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convenient eats


torakris
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I think they would be a huge hit in the US.

The Japanese seem to be copying the American style recently.

This year has seen a rash of self service gas stations opening and I have even seen gas stations combined with other things. One is gas station/drive through dry cleaning. another is a gas station/coffee shop, and more and more gas stations are adding conbinis to their sides.

The stupid thing about these self service gas stations here is that they charge the exact same price as the full service. Why pump your own if you can have someone do it for you? :wacko:

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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  • 4 months later...
  • 1 year later...

It has been a busy day and on my way home from the bank I decided to stop at the convenience store and pick up something for lunch. Covenience stores in Japan really have a great selection of fairly reasonable foods, so I thought I would show all of you (who aren't in Japan) just what you can buy in a convenience store.

I will try to do this weekly, not because I am lazy :biggrin: ad don't want to cook, but for all of you who can't be here.... :biggrin:

anyone else in Japan, please feel free to post pictures of your "convenient eats".

Today's lunch

gallery_6134_91_1100059927.jpg

kara-age (fried chicken) salad with a grainy mustard dressing, this included a hard boiled egg and a little side of potato salad, I also picked up a pack of two small onigiri, one is sake (salmon) and the other mentaiko (spicy cod roe).

The salad was actually a lot better than I expected, price of the meal was 580yen (about $5)

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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It has been a busy day and on my way home from the bank I decided to stop at the convenience store and pick up something for lunch. Covenience stores in Japan really have a great selection of fairly reasonable foods, so I thought I would show all of you (who aren't in Japan) just what you can buy in a convenience store.

I will try to do this weekly, not because I am lazy :biggrin:  ad don't want to cook, but for all of you who can't be here.... :biggrin:

anyone else in Japan, please feel free to post pictures of your "convenient eats".

Today's lunch

gallery_6134_91_1100059927.jpg

kara-age (fried chicken) salad with a grainy mustard dressing, this included a hard boiled egg and a little side of potato salad, I also picked up a pack of two small onigiri, one is sake (salmon) and the other mentaiko (spicy cod roe).

The salad was actually a lot better than I expected, price of the meal was 580yen (about $5)

When I lived in NJ there were some places that sold the American equivalent of that; Quick Check and Wawa come to mind. Some of the items were sold out of a deli case and others were packaged like what you show. Here in Chicago you don’t find too much like that. Maybe a few delis have items like that but the White Hens and 7-11s don’t. They stock rewrapped sandwiches and frozen to be microwaved items.

The deli departments in some of the food stores have better offerings including sushi, fried chicken and ribs. Others offer food either as take out or to be heated selections but most of the food is sub par. Maybe America will advance to this level in food and vending use but as of now we are way behind you.

Living hard will take its toll...
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It has been a busy day and on my way home from the bank I decided to stop at the convenience store and pick up something for lunch. Covenience stores in Japan really have a great selection of fairly reasonable foods, so I thought I would show all of you (who aren't in Japan) just what you can buy in a convenience store.

I will try to do this weekly, not because I am lazy :biggrin:  ad don't want to cook, but for all of you who can't be here.... :biggrin:

anyone else in Japan, please feel free to post pictures of your "convenient eats".

Today's lunch

I thought I was the only one crazy enough to take pictures of convenience store food! :smile:

I was very impressed with the food in the Japanese "convenies" (as my friend in Japan calls them). I had a few good breakfasts -- mostly inari sushi, futomaki and onigiri -- while I was in Japan. Also, most of the supermarkets I visited, including those in Fukui-ken, where I stayed for ten days of my trip, had food of higher quality than we have here in similar supermarkets in the US. My friend suggested that the disparity had to do with Japan's more efficient system of food distribution, but he's not a reliable source.

The selection in Tokyo:

gallery_7453_323_1100067271.jpg

Breakfast on the ground:

gallery_7453_323_1100067318.jpg

JJ Goode

Co-author of Serious Barbecue, which is in stores now!

www.jjgoode.com

"For those of you following along, JJ is one of these hummingbird-metabolism types. He weighs something like eleven pounds but he can eat more than me and Jason put together..." -Fat Guy

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I was very impressed with the food in the Japanese "convenies" (as my friend in Japan calls them).

Yup, that's what they're called here. The full name is "conbiniensu stoah", but thanks to the Japanese love of abbreviation nobody actually calls it that. It's called a "combini".

Does anyone really order the "Oden" from convenience stores? Even the Nikuman looks stale in those glassed-in cases.

Montrachet, I often buy combini oden and nikuman. I guess it depends on the convenience store, but I've always found these two to be fresh. Never had anything that tasted old or stale. Most combinis make use of every spare inch of space, and if a product doesn't sell well it is very quickly replaced. Considering how much valuable counter space is taken up by oden pots and niku-man steamers, I imagine they are big money makers and sell quickly.

I actually don't like combini bento and only rarely buy the onigiri, and most of the hot food like french fries, hamburgers and fried chicken are just scary. But I love the oden and niku-man. Find a busy convenience store and give it a try!

My eGullet foodblog: Spring in Tokyo

My regular blog: Blue Lotus

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My 8 year old daughter walks up to the nearest combini every month after receiving her allowance to buy a nikuman, I have tasted them a couple times and they are actually quite good.

I haven't bought oden in years, but it was always good when I did.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Great photos!!! I'm assuming the food is as tasty as it looks, even for so called convenience foods.

