After getting back to Tokyo and a good nights sleep; the Missus was ready to go fairly early in the morning. Being a short minute walk from Tokyo Station meant transportation would be a snap. The Missus had decided on a day trip to Kamakura, the former capital during the Kamakura Shogunate from 1185 - 1333. She was interested in all the temples and of course, the Daibutsu (The Great Buddha). We enjoyed Kamakura so much that we ended up returning the next day.
We arrived quite early.....during this part of the day; before hordes of tourists descend on Kamakura, the place has a relaxed, sleepy feel to. Even Komachi Street......
We decided to find a place to stop for our caffeine fix; so I kept on the look-out. I noticed the sign for Komeda's Coffee on the scond floor of one of the buildings. The place looked open so we walked up the stairs. We were cheerfully seated and handed some menus.
Looking at the menus, we were nicely surprised to see that Komeda's had a "morning special", free toast and a boiled egg with any beverage purchase. I guess the Komeda chain is well known for this special. Perfect!
The Missus and I both ordered coffee along with the "special".
Which turned out to be enough to hold us until lunch.
The young lady working was very nice........and heck, you can't complain about free breakfast, right?
Komeda's Coffee Komachi, 2 Chome−2−18 2F Kamakura
After finishing up; bolstered by caffeine, it was a short walk down the street to our first stop, Tsurugaoka Hachimangu. The shrine, dedicated to Hachiman, god of war, is Kamakura's most well known and important shrine.
The backdrop and greenery makes for quite a dramatic sight.
I read that over two million people visit this shrine over the New Year holiday.
The bridges and ponds are quite lovely.
We saw this family; children in traditional garb ascending the stairs..... About halfway up; you could tell the kids were totally over the experience!
We exited via the gate on the northwest side of the temple and ended up on the road leading to our next stop.
I believe this marker is to commemorate the visit of Dogen, the famous Zen Masters' visit to Kamakura.
It was a nice walk; slightly uphill at first, then back downhill. The weather was cool, but pleasant. We had thoughts of stopping at Orindo....but decided to pass.
We also passed on a couple of other temples along the way as well.
And ended up at Kenchoji, Japan's oldest Zen Monastery, founded in 1253.
Things are set-up in the very typical Zen style with all the gates and the main buildings built in a straight line.
The Bonsho (Temple Bell) is considered a National Treasure. The Butsuden (Buddha Hall) contains a well worn statue of Jizō Bosatsu (Bodhisattva).
In direct contrast to the rather austere structures was this gate, which really stood out.
This is the Karamon (Grand Gate).
After lingering for a few minutes more, we set off.....to the next set of temples the Missus wanted to see.
I'm always looking for options for a weekend breakfast while performing all those "honey-doo" tasks and was recently reminded that El Portal (has it really been that long?) serves breakfast and they open at 7am. I literally pass this place daily.
It's been over a decade since I last visited, but the place looks the same. I got the basic Huevos a l Mexicana; which was pretty hefty for $7.05.
Eggs scrambled with peppers, onions, and tomato...topped with cheese. Potatoes from the fryer, a load of fairly salty beans, and tortillas. The coup de grace....a bag of chips. I covered things in pico de gallo and could not finish this. Nothing fancy, nothing amazing....but if you're looking to eat nothing until dinner this might do.
A bit too much for me.......
El Portal Fresh Mexican Grill 4101 Genesee Ave San Diego, CA 92111
Well, it's been a good 10 months since I last visited. It had been one of those mornings; so hectic that the last thing I really wanted to think about was lunch. So I just headed down Convoy and decided to stop at AppeThai.
I did enjoy the Tod Man KhaoPod - Fried Corn Fritters on my previous visits, so I ordered that along with one of those "pick the protein, pick the prep" lunches that many Thai places serve.
The Corn Fritters are now four bucks a pop and this, while still crisp and sweet, also had a slight flavor of old oil.
Kind of fried, I just went ahead and ordered "whatever", which in this case was the Roasted Duck with Spicy Bamboo Shoots ($10.50).
