingredients are safe and high quality. A LOT of time has gone into choosing every single ingredient. From the bun, to the ingredients in the mayo, to the sausage its self. If one part of the recipe is changed, the whole taste of the sandwich is changed.

    All three of us are Oregon Food Handler certified, we have a sink on the cart that allows us to continually and sometimes obsessively wash our hands throughout the day. We take food safety VERY seriously. The health inspector has come out many times to do standard inspections and believe me they are extremely thorough. We have always passed. We value our customers and many have become like our extended family. We would never be so careless that it might cause anyone to become ill.

    As for Japadog. I have never, EVER heard anything derogatory. I’ve only heard an amazing story about it’s creator. Of course Mr. Tamura put his heart and soul into his food. Every cart on this website has. He did things one way and we went in another direction. Doesn’t mean we are better than him. It means we’re different. He is wildly successful in his business. He’s obviously doing something right.

    Many people don’t give credit to their inspirations. We go above and beyond to do so whenever someone asks. An artist once said, “I like when people at least give credit to their inspirations. You can’t create something with out borrowing from whats already been done, so you have to take it and make it your own.” We didn’t want to copy, we wanted to make our own unique way and we have done so.

    One or two visits is hardly enough to characterize a person or a business. If you didn’t like the taste of the food, that is perfectly ok. Not everyone is going to like every type food out there, ours included. But please don’t viciously malign people you don’t even know. I’m sorry you took a few statements out of context. We were willing to try again with you but you refused and that is ok. Can we just move on and move forward now?

  32. Tress, Something must be very wrong with your taste buds and with your sense of humor. Domo dogs are delicious!! As for the joke about the grill, well you really should not eavesdrop on others conversations and you shouldn’t comment on a conversation you weren’t a part of. As for Budd talking negatively about Japadogs I personally heard only positive remarks from Budd about them.

  33. Shannon Maynard says:

    Tress,
    My apologies for misspelling your name.

    The other thing I wanted to add is the cart is even power washed when we are done.

  34. these dogs are super yummy and budd and grae are great people! if you don’t like their dogs that’s your choice but don’t try to make it sound as if their dogs will make you sick! they yummy and i <3 them. wish i lived in ptown so i could get them more often.

  35. Where is Domo Dogs? Is it gone?

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  1. […] said the idea for his Japanese-fusion hot dog business, Domo Dogs, came from a successful Japanese hot dog stand the couple came across while Grae was pursuing a […]

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