In honor of Thanksgiving, and the general Holiday spirit of eating lots of tasty food, I offer a primer on the major restaurant chains, both national and local. Lets start with the best, the greatest, the mysterious, the coveted.... MosBurger!
MosBurger is essentially the Japanese McDonalds, only much much better than that description implies. Their genius lies in three areas. First their portions are tiny, so you always want more. Well that and you don't get all supersized. Second they are a rare breed. There are no MosBurgers within miles of either home or work. So when you get it, it seems more like a special treat than an average everyday lunch. Third and finally MosBurger are just damn tasty. Combine all three and you have a tasty treat for any English Teacher.
This is the Ramen shop near my house. Please notice the big number. I can get a big and tasty bowl of Ramen for a mere 180 yen. Thats almost cheaper than cup o noodles! (For those not hip on the exchange rate, at the moment 180 yen is around $1.40 or so). This is by far the best deal pricewise of all these eateries. They are tasty and very cheap. Whoo hoo!
CoCo Ichibnaya Curry House. If anything has replaced Chipotle for me, CoCo Ichi is it. Delicious, filling, and relativly cheap. And did I mention it can get really, really, spicy? First some background. Here is presented the pinacle of the Japanese dish Curry Rice. Now do no think of Indian food, despite the use of the word Curry, this is pretty far removed from 'real' curry. Picture a nice bed of Japanese short grained rice, and covering it a thick curry gravy. You can also add on top almost any extra you want. I usually get the breaded and fried chicken cutlet. They also have Omlet curry, fried quail eggs curry, and just standard beef curry. You can also pick how hot you wish you sauce to be, on a scale of 1-10. On an average day I go with 3. I did do 4 once and ate it all but required a lot of water to do it! I wouldn't touch 5 or above on a dare.
Ahh Yoshinoya. The pinicle of Japanese fast food, the noble Beef Bowl. Quick, cheap, delicious, and not unhealthy. Not really healthy mind you, but no fried food, no thick fatty sauces. Just beef and rice. What more needs to be said? Notice the Coco Ichi next door, those things are EVERYWHERE!
Last but not least I present Yamachan. Now Yamachan is a Nagoya only chain, I think. They specialize in Nagoyas famous chicken wings. They marinade them in Teriyaki sauce, fry them up then dust them with fine ground black pepper. These are some seriously addictive wings. They also offer lots of other chicken dishes. Including chicken sashimi. And no, I haven't tried that yet. May I also reccomend the takoyaki shaped (round) gyoza. Really really good.
Ok that concludes are gustatorial tour of Nagoya, I hope you all have enjoyed it and are as hungry as I am now!