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Mayhaw Man

eG FoodBlog: Mayhaw Man - I eat more than Okra

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How about making this particular blog a permanent thing? What do you say?

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I have been enjoying the Times Picayune while consuming a frozen coffee concoction I made with inspiration provided by the iced coffee blog. I didn't have any syrup so I used Ghiardelli Cocao Powder and it turned out just fine. Here is what I did-

Ice

Giant shot of espresso like drink made with a steam blower machine thing

Malted Barley Powder (I love that stuff on ice cream)

Domino Light Brown Sugar

Cocao Powder

I blended it all up in my swell deco Waring Blender until it was a frothy sensation and poured into an old coca cola fountain glass (the 1/2 hour glass shape) and enjoyed it outside while reading this unbelievably hysterical column by my friend Chris Rose-whose sense of humor is at least as warped as mine (plus he gets a full time meager salary and benefits from the Picayune). His old columns are always a fun read if you like this. Read it through. He turns a good phrase.

Richard Simmons beats burly biker to an inch of his life and the guy cries like a girl!

Dinner later (with photos, I have recharged the trusty batteries :laugh: )


Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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Proving that I have become a complete net nerd I have photographed my fabulous coffee drink for the world to admire and as an added bonus I have thrown in a shot of my ice cream maker whirling away as my homemade strawberry ice cream was freezing last night. You can also thrill to the appearance of my Waring blender, a big ass bottle of Mexican vanilla and a razor sharp 12" Sabatier Slicer (at least 20 years old, I prefer it to many of my chef's knives-easy on the hand and well balanced) that has been rehoned and sharpened to pretty damn sharp on my nifty Lansky knife sharpeners (the ads for these often appear at the top of the knife threads on eGullet). That book in the background is "Martha Stewarts Pies and Tarts, which will figure in either tonight's or the last entries Sunday.

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Ice Cream in the making

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Delicious slkinsey inspired coffee drink (thanks Sam!)

Edited because I don't close parenthesis very well (parenthetically speaking, as I often do both in print and in live conversation) and because apparently I can't spell ad.


Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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As I read this blog, one word keeps popping into my head.....

ROADTRIP!!!

Pick me up on your way down please :biggrin:

I have to admitt that thanks to a short spring break I am behind on my reading, but just scrolling threw the pics has made my mouth water. I can only imagine what it will be like when I can actually sit a read the whole thing.

mmmmmm, food porn :smile:


True Heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.

It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,

but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. -Arthur Ashe

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Thanks for all of the kind responses.

In one more non food related note (although music and food are directly related to the pleasure and enjoyment levels in my life and that of my family) lately in the heavy rotation at my house havve been two records that I can't turn off. Click on these links, buy the records, and help buy yogurt for our many contributors.

Eric Clapton-Me and Mr. Johnson

and

The Flatlanders - Wheels of Fortune

The Clapton record is probably the best thing that he has ever done as far as one grouping of song interpretations go. I made a cd with Robert Johnson's versions followed by Eric Clapton's versions paired together. The effect can be pretty bone chilling at times.

The Flatlanders record is just another Flatlander's record (which is to say that it is a domn fine piece of work). The version of Midnight Train will make you drive your car 100 miles and hour and drink whiskey from the bottle. A truly great song. Jimmy Dale Gilmore has an earlier cover on one of his records, but it doesn't do the job like this version.

Now back to the Food Channel-

Going to the produce place this afternoon to pick up a few gumbo needs. I will take some pictures. It is a pretty remarkable place considering it exists in a town with 2500 people and the road it is on goes to nowhere in particular (although you can get there from here :wink: ) and these people make a living selling whatever they can get that is fresh and good. Nice folks. They boil peanuts, sell preserves, sell green tomatoes by the lug if you need them (you have to order), have a guy that sells shrimp when they are in and good,  and will get weird requests if needed (for example they got me ten pounds of small okra to put up into pickles last summer). A good business totally driven by customer service. I know they don't get rich at it, but I'm glad that they are there.

Thank you thank you thank you thank you Great music, it came today. I've been a fan of the Flatlander's but did not know about the new album. What can one say; Eric captures the essence. Thank You. Great Blog ; Girlfriends Dad was from your neck of the woods, makes her miss him.


Bruce Frigard

Quality control Taster, Château D'Eau Winery

"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

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Edited because I don't close parenthesis very well (parenthetically speaking, as I often do both in print and in live conversation) and because apparently I can't spell ad.

