Saturday, November 05, 2011

B'day non-bash

kw: local events, birthdays

My birthday is in a few days, so my wife and I chose today to have a celebratory lunch. Hint: this one is mentioned in a Beatles song.

More than half the time, when we eat out, we go to a buffet, preferably a Chinese buffet. We get what we want, and don't have to contend with a menu. We live closer to Wilmington than to West Chester, and we almost never go into Philadelphia to eat; and while our favorite buffet in West Chester is China Grill, we decided to go the the newest one in Wilmington, called Hibachi Grill and Supreme Sushi Buffet. It is on Hwy 2, half a mile east of Hwy 7, and the nearest landmark is a Kohl's.

The sushi variety is the greatest I have seen. Uniquely (for the nonce) the ID cards note whether the fish, if there is fish, is raw or cooked. I seldom get raw fish (sashimi) sushi in America, but my wife usually prefers it. We both started with a plate of 8-10 pieces of sushi.

For those who might not know, sushi is a way of preparing a large variety of foods with sticky rice and seaweed. Some has fish, some different other meats or shellfish, but only a narrow range of fish varieties are served raw, those that history has shown to be mostly free of parasites. A sashimi chef is specially trained to spot parasites in the sliced fish and remove them. It isn't perfect; we have both had to be de-wormed before. Most sushi also contains vegetable items, and much is only vegetable. There is always sliced, fresh ginger and wasabi (Japanese horseradish sauce) available. I sometimes use wasabi, and usually a bit of soy sauce.

At the Hibachi Grill they have a hibachi chef, but we didn't partake of his services today. We just went around the buffet tables, of which there were four devoted to Chinese dishes and one to things Western kids are more likely to prefer, such as pizza and mac-n-cheese. There is also a table of fruits and similar items, and one of dessert items like small cakes. Finally, there is a freezer with eight varieties of ice cream for hand dipping.

If I recall right, I had sweet-n-sour whitefish, sauteed mushrooms, triple seafood delight (crab, squid and shrimp in butter sauce), a stuffed crab (this was only so-so), and pepper chicken. With the exception noted, they were excellent. I finished off with a little bowl of cookies-n-cream ice cream.

I used to go to buffet places intending to stuff myself silly. Now I go for a few tasty varieties, and it may take me many visits to sample everything that appeals to me. The number of bodies there that were significantly wider than mine (and I am a bit tubby) indicates that many people are still at the stuffing silly stage.

This newest Chinese Buffet restaurant raises the bar for its kin in the area, and the increase in coupons for its competitors shows how they are feeling the heat. For us, it made for a pleasant midday feast.

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