Change of Plans

Well, Thanksgiving plans have changed and now the hubby and I are having Thanksgiving dinner at the house.  The turkey is defrosting in a tub of water on the front porch and the pumpkin pie is in the oven so I don’t have to worry about it.  It’s the Paula Deen Pumpkin Pie  recipe and it is sooooo damn good and if you are looking for a pumpkin pie recipe I highly recommend it.  Back in the late 90’s I worked at The Cheesecake Factory in Denver, CO and this pumpkin pie is comparable to the seasonal Pumpkin Cheesecake at the restaurant.

                                 Pumpkin Pie

So, while reading “Garlic & Sapphires” I was very interested in Ruth Reichl’s restaurant expereinces and then seeing what details actually made it into her NY Times restaurant reviews.  I wondered what the diners who shared the meal (unknowingly or willingly) with Ruth thought of her reviews and which points she chose to focus on.  What funny things did happen that the editors may have cut out while copy editing?  Which review made you want to go to the restaurant for dinner this weekend (if we all could vacation or even live in NYC)?

The three star review that made me want to eat something that I am surrounded by here in Okinawa but don’t eat, was for “KURUMAZUSHI” (found on page 76).  I may have written about this already because it was while reading this part of the book at 4:30 am while I was sick a couple of weeks ago, that I became so hungry I had to go downstairs and eat a small bowl of cereal. 

Here is the excerpt that really got me:  “I showed my friend how to mix the hot wasabi with soy sauce and dip the edge of her fish into the mixture.  She picked up a slice of the fatty tuna and put it in her mouth.  She gasped, “I never imagined that a piece of fish could taste like this,” she said.  “It is so soft and luxurious.”  She liked the rich, cream-colored yellowtail almost as well.  Then Mr. Uezu put slices of fluke on our boards; we dipped them into a citrus-scented ponzu sauce, admiring the clean, lean flavor of the fish.”

Here in central Okinawa there is a famous and extremely popular restaurant with both Americans/foreigners and Okinawans/Japanese called Yoshihachi.  They have over two hundred items on their menu including the American favorite California rolls, sashimi, teriyaki dishes, yakisoba among many others.  Personally I am not a fan of raw fish so I stick to the rolls and cooked items but the restaurant itself is just so cool.  Hachi-san is the owner/head sushi chef and the man is a huge golfer.  You learn this while glancing at the walls throughout the space.  They are covered by pictures of the chef with famous golfers from all over the world but the most recognizable one is Tiger Woods.  There are pictures that span Tiger’s life from when he was a young boy just starting out in the sport of gentlemen to a few years ago.  There are also pictures of celebrities from film and sports that make you feel like you are in a pretty cool place. 

My favorite sushi places though are the sushi-go-rounds at both American Village and here in Awase near my house.  You can read my friend Kelly’s review of the American Village sushi-go-round HERE

Do you have a restaurant that you would write a review for?  Someplace that a review in “Garlic & Sapphires” reminded you of?  If you do, please tell us about it and maybe try your hand at reviewing it. 

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3 thoughts on “Change of Plans

  1. Yummmm the pumpkin pie looks good. My mom’s making ours this year. I’m going to make Sweet Potato Canneloni, a recipe that I got from Patti at Displaced Beach Bums. You can see the post about the recipe here: http://beachbums.wordpress.com/2007/10/16/entertaining-new-friends/

    I think it must have been really fun for the people who went with Ruth on her undercover trips. It must have been such a kick for them, especially her son Nicky. It was fun reading about them going out with “Brenda” the redhead. I think she was my favorite personality.

    I’ve never tried reviewing a restaurant, and it’s rare that we go anywhere that doesn’t have kid menus and crayons. My favorite restaurant is Lucille’s– southern BBQ and live jazz/blues music. Love it. Hubby and I go alone on “date nights” but we also go with the kids once in awhile. The aroma nearly knocks you out the moment you walk through the door. I almost always get the same thing: marinated sirloin over a mountain of perfectly lumpy garlic mashed potatoes, with steamed veggies on the side. It is soooooo good. The little biscuits with apple butter that are served as soon as you sit down are wonderful too. Bob usually gets the ribs, but last time he had the pork chops and raved about them. We haven’t been there since August.. I think it’s time!! My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

    I’m so not a gourmet. You couldn’t pay me to eat foie gras. I will pass on the black truffles, the squid, and the caviar. I don’t do sushi either. While reading G&S, the only restaurant I truly would have loved to see (for the amazing view) was Windows on the World, which of course no longer exists. I thought that particular meal was one of the funniest parts in the book.

  2. Hey Lisa! I had a friend back when I did theatre work in college who worked as a waiter at Windows Of The World in the early 90’s. He would tell stories of the “important people” and the tourist who would dine there. I think he also worked at The Rainbow Room restaurant at the top of the NBC building in NYC.
    Brenda reminded me a bit of myself because I’m a friendly, fun loving person (most days) and I’ll break the forth wall with fellow customers and talk with them sometimes at restaurants and even while shopping.
    Reading your review of Lucille’s made me even more excited to go home for X’Mas and have “Famous Dave’s BBQ” in Oakton, VA. It’s just down the street for the in-law’s and is one of my hubby’s favorite restaurants. There are days when we sit around a drool over memories of our favorite restaurants in the D.C. area and the Memphis/Cordova, TN area when we lived there for a few years. One of my favorites in Memphis was Bahama Breeze. They had the best Carribean dishes ever and the atmosphere and decor was so cool. You felt like you had left the rush of the mall area the restaurant was located near and had just gone on vacation.

  3. OK, I gotta join in on the BBQ conversation! I miss Kansas City with the plethora of fab places to eat but one of my all time favorites is BB’s Lawnside BBQ: a sauce with apple flavors and the very best grilled meatloaf ever. Plus buckets of the coldest PBR. I love Gates, and JackStack, and …. I miss Mexican food, too.

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