All I know is that on an earlier post on this thread I actually witnessed you use parentheses inside of parentheses.... and it worked! You really is just too cool... not being facetious here. I've gotten so damn hungry reading this. I actually stumbled across a deal yesterday on some supposed Louisiana brand of frozen, pre-spiced crawfish. Cajun name and LA address for the maker but the damn bugs were from China! What's up with that? They also had a package of cleaned and frozen crawfish meat with no seasonings. I'm thinking that it might be good for paella - it's way cheaper than frozen lobster or langoustino's (sp?), both of which I've used and been unimpressed with.

I just came out of my basement after a trip down there to the old root cellar to run speakers cables for the new home theater room. Lo and behold.... an entire case of 24 Coke glasses just like yours (minus the fancy foreign writin'). Now I can have a real party and serve frozen coffee drinks in Mayhaw style :cool:

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Where's the okra? I'm willing to reconsider my aversion to the stuff (remember the love it or hate it okra thread?) if I see some that actually looks tasty. Btw: I love this bog, the pictures, the food, the town- it's like going back in time-reminds me a lot of some of the little towns in ME.


Melissa

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Owen,

It's a complicated issue. This is a response in the "baltimore" thread that Bourdain started to soomething that came up. It kind of has the answer. I am currently trying not to burn shrimp in the broiler so this was easier than retyping:

(jbraynolds @ Apr 8 2004, 05:24 PM)

Hell, almost all crab in Maryland, whatever the time of year, is flown in. The crab harvesting around the Chesapeake has been devastated since at least the early 80's. Freakin' national and historic tragedy, in my view. Given how much crab in all its' form is consumed in Maryland in a given year, I'd be surprised if even 5% of what's eaten is from there. Louisiana has the same thing going on with crayfish. 

It's not exactly the same thing, considering that much of the blue crab that you eat in Maryland as "Maryland Crab" and many of the oysters that you eat as "Blue Point" are from Louisiana and Texas (ask to see the tag on the sack or the box (box more likely in this case as that is how the "selects" are usually packed.

We have no shortage of anything seafood wise to speak of. The issue here, particularly with crawfish, is price as it relates to labor. Crawfish just happen. They are every damn where. Ditches, lakes, drainage canals, rice fields, river basin, the ornamental ponds in my backyard. We have lots of water (65% of the entire watershed for the entire United States passes within 25 miles of my house). The problem with crawfish here (and what I believe you are referring to) is that the labor market in China is such that they are able to grow and PICK the boiled or steamed bugs and pack them into pound bags (although Chinese Crawfish almost are never packed by the pound, but in 12 ounce bags as they are banking on most consumers expecting to be getting a pound and not taking the time to read the fine print (and it is FINE) much less expensively than we can do it in packing houses on the Gulf Coast, even at minimum wage. This problem of inexpensive imports is what is hurting our crawfish industry here, not a shortage of the raw product as has happened in Maryland.

Crabs are a little different for two reasons-the Gulf Of Mexico and it's brackish bays and bayous continue to produce crabs in very healthy numbers. #1 males go for about a buck, cooked, at any local grocery here and are and have remained inexpensive and delicious. They are easy to catch in a trap and most people I know here in this tidal parish catch their own off of their own or some friends dock. I do.

The second reason that crabs are different than crawfish is that they only occur here, the blue crab is not something that can be grown economically or well elsewhere. The cost of labor in picking crab meat is very high. It is very skilled labor and takes a meticulous and delicate touch to do it at high speed in a commercial packing house. Along the Gulf Coast it was primarily natives who took care of this job, and primarily women as they have more skill and a more delicate touch at this onerous task, but right after the VIet Nam War there was a huge influx of Vietnamese Immigrants to SOuth Louisiana (three reasons-we're primarily Catholic, we still have some French speaking culture left down on the bayous in the central Gulf part of the state, and there was a huge contingent of ex Vietnamese army helicopter pilots who found work in the then booming oil fields giving rides to rig workers and moving around equipment) and their wives and daughters started filling the spots in the picking houses. The cost of crabmeat (particularl the highly prized lump portion of it) is all in the labor-the raw product is comparitively cheap. You can make a decent living if you can pick the things fast enough. The picking houses are much like the old cigar factories. Someone reads or there is some other audible entertainment to keep your mind off of the paring knfe in your right hand and the crab in the other. The houses are fascinating places to visit. They don't exactly offer tours, but most of them are happy enough to let you have a look if you ask nicely.