Needless to say, I should have just told them to forget about the insipid soup, the smear of cream cheese in a wonton....well....the salad wasn't too bad.
When my entrée arrived, I took one look and was quite disappointed.
It looked like this wasn't even stir-fried; there was no color; the duck a sad grey, the veggies almost raw....did they put this in a microwave? It was, other than having a small stash of Thai Chilies hiding at the bottom of this fairly bland. The rubbery duck had a bit of flavor; but this wasn't quite what I signed up for.
No wok hey, it's like they made it in a non-stick pan at too low a heat...... Very disappointing.
There were no other customers during my entire meal. I'm not sure this place is going to make it.
From our arrival to exploring the maze of alleyways of Barrio Santa Cruz, ending with a nice dinner at La Azotea, we'd really enjoyed our time in Seville so far. Still, the streets had us pretty confused. So the next morning, we'd start finding our way around further afield. Our little flat was located in a"casa de palacio", a palace house, down the small street of Calle San Isidoro. You really get the feeling you're immersed in the history of Seville as just a few meters away, you run into the Iglesia de San Isidoro. There are over 115 neighborhood churches in Seville.
At this time of the day; Plaza del Salvador was quiet and sedate, a far cry from the loads of young folks packing the square the previous evening.
Then on over to Plaza Nueva. The statue in the middle of the square is of King Ferdinand III who defeated and drove the Moors from Seville.
From here it was a walk down the side streets, then across the Canal de Alfonso XIII also known as the Guadalquivir River on the Puente de Isabel II......I know, so many names.
The place I wanted to visit was Mercado de Triana. The Triana District, though it is part of Seville has its own distinct vibe and personality and the Mercado is a nice place to get acquainted.
Built on the ruins of St. George´s Castle this market was a fun stop for us. Triana is historically famous for its "azulejos", tile work, which reminded us of places we visited in Portugal. You see them used as signage for each booth.
There's definite semi-touristy vibe to part of the place as there's a lot of restaurants, even a sushi place. But still, it seems that locals come here for the wonderful looking produce.....
And other stuffs......
We actually returned to this stand and got the Jamon Bellota Summum - "summum" is a designation from the province of Huelva of the highest quality Jamon.
Not cheap at 31,5Euroes for 100 grams, but it was cut perfectly.
There's a lot to see in Mercado de Triana and the museum next door....there's even a craft beer bar; which was sadly closed on both our visits. Well, I guess that just gives me reason to return, right?
We left the market and walked around the area a bit. The Missus and I really needed A caffeine boost....most of the little shop were quite full, so we just stopped into a little chain restaurant.
The Missus got some espresso and I got an Americano....we needed something small to tide us over....all the tourists were getting really bad looking tapas....the locals were getting simple slices of bread.....which is how we ended up ordering tostadas de tomate. Toast with tomato and olive oil.
Being that we love the grassy-peppery Spanish olive oil, this was such a nice fit! As in "why didn't we get this before".....who cares about the tomato.....tostada de aciete....that was the way to go. Toast with good olive oil.....breakfast of champions.
It started pouring at about 8pm.......but it was the wind that was quite impressive. I decided to hang out on the porch and have a brew. Suddenly, this little orange tabby hops on the porch and onto my lap....purring away like crazy! Strange..... So I gave the little fella' some TLC and the little cat just ate it up. By now I had finished my beer; it was time to call it a night. I put the cat down and it turned and sunk its claws into me and then bit a nice little chunk out of my leg! Geeeez! It was bleeding pretty good....I washed it out; the Missus was worried about some of the rather common cat bite infections or even...no not that "Cat Scratch Fever", but actual CSD. Luckily, nothing really happened except I bled pretty good. The other strange thing was that the cat would now stalk me....we'd park the SUV and as we would be getting out, the cat would come out of nowhere.....the Missus was terrified and she'd run into the cabanas. I'd wake up in the morning, open the front door and the cat would be there! I actually think this was fairly humorous, but the Missus wasn't amused...... No good deed goes unpunished I guess?
