Absolute Zero

March 1, 2008

Mexican Food

Filed under: Japan,Smarmy Matt — throughhim413 @ 2:33 am

I mentioned that my Mii was named Smarmy Matt last time.  I came across the Mii Editor site and decided to make a rough version of what the Mii looked like.  So here you go:


Doesn’t that smile just scream “smarmy”?  Although, these days I’m looking more like “half-mullet and hasn’t shaved his beard Matt”.  I miss being in a country where my barber speaks my language.

Starbucks is in Japan. 7-Eleven. Subway. McDonalds. No matter how far you run, there are just some things you can never escape.

…and yet, I would kill for a Taco Bell. If there’s one thing I’ve found Japan is really lacking, it’s good Mexican food… and bad Mexican food. I miss both quite a lot. I’m looking forward to having a burrito when I’ve returned home. It should come to no surprise that food has such strong nostalgia, but I really underestimated the impact of it. I came here as a person who proudly proclaimed that sushi was my favorite food.  On the other hand, in the US I rarely (if ever) ate at McDonalds. In fact, the only times I ate there were the times when someone else was choosing the restaurant.  However, in spite of that, I cannot count the number of times I’ve eaten there since coming to Japan.  The menu and preparation aren’t that different, yet somehow eating there is a nice break from Japanese life.  It’s not like we have the McPork or Teriyaki Burgers in the States, but somehow the golden arches still give that feeling of home.

While I’m on the topic of food, let me point you to what has somehow become my favorite restaurant in Japan. I come all this way, and what does my favorite restaurant sell? Brats. Johnsonville Brats.  The guy who owns this place is probably the coolest guy ever. Every time we go eat there, he brings us out some kind of gift totally free of charge. So if you’re ever in the Kobe/Osaka area, let me recommend this place. It’s expensive, but for a little taste of home, it really is worth it.

It’s funny seeing the Japanese take on foreign things.  For example, even my favorite restaurant has its shortcoming – cheese fries. When you think cheese fries, what’s the image?  Fries just smothered in cheddar cheese, maybe with some chili or something.  Well… don’t expect that.  The cheese fries presented were closer to crab rangoon than to cheese fries.  The best I can describe them is “steak fries filled with cream cheese and salted into oblivion”.  If they sound gross, it’s because they are (though I admit I’m not much of a cream cheese fan to begin with).  It’s just one of those many times where I’ve had to step back and say, “Good try, Japan, but keep working on it.”  They want to get there, they’re putting forth the effort, they’ve got a concept, but something is missing in translation.

You ever think about what food you would miss the most if you didn’t have it?  Personally, I can’t wait to get back to the States and go to a diner for breakfast.  There’s something about American diner food that can’t be replicated. Perhaps it’s the grease, perhaps it’s the care (or lack thereof) put into the ingredients, perhaps it’s the atmosphere, but to me the diner has become my most profound longing.  If you were in another country for a long period of time, what food do you think you would miss the most?



  1. Miso … no wait, I’m not Japanese. I would miss the tacos, most definitely! Either that or a big ol Qdoba burrito… mmmm

    Comment by Raigan — March 1, 2008 @ 12:38 pm

  2. I’m thinking wings, in particular, Buffalo Wild Wings. It sounds like you can get a fast food burger just about anywhere, otherwise that’d probably be it. Sadly, not more than a few weeks go by that I don’t go to Hardees or something like that.

    Comment by Brad — March 3, 2008 @ 10:44 pm

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