If possible, I like to look over the menu online before going to a restaurant. I am super slow at deciding what to order, so for the sake of whomever I am with, getting a head start on the decision making process seems like the polite thing to do. One of the items, I was intrigued by was Okonomiyaki - a Japanese pancake (crepe-like) topped with royal red shrimp, bacon, cabbage, Kewpie mayo and HM bbq. (I am still not sure what HM bbq is...maybe HM means homemade.) It was on the appetizer menu and I decided to order it as my entree. Turns out there were a couple of things the reviewers on Yelp forgot to mention when they raved about its yumminess.
When the plate arrived at the table I was overwhelmed by a pungent odor...not a pleasant aroma...a pungent odor. I guarantee you that had my husband been there he would have immediately left the table and refused to come back until the restaurant had been sterilized from top to bottom. When the waitress saw my face she offered to take it away and bring me something else. I almost took her up on the offer, but I feel guilty about a restaurant wasting food and me not paying for something I ordered just because I didn't care for it. Now if it is burned or otherwise poorly prepared then I figure it was already wasted before it got to the table and I don't have to pay for it. So I decided to try it. I figured it just had to taste better than it smelled. Then as I am looking at it gathering courage for the first bite, I think I see movement on the plate. My friend suggested maybe there was a draft. Didn't seem so and the movement continued. The waitress comes back just in time to hear my exclaim "WHY IS IT MOVING???!!?"
Warning: This video is NOT for the squeamish.
The waitress patiently explained that the dish was topped with bonito flakes - Japanese name for dried, fermented and smoked skipjack tuna (hence the odor). Because it is so thinly sliced the flakes are see-through thin and nearly weightless. The heat of the dish causes the flakes to writhe about from the rising steam. There is something seriously disconcerting about movement on one's plate..I am still slightly traumatized
So, did I eat it, you ask? Yes, I did. It was actually quite tasty and nothing like the smell. I didn't finish it though, partially because I had other dishes to try and partially because the sauce started to become a little overwhelming. Thankfully, the other dishes were much less traumatic.
The cheddar biscuits with honey butter and cherry jam were delicious. I am ashamed to admit the waitress offered to send some of the butter home with me and I accepted. I have been rationing it since Friday. It may be the most delicious butter ever.
All in all, it was a great dinner/evening. Excellent company, good food and an outrageous story to tell. What more could I want? I realized on the way home what the writhing Japanese dish smelled like....fish food flakes times 100.
The weekend continued with a bit of an eating out feeding frenzy. My niece and I had lunch together. In her defense she didn't know the "Big Dawg" meant she had ordered a gigantor hotdog. I had a Rueben and fries. On the plus side, I only ate half of it. My niece didn't even eat half her hotdog.
Monday morning we took the dogs shopping at Petco. We had decided to get Millie a frisbee. Her fur-cousin is a very good frisbee catcher. Millie is a good fetcher and I am hoping she enjoys the frisbee. While we were there Millie (or maybe my husband) decided to work on her birthday list. Sadly, none of these toys would last more than a few minutes with her mighty jaws.
I am pretty sure we haven't taken Millie in the store since she was a wee puppy. And we certainly hadn't taken both dogs together. I was nervous. But Millie was very good - probably because the store was relatively empty and no one paid any attention to her. She gets so excited when people stop to pet or talk to her. Zommie,on the other hand, decided to pee on the floor as we were checking out, That was nice.
Continuing with the weekend of stellar eating, we stopped at White Castle since we were in the neighborhood. We took our food to the park and had a little picnic. Mmm...cheese fries going down the hatch. I would have been happy with just the cheese fries and wished I had skipped the burgers, but unfortunately I didn't realize that until after I had eaten the burgers.
After we ate, we let Millie try out her new frisbee. She did a great job retrieving the frisbee and looked so cute carrying it. We have some work to do on training her to catch it out of the air.
For those of you hoping for an inside view of her mouth here it is. An enormous tongue and a full set of chompers. Unlike the rest of us, she isn't embarrassed to be photographed with green stuff stuck in her teeth or hanging off her tongue.
Looks like frisbee and a trip to the farm wore our pup out. I found her sacked out in our bed. Of course, her precious self had to use all the pillows.
After all that stellar eating and watching Millie run at the park, it is little wonder why I gained 2.4 pounds this week....ugh! I did great on my 5 fruits/veggies challenge during the week and then fell off the wagon over the weekend. If anyone, has any sure-fire ways to keep on track over the weekend I would love to hear them!!
However, I am happy to report I am putting the weekend behind me and getting back on track. I met my lovely little niece for an early morning walk. And then had this deliciousness for breakfast.
For lunch I put a new twist on our leftover barbecued pork steak. I warmed up the pork steak, sliced it and wrapped it in garden fresh lettuce with peppers and radish. It was even better than I imagined when I was rummaging through the fridge for something healthy for lunch. My pathetic pups waited in vain for me to share.
I am still trying to work those fruits and veggies even though this week is officially 30 minutes of activity per day. We are signed up for a 10K in June, so my activity is going to be lots of walking. We did the same race last year when we started out weight loss efforts. I was hoping to do it again this year and be able to report a vast health and time improvement. I can't do that, but I can say I am excited about doing the race and will continue to work towards my long term goals.