Anyway, the Missus wanted to head back to Tongariki and watch the sunrise yet again. Well, we were on an island, what else would we be doing at 5 in the morning? So the Missus starts pushing me awake....I swear, it's like 230 am and I ask Her what the heck is going on? She shows me Her phone, it says it's 430am, we're going to be late! I show Her my phone, which says 230.....it's that crazy thing where my phone is on Hanga Roa time and the Missus's phone is on mainland Chile time.....
Anyway, we do get up and make it back to Tongariki. The weather says it's going to be a beautiful day; the storm has passed.
The sky is bright and clear....I dunno, I kinda liked the deep red sky we had on the previous morning. This time around there are a few more folks milling about. Also, there's a Park Ranger at the entrance of the place checking passes.
You could tell that it was going to be a bright and clear day.
As on the previous day; there's a good bit of chatter while things are still rather dark. Then it gets quiet, almost solemn as the sun slowly rises over the 15 Moai.....
You realize that you've seen something special. And to see it twice.......
The drive back to Hanga Roa was just as beautiful as the previous morning......
The backdrop has the ability to turn every photo into something special......
Meanwhile, back in Hanga Roa it was morning rush hour.
Looking around, we noticed there wasn't much open at this time of the morning. However, on the previous day, I'd noticed a little coffee stand inside of the "Feria" (fair) building which was full of stands selling all sorts of tourist and other goods. Indeed, the place was open on this morning and full of locals.
The place had a simple greaseboard menu; with items like empanadas (2000 CLP - $3)....you know the Missus was not having that. Coffee, 500CLP (80 cents US), con leche (with cream) 1000CLP. Huevo Frito, fried eggs, 500CLP.
So we got two coffee.....they basically gave you a thermos with hot water and passed the jar of Nescafe to you.
They love Nescafe in Chile, you'll find it everywhere, even here on Isla de Pascua.
Outside of the building produce and meat stands were set-up.
We stopped by one of what seems like one of many mini-marts in the town and picked up a few things. We then headed back to the cabanas to drop said items off before heading out to our next destination.
As we neared the airport end of Atamu Tekena, we noticed this dog tailing the red SUV........
He would not let it out of his line of sight.
Finally the vehicle made a stop at the has station and the guy driving came out and gave the dog a big hug....... I guess it's his dog and he follows him to work every day. Must be some kind of daily ritual?
Meanwhile, we got back to the cottage, stowed things away. The Missus opened the door and out came an "eeeek"!
It looks like we were trapped by the "Killer Pussy".......
After dinner at Hyousetsu no Mon, we decided to take our time walking back to our hotel. There was a wonderful, crisp chill in the air, and for some reason, a holiday feeling that just kind of resonated. Folks were out and about enjoying the Christmas lights and displays in Odori Park. I guess this is why we decided to visit Sapporo. It was just joyfully chill; both figuratively and literally.
Odori Park sure was lit up brightly with a number of displays. There's just something about this place that felt right.
On an interesting note; we really enjoyed the snacks in Sapporo....man, all the shops and samples really lured us in. We bought so many snacks for my MIL, that we had them shipped to her from the Post Office here in Sapporo!
We slept well and awoke the next morning refreshed; though not quite ready to leave.
The Missus had what She has deemed Her favorite breakfast buffet. No kidding.....look at what She ate!
She had always said that shiokara was one of the worst things She's ever eaten. And yet, do you see it on one of Her plates! Apparently things have changed!
I was going to miss the black bean natto, which I loved.
Man, what a breakfast.
We checked out and left a bit early for New Chitose Airport. For some reason, it's one of our favorite airports. It's not super huge, but there are a ton of shops.
With tons of food!
Just in case you needed to pick up some seafood for that person you forgot about......
I think one of the reasons we loved the airport were the easily accessible lockers and all the samples.
There's this one chocolate corn snack that I just loved......melon flavor....I know...me...mister I-don't-really-like-sweets. But man, that was so good. We'd arrived early so we could check out Hokkaido Ramen Dojo in the airport. But ended up stuffed by all the samples folks kept handing to us, that we were too full.
That will have to wait for the next time we're here.