My husband and i are planning a trip to Japan in another year and this forum will steer us right for food, I'm certain.

s

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For my convenient eats lunch this week, I decided to go to Natural Lawson (a "new" type of convenience store supposedly aimed at health-concious shoppers). This opened up about 2 years ago at the station near my house but I haven't made it in yet because there is absolutely no parking anywhere near it. I had this idea of a health foods convenience store, and sure enough upon walking in my eye catches the shelf of cookbooks next to all familiar magazines. Cookbooks are unusual in a convenience store and even more unusual is that they were all in the macrobiotic style focused on whole grains, tofu, vegetables,etc. Walking the aisles I see the familair conbini items snack foods, staples, etc but included among the staples are packs of hijiki, koya-dofu (dried tofu) and other various dried products I had never seen in a convenience store before.

I had visions of bentos with brown rice, various pickles, fish and dried vegetable dishes and wow was I dissapointed! :angry: Not only were the bentos the same as any other convenince store in the country they actually looked worse!

I finally decided on this

gallery_6134_91_1100749359.jpg

These looked the most appetizing to me....

and I have to admit they were pretty good, on the left is a BLT with cheese on black sesame bread and on the right is a sandwich with chicken pastrami and marinated onion/carrot/bell peppers with lettuce and cucumbers as well.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Occasionally on lazy mornings I take my kids to the convenience store to buy breakfast, this was one of those days and we got:

gallery_6134_91_1101188796.jpg

Julia and Hide got the monster sized chocolate chip melonpan (top), Mia picked out the nikuman (steamed rolls) and I got the roll with ham.

I also picked up some milk so I could have my coffee, this was actually my main reason for dragging the kids to the store at 6:00am. :biggrin:

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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I had a bunch of errands to run this morning and decided to pop into Family Mart (convenience store) for lunch. :biggrin:

I got

gallery_6134_91_1101353763.jpg

taco rice maki and toromaguro onigiri

This taco rice thing caught me eye as I had never taco rice in a maki before, for those that are unfamiliar taco rice is a dish that originated in Okinawa and consists of a dish of rice topped with a taco meat sauce and other toppings like cheddar cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, etc. It basically a taco with rice instead of a shell.

It was really good and I mean REALLY GOOD!

why didn't I ever think about this before???

close ups

gallery_6134_91_1101353785.jpg

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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I finished up the last of my Christmas shopping yesterday at Carrefour (French supermarket chain) and decided to celebrate by treating myself to one of their nice bento lunches:

gallery_6134_91_1101768380.jpg

for 315 yen (about ($3.10) two kinds of bagel sandwiches, one with pesto flavored chicken salad the other with pastrami, there were also some french fries and a nice salad of imitation crab and vegetables.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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I wonder if Carrefour is a convenience store... :biggrin:

Anyway, how did you find that bento?  Good or bad?

no it isn't a convenience store, but it was still a quick bento lunch.... :cool:

Except for the cold french fries that were awful and pastrami which I don't really care for, it was really good! Actually the chicken salad with pesto was great and I think I am going to try it at home and I am not normally a fan of mayo based salads but their was really good. I have always been happy with the prepared foods from Carrefour.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I was the bank around lunchtime paying my husband's $90 parking ticket :angry: when I noticed a big sign in the window of the AM/PM (convenience store) across the street announcing the new Gyukaku bentos. For those who might not know, Gyukaku is a very famous yakiniku (Korean style grilled beef) restaurant that is all over Japan and also spreading to many parts of the world. They had a bibimbap and a donburi (rice bowl) with pork belly and also a couple salads. I went for the bibimbap that came with a soft boiled egg.

gallery_6134_91_1103083057.jpg

after heating it in the microwave

gallery_6134_91_1103083077.jpg

it wasn't bad. The rice was packed in pretty tightly and the bowl was quite shallow so mixing it was a little difficult. I also could have used a little more kojuchang.....

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

took the kids to the convenience store today and let them pick out lunch. :biggrin:

gallery_6134_91_1104123713.jpg

mine is the chirashi sushi set in the upper left, Julia picked out the bacon and corn macaroni gratin (this is warmed in a microwave) and Mia chose the 3 color donburi with two kinds of chicken and eggs. Hide opted for a peanut butter sandwich at home.....

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

The kids and I stopped at the 3F convenience store by our house today. The got

gallery_6134_549_1106365282.jpg

an onigiri set with various meats (Hide), a teriyaki-mayo burger (Julia) and a fish burger with tartar sauce (Mia)

I got a Korean style takikomigohan

gallery_6134_549_1106365302.jpg

after heating and drizzling with the pack of kochujang that had been included

gallery_6134_549_1106365321.jpg

wasn't bad at all...

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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At the risk of grossing everybody out, I think I saw evidence of what may be the WORST EVER in convenience-store take-out dinners...a torn Baby Star Ramen wrapper and an empty can of Chu-hi shochu cocktail, on the floor of the ladies' toilets at my local station. :wacko:

click for more on Babystar Ramen and canned hyouketsu chuu-hi

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  • 1 month later...

my first meal after two days in bed with food poisoning :sad: , I still wasn't up to preparing anything and just wanted something light....

gallery_6134_549_53659.jpg

a seaweed and vegetable salad (with shiso dressing--no oil added type), there is a bunch aof julienned daikon under the seaweed

masu sushi onigiri

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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