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Everything posted by torakris

  1. I will definitely be there! (If I can get a ride, that is) Since I won't have a car is there anyone driving by the east side of Cleveland that can give me a lift? I can probably have someone drop me off somewhere, I will be closest to the Beachwood exit of 271 but can easily get to somewhere on 480, or even 71 or 90 downtown. Also on Sunday, if there is anyone that can drop me off on the west side I would really appreciate it. I have our annual family reunion in Middleburg Heights that afternoon...Again a central location is also fine as I can have someone come pick me up.
  2. Wow! those really look great. I've never really thought to much about making my own since I can buy them pretty much anywhere, but you've made it sound so easy..
  3. My new favorite drink. Salty Lime from Kirin's Sekai no Kitchen kara series. I'm drinking it as much as I can now because who knows when it is going to disappear.
  4. I would try a different pack of nori first, stale nori can be quite chewy. Once a bag is opened it can get stale really fast so try to use a new bag. I never toast my nori for maki rolls but I do sometimes do it for hand rolls if I feel the nori isn't crispy enough as there is a much higher nori to rice ratio and chewy nori would make it almost impossible to eat. For maki rolls I also find it best to wait about 30 minutes after rolling before cutting and eating. For hand rolls I like my nori super crisp, almost to the point that it breaks when you fold it. These must be eaten immediately, basically as soon as you fold them so they don't lose that crispiness.
  5. Yum! to everything! I was actually going to ask about doughnuts... I'm normally not a very big sweet eater (except for fruit pies) but the doughnut situation in Japan is awful and every now and then I get a craving. Also, where do people go for cheap coffee? I tend to drink iced coffee all day long. I'm an East Coaster and when I'm back in the States I hit Dunkin Donuts almost daily for a coffee fix. Are there Dunkin Donuts around or something similar?
  6. I can't thank everyone enough for the incredible suggestions. That Burmese place is really just the kind of thing I was looking for. We also have a breakfast planned at Brenda's, luckily we will be very jetlagged and will probably be first in line. Since we are going to make it to the farmer's market on Saturday does anyone have any recommendations for things we should eat or buy?
  7. I finally booked my trip and we will have 5 full days (Friday-Tuesday), our original plans were only for 3 days during the week so I'm excited we'll get to the Saturday market. I also booked the Hilton at Union Square so I'm interested in places in that area now, especially cheap breakfasts. I know this hotel is right on the border of the tenderloin area, but how bad is it really? We aren't night people and I doubt we'll be outside of the hotel after 7pm anyway. How far is the mission from this area? Is it walkable? I've been doing some reading on yelp and am looking at a couple restaurants and I'd love some advice, whether it would be a particular dish to order or just to avoid the restaurant in general. Don Pistos Zarzuela Theatre Too cafe Siam Thai Honey Honey Cafe (breakfast) Dottie's True Blue Cafe (breakfast) Ahn Hong (7 courses of beef) Stone Korean Kitchen ($4 dishes during happy hour) Good Mong Kok Bakery Crepe House (breakfast) Cafe Mason (breakfast) Tanquito Alioto's In-N-Out Burger We tend to travel mostly in Asia, so we really prefer restaurants that serve small dishes so we can order a whole bunch of things and share. Outside of breakfasts we rarely order one meal per person. I also don't really want to go over $50 for a meal, a couple times is fine but we have 14 meals to eat and it starts to add up.
  8. I just ran across an ad for these nori (seaweed) cups. I think this is a cool idea for bentos, instead of the plastic/paper/aluminum cups you put the foods or rice in these.
  9. The biggest difference is presentation, careful thought is given to bento presentation as well as utilizing all the different color schemes and different cooking techniques. A bento should be considered as a feast for the eyes as well as the palate. Wikipedia's page on bento
  10. Sorry, you have led a pretty sheltered sushi life, I think you may need to come to Japan! It is a pretty popular presentation for kid's sushi plates.
  11. I hope you don't mind me hijacking this thread but I'm also looking for some good places to eat in the area. I've decided to stop off in San Francisco for 3 (more likely 4) days this July on my way to Cleveland. It will just be me and my 3 kids, ages 14, 12 and 9 and I'm planning on staying in the Fisherman's Wharf area (without a car) as this seems to be most central to everything we want to do on our first trip to this city. Unfortunately is also seems to be the most lacking in decent food... I'm not looking for the very best the city has to offer, I'll save that for a trip without the kids but I am looking for some things that I can't get either in Tokyo or Cleveland. More specifically I'm wanting to eat Mexican or any Latin/South American cuisines and I am desperately searching for a banh mi sandwich. Any great bread/sandwich shops I would love to hear about as well. Don't worry about recommending some place that you would consider mediocre, compared to what I can get either in Tokyo or Cleveland anything is appreciated. My only preferences are that they are within close distance to the Wharf (say 2 miles or so) and not in areas you would be uncomfortable/scared to take kids into.
  12. Apparently one long sausage inside the crust just wasn't enough sausage for Pizza Hut, their newest pizza has a mini-dog crust. Lots od little hot dogs all around the crust.
