Bon Apetite and Yamada Sushi

As you have probably noticed there is quite a bit less going on in the blog than usual. This is mainly due to the fact that I’m still not consistently employed and we therefore have to be very careful with our expenditures. Things have started looking up and hopefully we’ll have some good news on that front soon. But on to food, which is the reason you’re here.

A couple weeks ago my parents took us to a small but gorgeous corner bakery at the intersection between Walnut and Prince St. In downtown Lancaster called The Shoppes at 301 North Queen St. They have all kinds of goodies from duck fat to a varied selection of dipping oils. Here are my parents waiting for their meal.

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My dad decided to fight off the frigid temperatures (outside, in the bakery it was nice and toasty) with a huge frothy cup of hot chocolate. It was everything you’d expect from the picture, it was big, steaming hot and had that kind of real chocolate full flavor.

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Y wife went with a pot of tea. It took a while to decide because they had such a huge selection of teas and they all looked so good it took quite a bit of back and forth to decide in one.

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I, as an eternal fan of Jamón Serrano, saw it in the menu and couldn’t resist. I somewhat regret it. They did have a great flavor profile on a theoretical plane but the execution rather spoiled it. The cured ham loses much of its qualities when cooked so while I get the idea of melting cheese in top necessitated it, I’d generally be against it. They also have their own mustard which is great except whoever prepared it went absolutely overboard. Again, we’re talking about fairly delicate flavors and the bold mustard overwhelmed everything else.

The side of salad was good and their salad dressings are exotic and delicious. As I’m not that much of a salad person I must say that this little side was quite the star of this OK dish.

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One of the great things they have is a wide variety of imported delicacies like these garlic stuffed olives. The garlic is macerated inside the olives making it lose its crunch and sharp spicy flavor. These were a huge favorite for all of us.

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They seemed to be extraordinarily into quiche, as though I’ve noticed it’s ubiquitous presence at most gatherings and pot lucks in the area. My wife decided to take that particular plunge and faired very well. She really enjoyed it since it was not overly cheesy and had a good consistency to it.

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On another note, a couple weeks ago while visiting our friends Majo and Mario in Rutherford, NJ we had a chance to try out Yamada Sushi on Park Ave, near the train station. There’s a whole story involving a missed train but that’s all a side issue, the main thing here is the seafood. While waiting for our meal we were brought some miso soup on the house. It was nice and warm which was very welcome. After that out came some mussels, also on the house. This was a bit more of a surprise so we happily dug in. They were slightly spicy but perfectly cooked.

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Our friends ordered a tuna sashimi and a sushi combo. The spicy mayo was good and had a nice bite to it. What I loved, though, was the freshness of it all.

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Since my wife does not like sushi she decided to try the udon noodle soup. These were some serious noodles. I tried to help her finish it off but they were just too much for us! They were thick and had a nice toothiness to it.

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Along with the soup came the Panko fried shrimp. The crunchiness of Panko has been talked about a lot in recent years and this is another example of how good it really is. The crunch was something else but it was achieved without drying out the shrimp. It was juicy in the inside and crunchy in the outside just as it should be.

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I do love sushi and having seen how fresh everything looked I went with another combo. I just live the mesmerizing color of the tuna!

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So those are some of our latest and greatest. I’m chasing down some pictures of of John’s on Bleeker but until then, I hope to have stoked your appetite and encouraged you to go out and try something new.

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