I'm thinking it will be a matter of when; not if.
Before we knew it; we were on our flight, on JetStar Airlines.
After having our hybrid late lunch - early dinner at Ramen Zero, we decided to check out the Tanukikoji Shopping Arcade which is almost a kilometer long. Along the way we passed by this interesting looking market.
This shop had two parts; one side a small collection of eating establishments called "HUG Eat" and the other half a market selling Hokkaido produce, dairy, and other Hokkaido food products.
Yes, I said dairy. Hokkaido has a sizeable dairy industry and you might be surprised to find items like Hokkaido milk, yogurt, and yes, cheese are quite popular.
Some of the produce had photos of folks I'm assuming are the farmers who grew the product. It was kind of charming, even though some of the photos looked like mugshots.
I really enjoyed this shop and will definitely drop by if I'm ever back in Sapporo.
Dosan-shokusai HUG Tanukikoji 5-chome Chuo-ku, Sapporo, Japan
We made our way to the other end of the shopping arcade, then decided to head back to the hotel.....
Of course we got joyfully lost along the way. Finally ending up at this chocolate shop.
Where the Missus bought a couple of treats for Her mom and a few for Herself.
Le Petit Boule Chocolatier 8-2-7 Kita 1-jo Nishi Chuo-ku, Sapporo, Japan
In spite of not having a sweet tooth; I really enjoyed the snacks in Hokkaido. New Chitose Airport was "sample heaven" and I loved this particular melon flavored corn and chocolate snack that I normally wouldn't have given a second glance to.
Darkness had fallen quickly, and even though we got turned around a couple of times, we ended up at the Daimaru located next to Sapporo Station.
Which was close to our hotel.
We finished up the evening with some snacks and another thing we picked up in Hokkaido; really flavorful black bean tea!
One of the reasons Akiko had recommended staying at the Hotel Monterey was for the buffet breakfast, which the Missus loved.
I'm usually not a big buffet fan, but this was a bird of another feather. There was a section with typical Western style breakfast items; then some typical Japanese items like chicken karaage and such. Of course there was Hokkaido dairy products and I had a chance to sample the milk and yogurt. It was the selection of more traditional items that we really took to. The Missus discovered that She loved mentaiko, shiokara, and other items She deemed "too fishy" here in the states. As an egg lover, She blissfully consumed the onsen tamago. I loved seeing the Missus enjoy eating this way.
I'd never had black bean natto before and we both found it delicious. I felt totally at home having these items for breakfast. I did notice that most of the younger folks; all Japanese went for the Western pastries and such and the older folks (I guess I'm an old fart) took to the more traditional items.
Good call Akiko! We loved the breakfast buffet!
And we needed a healthy start to the day. There were small snow flurries the night before, but it had all melted in the morning sun. Still, the temps were in the mid-30's.
And we were headed to the city where the lowest recorded temperature (think of where Celsius and Fahrenheit meet) in the history of Japan was recorded.
mmm-yoso!!! is a blog about food. Kirk is traveling today, Ed (from Yuma) is currently relaxing and Cathy is thinking about her future vacation while writing a short post.
A few weeks ago, The Mister and I were in East County and took the exit on Lake Jennings Park Road, driving past the abandoned amusement park, Marshal Scotty's (sometimes referred to as the East County Disneyland). Staying along the interstate on Olde Highway 80, passing Flinn Springs County Park, we spotted parking in front of Mary Etta's Cafe, which has been in this location since about 1935.
The small Cafe has both a high and low counter seating as well as five booths. The clientele is mostly locals.
There are specials on the white board on the far wall and the menu is uncomplicated. A cup of coffee is $2.35 and constantly refilled.
The chicken fried steak plate ($9.50) is a good choice. The breading on the meat is crispy, the sausage gravy is great. Those potatoes are so good; thinly mandolin sliced and crispy fried; not a hash brown nor a home fry.
