Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Japanese Mexican Food

Yes it exists. I know that was everyone's first thought upon reading the title. After almost two weeks in Japanland, we decided we wanted a small taste of home. Honestly, the random squid and fried fish in every meal is starting to get old. So, our translator somehow found this Mexican restaurant in Nagoya that was fairly close to our dorms. HEAVEN. 

Now, I've already gotten the reaction of: Why in the world would you eat Mexican food in Japan?!?
Let me tell you why.........BECAUSE ITS MEXICAN FOOD.
Helllllllo people!!! Who doesn't like Mexican food?!? 
Answer: No one. Everybody loves Mexican food. Why? Because the combination of salsa, beans, meat, sour cream, tortillas, chips, guacamole, lettuce, queso.....you cannot go wrong with any of those combinations and it is best enjoyed when combining all of the above. 
If you don't like Mexican food, I'm sorry but I can't be friends with you. It's like the Beatles. If you don't like the Beatles, I also cannot be friends with you. Because you obviously have no soul. Mexican food and the Beatles = perfection. 

So, we were driving to this Mexican restaurant and as usual, I harassed our translator with weird, random questions. Things like "Which lane's the fast lane?" and "Why do all the cars look like mini vans but aren't actually mini vans?" I'm waiting for her to say "How the hell should I know?!" to one of my questions but she clearly has the patience of a saint. Then, there was an awkward question which I didn't mean to be. Nagoya is a fairly big city (think a little smaller than Chicago) and there's a bunch of hotel and tall buildings along the freeway. I saw a hotel sign that said "Cherie: Amusement Hotel." For whatever reason, two and two didn't add up in my head and I thought it would be a Circus Circus type hotel. Well, it was a type of hotel you could find in Vegas........


Even more awkward was the fact that there were more "Amusement Hotels" than normal ones so I was left giggling in the passenger seat after we passed "Hotel LOVE" and signs with hourly rates. Whoops. 

After getting off of Brothel Highway, we turned down some very sketchy streets to finally find "Eighties: Tex Mex Restaurant." I will say that Japan is the safest I've ever felt in normally sketchy situations. Where I normally would've found a guy ready to jump me down an alley way in the U.S., there's a man walking with a briefcase and health mask. 
Oh, side note.....they actually do pretty much all wear those medical masks. And I learned why! It's because hay fever is apparently incredibly easy to catch here or something and everyone's allergies go haywire. So they wear them to prevent getting sick. Fun fact, haha. 
Another side note.....Japanese people cannot say the word "allergies." It sounds like allllgaweee. Like a bee stung their tongue prior to attempting to say the word. If you're ever in need of a laugh, have a Japanese person attempt any word with an L or R, preferably both. We spent about an hour dying of laughter in trying to teach them how to properly pronounce the words. 

Ok, so back on track (told you, I'm easily distracted). This Mexican restaurant was COMPLETELY empty when we walked in, but instantly felt like home. They had random state license plates hanging up on the walls, along with various tin beer advertisements and neon signs. And when I say random states, I'm using it to its fullest extent of the definition. The states they had were: Wyoming, Idaho, South Carolina, Florida, and Indiana. 
And those states were probably where they got their recipes for their Mexican food from. Most of the menu wasn't actually Mexican food, but they had mostly American style stuff. What the true test ended up being, of their adaptability to produce Mexican products, were the Margaritas. I mean anyone can throw together ingredients (even me - when I'm not burning them), but not just anyone can make a good Margarita. I've had the privilege of having the best Margarita known to mankind from the Janice Donyanavard (I hope you're reading this). Let me tell you, before you know it, you'll be jumping in the pool fully clothed and you've only had one (it was fourth of July and a day of craziness with my best friends aka the Fam - SHOUTOUT - don't say I didn't ever do something for you :) ). The Margaritas were half-priced (good sign) and came out in.......a martini glass (not such a good sign). Pretty much it was a gigantic shot of tequila. Yup. No bueno. No senor. Due to the failed Margaritas, I will say the Japanese cannot produce true Mexican products. 

Did someone order tequila straight up with a squeeze of lime? No? Weird....

Overall the food was pretty good - obviously not anything close to "real" Mexican food and definitely no where near Tex Mex, but it still hit the spot. Definitely gave us a bit of normalcy back to our shaken-up-worlds. 
This normalcy continued on our day off, when we went to one of the bigger malls. Not only did they have Baskin Robbins (yum) but they had.......wait for it 



To fill in those who don't know me.....I'm obsessed. Another fun fact: I usually have a Starbucks before every game I pitch. And my lovely mother would bring me a Starbucks every morning before we left the hotel (she's the best mom, hands down). 
So, you can imagine my happiness/elatedness/ecstatic/uber joy when I spotted one in the mall. I even did a little dance. It's my favorite of all dances because it's from pure happiness. 
Japan Starbucks doesn't have Peppermint sadly, though. I usually get a Grande Nonfat No Whip Peppermint Mocha. It's Christmas in a cup. And who doesn't like Christmas?!?! And if you buy me one, you are instantly one of my favorite people and my friend. You think I'm kidding.......but I'm not. 

Little Slice of Heaven 

All in all, a very successful day off. Oh, and I almost forgot! When I got back to the dorms, I got my new credit card for our bank account here. And on it.....Disney! A Winnie the Pooh scene to be exact. Again, I did another little jig down the halls. I had in my hands, two of my most favorite things in the world: Starbucks and Disney. AMAZING! 

Ta Ta for Now......xoxo Jordan

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