So, the reason for the reasons for the crab shortage in Maryland (sad though that is) are not quite the same as the shortage of native crawfish tail meat in Louisiana.


Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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MM, this is reminiscent of the 80's when milk producers were dumping milk, yet the USDA commodities program was handing out two-pound chunks of butter from New Zealand. Go figure...


Edited by Mabelline (log)

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Dinner Tonight. This wraps it up for me. I will be posting some pics on here of a huge party I am going to tommorrow, but they will just be follow ups to last Sunday's low key affair, so this is officially it.

Tonight's menu consisted of shrimp straight outta the Gulf (or to be more exact, I believe Lake Borgne). These shrimp were so fresh that there was NO FAT squishing out from behind their heads and the only smell that they had was the smell of salt water. They were pretty perfect. If you ever get the chance to eat TRULY fresh Gulf Shrimp-don't miss it. I feel truly blessed that I am able to do this more or less year round. We cooked a few on the grill with the italian sausage (locally made/with seeds-very good) and they were great. They barely have to be cooked. We had the aforementioned grilled sausage (although it was really for sandwiches later in the week), a great salad with some of the lettuces that I got at the farmers market on Wednesday (they were still perfect, I guess they are only 3 days old as they got picked Wed. before market) with strawberries, toasted pecans, and my wifes balsamic poppyseed dressing. We had baguettes of Leidenheimer's bread to dip in the delicious pan juices from the shrimp and Strawberry Ice Cream that I made some more of. It was all pretty wonderful and I loved it and so did my boys. So without further adieu:

i5299.jpg

Really Fresh Raw Shrimp-they were swimming last night

i5300.jpg

BBQ Shrimp in the Raw-Shrimp, garlic (5 heads total), lemon juice, Crystal Hot Sauce, Lea and Perrins (Justin Wilson used to call it Lea and Pear AN- two famous cajun guys :laugh: ) butter, and evoo. That's it. Broil under the broiler (duh) for 10 min or so.

i5301.jpg

A really good salad. Good balsamic and strawberries were made for each other.

i5302.jpg

Eat. Dip. Let the joyous juices run down your arms. Giggle and thank God you're alive. Or at least that's what we did.

i5303.jpg

Here is the whole gorgeous feast. And yes, we eat like this alot. :raz:

Really.

i5304.jpg

Here is a shot of the ice cream. Once again-I highly reccomend this recipe that I referenced above.

Hope you enjoyed it. I know I did. :smile:


Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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If nothing else the week that I have spent doing this little narcissistic cataloging of my daily life on the internet has made me come to realize just how much I love this place and my life and how much I appreciate where and the way that I was raised.

I live in the South. I was born here, raised here, and I imagine you could get pretty short odds that I will die here. No one in my family has ever lived for any appreciable time north of Camden, Arkansas or west of Austin, Texas for the last 175 years. I have traveled often and far, both to other parts of this country and to foreign ones. I lived in another country for a while and found it alluring and beautiful, but I still came home to the humidity, the pimento cheese, and the iced tea.

Where else would I fit? I’m a 42 year old man with politics that are ridiculously (and impractically) to the left and a sense of humor that most people would describe as broad, varied, and inappropriate. Hell, it’s all funny to me and if you can’t make fun of it what good is it in the first place? We tolerate (some would say cultivate) eccentricity down here like we tolerate the heavy air and the heat, so it’s not much wonder that nobody pays people like me much mind at all.

The South and my upbringing are just part of me, I can't help it and I clearly like to tell other people about this part of the world and it's people. My parents aren't much different, even though I don't think they give it much thought. I like the fact that the first person who I ever knew with a record collection was my Dad, who had (and still has, jealously guarded from his two oldest boys) the complete Hank Williams collection on 78’s (he saw Hank get married in New Orleans-twice in one day as there were two shows- at the Municipal Auditorium and though he has done much to be proud of in his life, buying those two tickets still ranks as one of his highest achievements in my eyes) and he has every Johnny Cash album released up until about 1972. He still listens to that stuff and doesn’t have much use for “hot country”. My old man is a pretty cool guy.