You can order one, two or three eggs with a choice of meats with potato and toast. This two egg with a (house made!) sausage patty was my choice ($8.50). The eggs were a perfect over easy (runny orange yolks; the eggs are from a local ranch), that sausage is simply wonderful; proper spices, thick corse ground pork and fried to a light crust...and the potatoes: those are the same my mom and dad would make for us on the weekend (and also the same type as I had at the Original Tops in November 2014).
The choice of toast is only white or wheat, Mary Etta's isn't hipster; its a local, long time favorite. Hidden treasure.
Mary Etta's Cafe 14809 Olde Highway 80 El Cajon 92021 (619) 390-1973 Open 7 a.m.-2 p.m. daily
Thanks for once again stopping by to read mmm-yoso!!!, a blog about food. Kirk is dealing with some connectivity issues right now, Ed (from Yuma) is recovering from a short vacation (not in Yuma) and Cathy is connected and rested, so she is writing today.
It's an El Niño year out here in Southern California and a day can range from chilly-cold to rainy to windy to hot. It's kind of fun to never know what to expect when stepping out in the morning. A few weeks ago, The Mister and I stepped out and drove a short way to have breakfast.
Patty's opened on Lake Murray Boulevard in August 2012 in the Big Lots anchored mall, across the street from the Ross Dress for Less anchored mall, on the North side of La Mesa, about two doors down from Papa's Donuts.Neat and clean, the small restaurant offers a breakfast, lunch and dinner menu, has whiteboard specials and opens at 7 a.m. every day. The Gyros Omelet, made with feta, tomato and onion and served with pita , sliced tomatoes and tzatziki sauce was a whiteboard special ($8) one weekday. (It is regularly $9.95) Thick and heavy, the flavors melded well and we had leftovers to bring home. Mariana's Special Sandwich ($9.95) is a sort of craving for me. A plain, toasted bagel with cream cheese, over easy egg, ham and bacon and served with home fries (or hash browns) seems to satisfy just about every early morning craving I have, all in one bite.
The gyros and chicken salad ($11.95) is very large and served with dressing and tzatziki sauce on the side, along with toasty warm pita bread. Both the gyros and chicken are flavorful and moist.
The 1/2 lb gyros burger ($8.95) is great and adding onion rings ($2.95) makes this a meal for two. A thick patty, lightly char grilled and topped with all the gyros made each bite enjoyable. The onion rings were thick and fried properly.
We'll be back for more meals at this great neighborhood Cafe.
Patty's Cafe 6155 Lake Murray Boulevard La Mesa, CA 91942 (619)462-1922 Website Open Mon-Sat 7-9, Sun 7-3
mmm-yoso!!! is a food blog with contributions about food consumed from various places under various circumstances. Kirk and Ed(from Yuma) are relaxing today. Cathy is writing about her circumstances.
Yes, it is that time of year again. The President, Theme (Echoes of Success), Marching Bands and some float designs for the 128th Tournament of Roses parade were announced not long after the 126th Parade ended on January 1, 2016. Floats are in the beginning stages of being built and a "T-1" (first float road test of mechanics and maneuverability) of floats built by Phoenix Decorating Company (who built 22 of the 44 floats in the 2016 parade) was held on Saturday morning at 7 a.m.
Listening to traffic reports, an accident had the North 5 with all lanes closed, so The Mister and I left home before 5 a.m. and stopped at Tan Hoang Huong (THH) in Tustin, since we were there before 6 a.m. (when Cream Pan (our usual stop) opens). Located just West (under the 5) of Cream Pan, it is good place to grab a sandwich and other treats. I knew about it because of several posts on CC's blog.
We ordered two egg rolls (@65¢) and a pork pate chaud (85¢) to eat while we waited for our bahn mi to be prepared. Yes, that's a 'spam' and egg sandwich ($4.25).
Fresh items, great tasting. Not the same as K Sandwiches, but very good. THH 14081 Newport Ave Tustin, CA (714)731-1366 Open Mon-Sat 5 a.m.-7:30 p.m., Sun 7 am-4 pm website
We detoured around the accident (which blocked the North 5 for more than six hours) and arrived at the Road Test just after 7 a.m.
