Yesterday I picked up some food to go from Haru Ichiban, and spoke a bit to the manager about the Shoya Izakaya – Haru Ichiban connection (noted by John Kessler and Gene Lee). He said that Shoya was opened by the ex-owner of Haru, and that Haru Ichiban has retained all their staff, including their executive chef. I wasn’t quite sure where he was going with this until he mentioned that people are eating at Shoya, not liking it, and going to Haru Ichiban to complain. They tell him, “The food doesn’t taste the same.” I think this is significant enough to pass on: if you don’t like the food at Shoya, complain at Shoya.

Otherwise I’ve been trying to remember the names and locations of places I’ve eaten at over the years, and I’m drawing so many blanks on so many places. Other places of note are simply gone: Bookbinders in Philadelphia is gone. Neal’s Ice Cream in Houston (the first place I was served a super-premium ice cream) is gone. The Pizzeria Uno on Colonial Drive in Orlando (pizza salvation in Orlando) is gone. Brocato’s in Shreveport? Gone. The BBQ place southwest of Fort Worth Texas we so favored? Closed, because restaurants are no longer allowed to have sawdust floors.

Others are lost in the wash of hundreds and thousands of potential contenders. Have you ever tried to track down a deli from New York City using Urban Spoon? Midtown West alone has 230 sandwich shops. Pizza in Chicago? There are 3000 eateries in the windy city.

Some things, however, are slowly becoming clearer. The In N Out Burger we dined at, located near the Muir Forest? Found that. The pizza we had in Chicago, I’m pretty sure it’s one of the two restaurants that Urban Spoon calls Original Gino’s East. Nothing else has the graffiti, or is close enough to Northwestern University. The astounding dungeness crabs in San Francisco? The leading candidate right now is Thanh Long. The really fun ice cream shop in Oakland, California? That was Fenton’s Ice Cream Parlor. The first place I ever had a French black bottom pie? That was House of Pies, on Kirby in Houston.

Yet another boonie pepper seed from floralys sprouted, totally unexpected. This brings the germination rate of floralys seeds to 7/12. I took my largest boonie pepper plant and put it in a clay pot outside. The pepper doesn’t look that good. I give it a 50-50 chance to survive.

And reviews on the way, soon to be published: Six Feet Under, Alon’s in Dunwoody, Shoya Izakawa, Longhorns near Webb Ginn, Cold Stone Creamery and more.

Note: for those who remember Brocato’s excellent red snapper in a bag, a minister named Richard Seaton is offering a cook book based on the old Brocato’s staples.

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