I like that I can remember my grandfather stopping his old Chrysler (it had a great under dash a.c. that would occasionally shoot hunks of ice out of it) at the very edge of the Delta in Mer Rouge, LA at the foot of Red Hill in 1967 and telling us grandchildren to hop out of the car and “go get some of that corn there across the ditch”. To this day I don’t know if we were supposed to be pulling that corn, but I sure remember shucking a grocery sack full of it on his porch and eating our potentially ill gotten gains slathered in butter and salt at the same table that now sits in my kitchen.

I like thinking about the long drive from Monroe to Mobile on old Hwy 80 and then to US 98. The regular mid trip stop was at the Roundtables Restaurant in Mindenhall, MS. (now sadly closed) where we boys would be allowed to fill our own plates with all the fried chicken, butterbeans, purple hull peas, mashed potatoes, and yeast rolls that we could stomach with the only admonition from my mother being, “Brooks, don’t be a pig!” Those lazy susans fairly groaned with the food I came to love. Lord,I wish I had a picture of that. Talk about food porn.

I like knowing that my children hunt with me and their uncles on the same land that my grandfather took us to when we were boys. If there is anything better than sitting in a cold duck blind with your boys and your brothers I have never done it or heard of it.

I love the South because there are plenty of people here who I can identify with, no matter their socio economic circumstance. Family, music, food, God, and friends come first and the order of these items is completely interchangeable at any time and nobody with good sense questions which one of them you are putting first at any given moment. Contrary to what many of you might think, politics are more like a sport down here than something to ruin a relationship over. Sure it’s serious business, but most of us are still willing to pass the peas and cornbread when it comes time for lunch. We can all go vote when we’re through eating.

This has been a great deal of fun and a pretty good experience. I appreciate all of the kind words and encouragement that have been offered here. I hope ya’ll enjoyed this as much as I did.

When you come down here make sure that you come with an empty stomach and an open mind. My part of the world can fill your soul as well as your stomach. :wink:

Brooks Hamaker

Abita Springs, LA

4/11/04

I suppose that StInGer will be along shortly to start a new blog. It should be interesting. Hasta Luego.


Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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If nothing else the week that I have spent doing this little narcissistic cataloging of my daily life on the internet has made me come to realize just how much I love this place and my life and how much I appreciate where and the way that I was raised.

You said it brother. Even though I grew up a couple of hours west of you, and a few years later :biggrin: our upbringings have a lot in common. I never realized how good it was until I moved away.

Birmingham is nice, but it's not quite home.


Screw it. It's a Butterball.

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This foodblog now takes its place in the annals of eGullet foodblogs as one of the best ever! Thanks for letting us share a week in your life, Brooks.


Michael aka "Pan

 

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Thanks a LOT for your blog! It was truly enjoyable, and ridiculously nostalgic for me. I grew up on New Zealand's Manukau Harbour (which is mostly the drowned valley of a long-gone river, with a narrow exit to the sea and therefore lots of mudflats). I've lived in Japan most of my adult life, but I still dream of that coast almost every night. I acknowledge that possibly my husband misses the mountains where he grew up as much as I miss the sea, but in my heart, I don't really believe it!

I hear what you say about generations coming and going on the same land. The hills and valleys that my grandparents farmed have been hacked about beyond recognition, but the coastline where my children play has barely changed since their grandmother played there.

You have me looking forward to the next time I can gather my relatives (from mudflats all over the world, natch, you can only change so much when you move away from home) on the home beach for a driftwood barbeque. But not shrimps and crawfish for us -- more likely smoked mullet, vinegary mussels, and salty butter on fresh bread!

Thanks again!

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Brooks, beautiful! Thanks so much. I'm from about as far away as you can get and still be in the South, but your blog has struck many chords for me. Lunch today was pimento cheese sandwiches, iced tea and Lucinda Williams on the stereo. Good times. Thanks again.

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Brooks, that is a gorgeous piece of writing that speaks of my own childhood and half my adult life. It's not fair to make somebody cry all over their keyboard before they've even had breakfast.....

Thanks for being willing to share a wonderful look into your life.


"Portion control" implies you are actually going to have portions! ~ Susan G

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Brooks,

Thanks so much for the wonderful blog! Bon appetit!


Don Moore

Nashville, TN

Peace on Earth

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Brooks, this blog should be pinned to the top of the page for the next year or so.


