Home Cookin'

posted by Jory on Sunday, October 05, 2008
I went to church with a friend this morning and afterwards she took me to a place in the next town over for lunch. It was a small diner that served good "home cooked" meals. I had waffles and hash browns - best waffles I've ever had. Her grandmother used to friends with the woman who started the diner, so it's been a family favorite for her growing up.

Everyone has a favorite restaurant that they grow up loving.

For me, it was a Japanese restaurant where they cook right there at your table. I went there for my birthday dinner every year from when I was six until last year.

They had this "dinner for two" that my dad and I used to share. It was steak, chicken, and shrimp. They had two great dipping sauces which they called Yummy Yummy and Yucky Yucky. Yummy Yummy was a ginger sauce and Yucky Yucky was a mustardy soy sauce. I loved the Yucky Yucky and often asked for two instead of one of each.

And with every meal you would get a salad with the most delicious dressing, a mushroom soup, your choice of white rice or fried (I always got white rice and poured Yucky Yucky all over it), a shrimp appetizer (this might sound gross, but I always asked them to cook the tails for me - they tasted like a sweet popcorn), and vegetables.

The chef would always make an onion volcano and light it on fire, and he would bounce an egg on his spatula a few times before cracking it mid-air.

One time, he cut up a shrimp and flipped it off his spatula right into my mouth.

We went there so often that the owner recognized my dad and always sent free drinks over. I drank Ramune (a Japanese soda kind of like sugar-water).

Dinner was always followed by a nice cup of Oolong tea.

The restaurant also had a bar with a karaoke room, and when I was younger I used to get up and sing "Strawberry Fields" or "Waterfalls."

And a koi pond that was so pretty, I would just stand there and watch them swim.

You always went home full and smelling like the restaurant, and flatulence often took you over for the rest of the night. But it was worth it.

We went last Christmas, I had taken my boyfriend (at the time) home and wanted him to experience it. I had talked it up so much. It just wasn't as good as I remembered. Maybe it was because it was the holidays and super busy. Maybe it was just an off night, I don't know. But even so, I look back on that place with fond memories.



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