Saturday, April 21, 2007

Osaka, Day 3 and 4

We woke up and got breakfast at "Cafe Brownie" which was right across the street from L's.

Fried egg, slice of ham-like meat product, incredibly buttery toast, and some sort of cabbage-based salad (slaw really). Served with a pretty decent cup of coffee.

After visiting the shrines and tori at Fushimi Inari, I grabbed a little snack. This is sort of a local delicacy I'm told: a pair of sparrows (suzume) skewered on a stick and grilled with some sweet and salty sauce (standard yakitori-like soy-based sauce). The feathers have been removed, but I think that's about it. You otherwise just eat the little guys whole... heads, bones, beak, organs, etc. It tasted fine, although there was probably a little more chewing (bones) involved than is desirable.

After that, I also got this skewer of mochi (glutinous rice). It had been pre-mixed with soy, mirin, and maybe something else and then grilled. This was pretty tasty... similar in taste to the rice crackers you can buy in Asian markets (e.g., Ranch 99 or Atlanta Farmers Market), but different in texture.

We met up with one of L's friends in Kyoto and grabbed some lunch. This was kind of weird. It was a pork cutlet on top of an omelette thingy, which covered what the menu called "Turkish rice". Each component was ok in of itself, but the combination was a little weird. The rice also contained bacon, which is fine by me, but seems inconsistent with it being "Turkish" as there's very little pork to be had in Turkish cuisine.

We also got some green tea soft serve (which was good... the green tea flavor was far stronger than any green tea ice cream I've had in the states). The funny thing however was the sign on the stall with instructions on how to hold your ice cream cone... I kind of figured that most people figure this out as kids without the need for explicit written instructions.

Another snack. Some sort of little cake with a sweet, white bean paste in the middle.

Assorted fried objects on sticks (fish cake I think). I had one with burdock, which is a kind of root.

I didn't eat here, but the combination seemed pretty funny. I think I'll stick to chicken and waffles.

For dinner, we went to a local Izakaya back in Osaka. The food was sort of more Tapas like.

Some collection of roasted vegetables (you can tell this is a nicer place because the plates are a lot larger than the actual food...).


Cheese plate. I wanted this just because I really like cheese, and in Korea it's been a little harder finding both the variety and quality of cheeses that I can find back home just in Publix (forget about the bajillion cheese you can pick up at Whole Foods or cheese-specific shops).

On the menu, L thought this item said "horse", so we figured why not since you don't get a chance to eat horse every day. However, there must have been something lost in the translation as it was just pork. It was certainly tasty.

I was still a little hungry after dinner, so I grabbed takoyaki to take back to the apartment. The guy flipping the takoyaki had really fast hands. I filmed a little bit of the action, but for some reason Youtube's format conversion sped things up by a bit (original footage was 11 seconds, Youtube's is 9).

On my final morning of the trip, we dropped by a Mister Donuts for breakfast. I had had Mister Donuts back when I last visited Japan in 2002, and they're as tasty as I remember.

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