"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Brooks;

Superb, just absolutely superb. Your description of growing up in the South just about brought tears to my eyes, and I am way too damned old to be crying. Living your life vicariously for a week has been a real high point for me and many others, and a joy I wouldn’t have missed for anything. Thanks so very, very much for such a great job on the blog, and for sharing it all with us.

THW


"My only regret in life is that I did not drink more Champagne." John Maynard Keynes

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Dear sir, you don't have any notion of how you strike a chord with those of us who love a country bringin' up, and the things that hit us in particular. The South is so different, and the folks are just folks. You and your family are so fortunate, I tell you! This is a beautiful piece of work, and it swells my heart with pride in the South. Louisiana is one of those unique spots on Earth where everyone who goes there wants to be from there. CHEERS...

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Going with the only other co worker (management wise) who didn't take a vacation day today (Good Friday) in my whole office to have lunch at Acme Oyster House. I can tell you now what I will eat as my habit is hard to break (and why would I want to?).

the only thing that casts a pall over the big, fat eatin' vacation we just enjoyed in the wonderful city of new orleans (food diary to follow as soon as i get the homelife put back together, featuring tasting menu at restaurant august, a love-fest of flavors at uglesich's, and the most amazing pork belly in the universe at herbsaint...i can still taste it two days later--in the best posible way) is that i could possibly have been enjoying acme oysters, AND breathing the same air as mayhaw man on friday...and not have known it. we were there 5ish on friday (between peristyle lunch and herbsaint dinner..god--how DID we do it?) the oysters were much better than the ones we had at felix the first night, but that i understand could just be the luck of the draw...but it was my first crawfish encounter....and the red beans and rice, and the next plate of oysters....DAMN! i wish i coulda shook your hand, thanked you for the advice, and bought you an abita! cheers, anyhow!


"Laughter is brightest where food is best."

www.chezcherie.com

Author of The I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook ,The I Love Trader Joe's Party Cookbook and The I Love Trader Joe's Around the World Cookbook

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That's very knd of all of you. Thanks. I enjoyed it more than you did, I promise.

i could possibly have been enjoying acme oysters, AND breathing the same air as mayhaw man on friday

Nope. It would have been a pleasure to meet you but I was on the northshore of the Lake in Covington at the Acme location on Boston St. across fromthe old Courthouse. It is just the same, same menu, same oysters, same tasty fries, etc. I am really glad to have it over here. There are a couple of decent raw bars here though, Morton's in Madisonville on the Tchefuncte River is one place that I particularly like.


Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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As a non-southerner, but one who loves his hometown, thanks for sharing your week with us.

It was grreat, and I hope you do it again soon.

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<-----Has this visual of the venerable Mr. Mayhaw sitting on the front stoop in a caned rocking chair, the air laden with moisture and the scents of the bayou heavy around him. The occasional whine of a dragonfly, piercing the stillness, when he pauses from his tales. The murmurs of several dozen adults sitting at his knees, rapt in attention. A plaintive "Daddy Mayhaw.....tell us some more, please?" hums over the heads of the audience............

Well done Mr. Mayhaw and good to read you once again......... :wink:

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<-----Has this visual of the venerable Mr. Mayhaw sitting on the front stoop in a caned rocking chair, the air laden with moisture and the scents of the bayou heavy around him. The occasional whine of a dragonfly, piercing the stillness, when he pauses from his tales. The murmurs of several dozen adults sitting at his knees, rapt in attention. A plaintive "Daddy Mayhaw.....tell us some more, please?" hums over the heads of the audience............

Well done Mr. Mayhaw and good to read you once again......... :wink:

Welcome to the Big Leagues, Redtressed. I believe that you will enjoy it here.

And no whine of dragon flies. Where I live they are drowned out by cicadas, crickets, and frogs. To those that think the middle of nowhere is quiet, I reccomend that you come down and hear the cacaphony that is life in the swamp. It is loud here. Especially after a warm, spring rain, like the one that seems likely today.


Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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      Fried oysters, 
      Umegaoka Sushi No Midori Sohonten, Shibuya
       

      Negitoro - fatty minced tuna belly and green onion,
      Umegaoka Sushi No Midori Sohonten, Shibuya
       

      Salmon, flounder fin and tuna belly aburi (lightly grilled), 
      Umegaoka Sushi No Midori Sohonten, Shibuya
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