Thursday, August 20, 2009

Bento Bust!

I was planning on writing a blog about my trip to the Pacific Science Center, but then I realized that while I'm sure it was exciting to me, how on earth does that help everyone else? So what if I got to see all sorts of Gross things and the Grossology exhibit, and that I rode a bike on a tiny little rail two stories above the ground (terrifying - you gotta try it). What's most important is what did I learn? What can I possibly share with my tiny group of readers that will protect them in the future? I have one resounding answer.

Never eat Sushi with fruit in it. EVER.

Hmmm. I'll start from the beginning.

Jenny (neighbor and close friend) and I had decided earlier this year, when we realized that both of our husbands would be absent for most of the summer, that we would go all out exploring the surrounding areas. Afterall - why should we sit inside just because they aren't here? Seattle was first, and the military has great deals for a City Pass that allows us to go to several of the big Seattle attractions for a flat rate of $50.00. Seeing as how the Space Needle alone is somewhere in the range of $20.00 per person, this is a great deal if you use it.

For the next week we have four days planned crammed full of Seattle adventure. But aside from the actual activities we didn't plan for much else (food). Isn't it rather easy to find food in a big city? Of course it is. Our day was no exception. Not 5 minutes off of the ferry and we passed by an adorable little shop boasting Japanese Bento Boxes! CUTE!! YUM!! Okay, well, Dinner is settled. We'll go do the Pacific Science Center and then pick up our Bento Boxes as we head back to the Ferry and munch happily on our delicious rice balls and sushi on the ride home. Such a good plan!

After passing up Gyros (ugh they looked so good), and a Phoenix roll (shrimp Tempura, BBQ eel, and flying fish eggs all in one roll!), we somehow managed to make it back to the Bento place with empty bellies and full wallets. This was it! We walk in and are greeted by a little layered refrigerator ( you know, the kind that usually display deli sandwhiches and drinks in the airport) with probably a dozen little 'Bento Boxes'. And... that's it. Okay... so... not much of a selection - I guess I'll go without the rice balls... but that's okay! What are our choices? A little Japanese lady joins the mix with her charming smile and half-understandable english.

"So... what do you have?"

"Salmon with cream cheese, Tofu with omelet and ??, Oh, and of course our Pickles and asparagus!"

We determined that the mystery agreement above was something that she apparently didn't know the english name for and it looked completely unfamiliar to both of us. We were only slightly daunted by the lack of options, but the kids would never go for the Salmon... and I'll be honest, I wouldn't either!

"Ah... which would you recomend?"

"Oh.. Tofu omelet is great. So yummy. You will love."

Sold. But what for the kids? Tactfully I mention to Jenny that the kids probably wont go for the tofu option and she agrees that she will probably have to stop somewhere for else for them. This is when our Japanese sales lady pipes up.

"Oh! You must try fruit Sushi! So good, like candy! Kids will love."

Jenny: "Are those Mangos?"

Sales Lady: "Yes. Mangos. Very sweet. Very good."

Like Candy you say? Yum. So what if it sounds weird? If the sales lady says it's good then it MUST be good! Though.. why is there Wasabi and Ginger in there? Ah... oh well!

Sales Lady: "Also, you must try these with the nuts! They have pecans and walnuts in them. Delicious!"

Well.. now that she mentioned it, the nuts -do- look good. So into our pile they go, and we happily check out. What a great buy! Okay... so we basically just bought every option that the little place had, but they all look so good! I mean, who would ever have thought of fruit in sushi? I'm sure it is very innovative, and very authentic Japanese. I already feel posh with our little bags as we head down to get the kids something else to eat. Because I feel a bit starved I end up getting a little something at the Ivar's Fish Bar too (great food btw). Just so I get something substantial on top of the Sushi of course.

Now that we are all sitting down, Jenny and I are having our doubts. Fruit in Sushi? Wrapped in seaweed? Why did we think this was okay? I tried a pickle roll... and it was pretty good! I say as much and so we both get a little bit more brave. Nivek (her son) decides that he wants Mango so he eats it first (he may have had a little encouraging from us...). He manages to get it down with little to no effort, with only a mild grimace. Jenny and I are looking at eachother. Daring one or the other to go first. She caves and eats one with... prunes? fat raisens? figs? anyway, she tries it and her face tells all. Oh dear. My turn.

I pick a friendly looking roll at the top. It has cherries? Or possibly dried cranberries. This looks promising. BAD IDEA. Why ANYONE thought that fruit, seaweed and rice go together I'll never know. I'm relatively positive that the little Japanese lady woke up in the morning 10 Bento's short and decided to scrounge the house for options. I don't think that anyone would willingly eat these. I sank my teeth in.. chewed twice and spat it back out. I NEVER spit out food. Ewwwww! Surprisingly... the tofu omelet wrap was pretty good. And the mystery ingredient didn't ruin anything (thank goodness). The nuts were... edible. That's about all I can say about them. They didn't make me want to stop eating for the rest of my life, but they didn't really encourage the idea either. Maybe this is why everyone is so skinny in Japan!? Well... we are heading to Seattle several times in the next week... I dont see a stop at the Bento place in the future.

Obviously, the kids agree with us...


Tina said...

I definatly want to get the city pass now. Really just wanna ride the bike. haha
I cant believe you guys tried fruit sushi, seriously? what were you thinking. I guess you live and you learn huh?

Urban Domestics said...

Cute story! Fruit sushi. Who knew that flying fish eggs would beat fruit in sushi. Now maybe if it were sweet rice, and mango wrapped in white chocolate?