Raymond Street is the place. The floats were lined up. The Rotary International float is in a very basic stage. You can see exactly where the driver and spotter are seated. They are communicating via headsets, as they will during the parade. The spotter on the Odd Fellows and Rebekahs float is the lady to the left in the photo. She will be seated below the floor of that gazebo-like structure. The Kiwanis float is taking shape. The City of Alhambra float has a fire engine being driven by both a fireman and a fire dog... Lions Clubs International is celebrating 100 years of Service in 2017. I can tell this float will be even more magnificent once it is decorated.
There were more details, but you get the idea. We were off to our next stop, Copenhagen Pastry (again, I knew about it from CC's blog), located East on Colorado Boulevard. The truck (and a few cars) parked in front of the otherwise quiet street made the subtle storefront easy to find. The fresh selections were so tempting- yes, that's about everything offered- We bought a loaf of Rye bread ($6) the dense, chewy style, made with rye berries, sunflower and black flax seeds, a Spandauer ($1.95) flaky pastry topped with almond paste and custard and a slice of Kringle ($1.95) also filled with almond paste, custard and sugar. We will return.
We began heading home, stopped at a Super H-Mart for some items and then hit another accident prone area of the 91 freeway, exited and decided to stop at Burger Basket, which we have driven past during prior sidesteps from traffic. Order, pay, have a seat...watch the char grill happen. A double cheese burger- (charred to perfection)($5.49) Gosh, I haven't had such a great burger since Sima's. My semi-usual morning order of an egg sandwich with sausage ($5.89). Let me say, this was heavy and huge with unexpectedly large tasty breakfast sausages (skin slightly burned), a lot of egg and lettuce with tomato and mayonnaise. Burger Basket has been at this location since at least 2007 and again, wish we had stopped here sooner. We will be back.
Burger Basket 1058 West Sixth Corona, CA 92882 (951) 734-1331 Open 7 days 6:30-9:30 Website
It was a long morning and we were home before noon. I hope you are having a good weekend!
Thanks for dropping by to read the food blog, mmm-yoso!!! Kirk is unable to get near a computer right now, as is Ed(from Yuma). Cathy is available and has something food-related to write about.
More than once, I have heard about cities like El Cajon, Santee and La Mesa being located 'all the way out in East County' and too far to drive to, even for good food. In return, I have told people to look at a map of San Diego County so they could realize the size and the real center of our County.
Heading East on the 8 Interstate freeway, past Alpine are signs indicating you have entered the Cleveland National Forest, a 460,000 acre wilderness environment within urban boundaries.
Taking the Highway 79 exit and driving North for about 1.5 miles, you will see a few businesses and on the left-Descanso Junction Restaurant. The corner land and building was originally a gas station (in 1920) and in 2004, Descanso Junction Restaurant opened. Stepping inside, the decor (memorabilia of motorcyles, horses and the West) is comfortable and reminiscent of the past. There are many 'regulars' eating and meeting here.
The menu is rather extensive and there are also chalkboard specials (hanging in the Saloon area when you walk in).
Since I've only met clients here for lunch (and they were paying, so I ordered a quesadilla
/whiteboard special), the breakfast menu was overwhelming (in a good way, with my being undecided for a while). I opted to try something more or less 'traditional'-the Country Scramble ($8.99)- scrambled eggs with homemade biscuits, homemade gravy and (really good, thick, skin on) breakfast sausage. Yes, I realize the gravy with country fried steak with this same gravy will probably be my choice next time.
The Mister chose to ignore traditional breakfast choices and instead, the Smoked Bourbon Tri-Tip with eggs ($11.99). Wow! The meat was perfect (medium rare, which he requested), the smoked Bourbon flavor was so good and new taste point for me, the over easy eggs had those yummy orange yolks and those home fries were really really great!
Check out the menu and Monday-Friday specials listed; in case you might want to eat on the way home after enjoying a staycation within the country that doesn't involve the ocean. There is a lot to see and do in San Diego.
Descanso Junction Restaurant 8306 Highway 79 Descanso, CA 91916 Open 7 a.m.-8 p.m. daily Website