  13. I haven't seen that yet (but I haven't really been looking). It sounds like something I would have normally picked up to try but after hearing your report I think I'll save my 100 yen to buy my newest addiction Lotte's salt caramels. (2nd row)
  14. I work part time out of my home and have 3 school aged children to feed as well as my husband. I usually plan my meals by the week using a notebook that I write my menus in. The menus are based on a variety of factors, I teach until 5:30 2 nights a week so on these days I need to get the prep done before 3pm or plan meals that can be thrown together in less than an hour. 2 other days a week I am driving the kids around to various lessons with both days ending at 6:30 so on these days I need things that I can cook and let sit or simmer. Once a week and on the weekends are the days that I can spend a little more time in the kitchen. I keep my pantry fully stocked, we could probably eat for 2 weeks just using food from the pantry/freezer. Japanese supermarkets have really good sales and I plan that week's meal based on what is on sale. I sit down with the flyers and my notebook and plan anywhere from 4 to 7 days depending on how busy I will be during the week and if I can make a couple more shopping trips. I usually leave one day empty so that I can just see what else at the store looks good. My shopping trip this morning (Sunday) will last me through Friday, when I have another trip planned. I use up the most perishable items first (fish, greens, etc) and save the sturdier items for later int he week. As to getting ideas for what to cook, I regularly page through my cookbooks and cooking magazines and marking the pages of things I want to try, when I see the ingredients for the dish on sale I add it to my menu notebook. Sometimes I use sites like Epicurious or Cookpad (a Japanese site) for ideas, I input the ingredients that I want to use and see what comes up. We almost never eat the same dish twice in a month and if I say that I make a certain dish often that means we may eat it about 6 to 8 times a year. I never ever go to a store with out a shopping list, I can't even imagine how much money I would end up spending. By only shopping sales I can easily feed our family for $100 a week.
  15. I also would love to return to Ann Arbor! late July through the end of August works good for me....
  16. I'm so jealous! everything looks so wonderful. I have added yet another restaurant for my trip this summer.
  17. This past Monday I had the most enjoyable dinner with fellow eGullet member Therese at L'Osier in Ginza. Neither of us took pictures or notes so I am relying on our combined memory. We asked Chef Bruno Menard for the omakase and were treated to an array of dishes in which black truffles had the seat of honor. As we were seated we were immediately brought an amuse of smoked trout paste with dill and salmon roe and a glass of champagne. This was followed by potato raviolo (raviole?) with truffle, Brittany lobster a with hibiscus cream/gel of some sort topped with a salad of some sort(I'm a little foggy on this one). Next up was an onion soup (with truffles again) but also accentuated with the Japanese citrus, yuzu. The fish course was scallops larded with truffles and I am pretty sure this also had the extremely addictive truffle "jam". Beef course was a melt in your mouth almost butter in flavor Japanese beef, though I am at a loss for the garnishes/sides. I couldn't refuse the the cheese tray as it came around even though I barely had enough room for dessert. Dessert was multi course, a berries and cream thing in jar, creme brûlée, mignardises, and then a tarte tatin. The evening was brought to a close with coffee and tea, and more mignardises. Bruno is a brilliant chef and he wanders the room frequently through the evening conversing in a multitude of languages with each of his guests. Of course every dinner ends well when the chef personally drives you back to train station after your meal....
  18. Bamboo charcoal seemed to suddenly appear a couple years ago as one of the "boom" foods that experience an incredible popularity and then tend to fade into oblivion. At the height of it's popularity I saw it many forms, the powder was most common in sweets and the block form was used for water purification, dropped into the rice cooker or just placed in a bowl in the room to cleanse the air. Though I haven't noticed the powdered form in food for some time now, I still see the block form in occasional use and I admit to having some that I keep in my pitcher of water in my refrigerator.
  19. I can't eat "kasu" flavored anything...
  20. I just had to share the most amazing thing that happened to us on Maui! As I mentioned in my first post my husband and I lived there briefly many. many years ago and while we where there our favorite restaurant was called Nazo's and it was in Wailuku, they had the most incredible oxtail soup that I have been trying to recreate for 15 years. Unfortunately they changed hands and then closed a couple years ago. Well anyway, on the last day of this trip we got together with a friend of ours from the island for a couple hours and she brought along her good friend Betty, whom we had never met before. We had been talking for about 2 hours when the conversation moved to food and Betty mentioned that her husband used have a restaurant but has since retired. It turns out they were the original owners of Nazo's! My husband and I almost cried. Betty doesn't use a computer but she has promised to send me the recipe for Nazo's famous oxtail soup! As to the food we DID eat. Merriman's was absolutely wonderful, the only thing I was a little disappointed in was that we had made reservations for New Year's Eve and I didn't think to check that they would have a special (and very limited) menu. I had really wanted to order a couple of the tasting plates from the regular menu but was unable to. Everything was wonderful from the mojitos to the desserts that I am still dreaming about! We didn't get to eat out as much as I had planned because we bought too much food at Costco and ended up cooking in almost every day. We did have a nice lunches at both Maui Tacos (chicken and mango salad was great but the chicken tacos--Tuesday special-- were pretty gross)and the No Ka Oi Deli (wonderful sandwiches). Because our Go! flight leaving Oahu was delayed by 3 hours we didn't make it to the Da Kitchen in Kahului so we ended up going to the one in Lahaina. I found it to be average but maybe I was expecting too much. The Loco Moco was by far the favorite dish of our group. The chicken katsu was a little bland, especially compared to the one we had at Ted's Bakery on the North Shore, Oahu. The fried fish special was good but way too batter heavy. All in all it was a wonderful trip.
  21. torakris


    Thanks Hiroyuki! I think I might give that a try once I finish off my huge bottle from Costco. How long do you think it will last in the refrigerator?
  22. It's nice to see you and your bentos back in this thread! Were those ho ho's I saw a couple pictures up?? I have never been happy with the rice molds for rice balls, they are really easy to make with your hands once you get the hang of it. Maybe at next year's Heartland Gathering we can work rice balls into one of the dishes, they would give you plenty of practice...
  23. Thank you! We have a whole day up country trip planned so I will check them out.
  24. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I had been looking around for places in the Waikele outlets area and all I could find was awful fast food!! The outlets that I go to in Cleveland every summer are the same so I figured we weren't going to have a very good lunch that day. I will eat sushi over McDonald's in any country!!
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