Which is to say my brain has melted from the heat, and thus isn’t up to deep thinking (what gray matter is functioning is devoted to big work project), so … food.
There was my birthday, then my boss has been in town for the past week, which meant eating out some, and there was a “sweets viking” in the midst of that.
My coworker left this on my desk for a birthday treat. Moist and sweet and delicious, it kept me going until I could get to the burger below….
Our go-to birthday place, they feature a “build-a-burger” dinner menu, which allows me to build such tasty monstrosities as the burger pictured here: beef patty, red onions, fresh basil, mushrooms, avocado, blue cheese and sweet barbecue sauce. Dessert ended up being a fruit tart … and not the bizarre “water jewelry,” which only forced me to think of Aqua Man.
I failed to get pictures of meat, veggie and cheese on a stick that was last Thursday night. Too busy stuffing them into my mouth….
The following night, a group of us went here for Mexican food, which was good, cheap and plentiful. Nachos, tacos, cheese dip with chorizo … pina coladas. Tasty food and a fun atmosphere. Will definitely go back.
And because every birthday needs cake, Lexi and Diana (also a July birthday girl) headed to our local Parco for a “sweets viking,” which means all you can eat cakes, puddings, pasta and other treats, with a 70 minute time limit. “Viking” here is the catch-all term for a buffet or smorgasbord. And if you curious as to why the heck that is, you can read up on it here. The sweets are decent — wish they’d had the green tea chocolate fountain that intimidated me at my first Sweets Paradise — but the real winner here was the carbonara pasta, which was quite good (unlike the mentaiko pasta, which was “oh god why would you DO that to perfectly good pasta?!?”).
My usual approach is one plate of sweets, then one of pasta and then another of sweets, but this time I kind of combined plates one and two into one course.
Summer in Japan means high temps, high humidity, singing cicadas and iced mugicha, or roasted barley tea. It’s very refreshing and welcome on a sweltering summer day. I’d gone to Lupicia to buy the iced tea pitcher, and they had several different kinds of mugicha tea bags, so I grabbed the pan-fried variety and now have some wonderful iced mugicha in the fridge.
Chahan and gyoza
Went to try a teishoku (set meal) place for lunch with a coworker yesterday, only to discover they were closed for two days. So we settled for a noodle restaurant a little closer to work. However, since it was around 34 C, neither of us wanted a steaming bowl of ramen or tsukmen, so we both settled for fried rice and gyoza. Both turned out to be quite good, and I’ll definitely be back when it’s cooled off to try the soups. This is one of the types of places where you pay up front, using a ticket machine to pay and print out what you want, which you then hand to the staff, who will bring it to you at the table. The tables were rather high tech, as it turned out, having flat, electric burners built into them, so you could keep your ramen nice and hot if you wanted to.
I am, honestly, addicted to a very particular variety of bottled tea — Kirin’s 午後の紅茶 (gogo no koucha / afternoon tea) straight tea, which is Dimbula tea, lightly sweetened (the one with the red label on their site). It’s good iced or hot, and I drink far more of it than I should. After yesterday’s rice and gyoza lunch, stopped at 7-11 to buy a bottle, and noticed something new on the shelf, Healthya straight black tea. This tea is so new, I can’t even find anything about it on Kao’s Healthya site. What’s healthy about it is that it has 540 mg of tea catechins. Taste-wise, it’s very, very similar to my beloved gogo no koucha, but slightly less sweet and slightly more astringent. However, it’s also more expensive and in a smaller bottle, so I won’t be switching any time soon.