There are plenty of celebrated sushi spots in Boston like Oishii and Fugakyu. Some have teppanyaki or "hibachi-style" grills for those who love seeing their food tossed in the air and lit on fire (who isn't charmed by the volcanic stack of flaming onions?). I have a favorite place that may not serve the most amazing sushi (I think it does, but as I prefer California Rolls and cooked items I don’t qualify myself as a true sushi connoisseur) but that I truly look forward to and have cravings for at least twice a month—Fuji Steak House. When I worked in Needham Center, it was a top choice for celebrating co-workers’ birthdays and a successful host for our employee Christmas party. The atmosphere is clean, pleasant, and relaxed. Customers always seem jolly, enjoying their food. One section holds a large dining area with several teppanyaki tables, and another includes a sushi bar with more intimate tables. A few of the waitresses aren’t always in the best mood, showing curt expressions and who my Asian dining friends speculate aren’t really Japanese (note: Asian people love to dissect other Asian people’s ethnicities). However, the owner always wears a huge welcoming grin that would instantly brighten anyone’s day and the service is usually fast. Lunch Monday thru Saturday is the most economical, with teppanyaki specials running from 9.95 to 12.95 (choices range from tofu to filet mignon), and maki specials from 8.50 to 9.95 (includes a choice of two maki). Both lunch specials arrive with salad and miso soup. Although I’ve tried to enjoy raw, my top choices remain the savory Idaho maki (sweet potato tempura) and una-avo maki (grilled eel and avocado). Definitely bring the kids, who will be enchanted by the flaming food and a cool indoor pond with beautiful fat koi carp.
It was a beautiful fall morning and I was especially rested from the extra hour of sleep granted by turning our clocks back, so I decided to check out the Annual Boston Vegetarian Food Festival. My first time there, I wasn’t prepared for the suffocating mob in the single auditorium space. I should have expected it at a free event offering lots of free food. The variety of vendor booths affirmed how vegetarianism covers a broad scope, whether focusing on health, the environment, religion, or cruelty in animal slaughterhouses. I noticed quinoa, flax, organic t-shirts and…the desserts! The last thing I’d associate with vegetarianism is amazing desserts, but I was captivated by some impressive sweets displays, particularly Vegan Treats Bakery, a celebrated Philadelphia bakery hopefully soon to break into the Boston market. I’ve had many a dairy-free cake because of my nephew’s allergies, all tasting like sawdust, but whoa!—these cakes were simply spectacular. My frosted triple chocolate mini-cake was very moist, very chocolately, and beautiful to behold. I daresay it was better than regular chocolate cake and made me suspicious that it was missing any butter or eggs. I scored several freebies of hummus snack packs, organic energy bars, vegetarian magazines, and dairy-free chocolates. I tasted new items like African bean cakes (reminded me of the fried taro dumplings at a Chinese dim sum) and Teather, a kind of adult fruit roll-up made with tart organic pressed fruits rich in phytonutrients. I curiously checked out a massive line in one corner and chuckled when I saw it was for Tribe Hummus, a common product found at any supermarket! Oh well, hungry people love free food. For those expecting to eat lunch, many vegetarian restaurants were present, selling plates of their most popular items. Expert chefs and researchers offered educational talks. After a dizzying hour to survey all the booths, you leave with a heavy bag of nice samples, coupons, and inspiration to eat green, or at least appreciate that vegetarians and even vegans are serious foodies too.
Ok, so I’m a week late celebrating World Pasta Day, which was created in 1995 by the World Pasta Congress in Rome (who knew there was such a thing?). Every October 25th, World Pasta Day is celebrated internationally with events, tastings, and education of this high carb wonder. Did you know that pasta is eaten on all five continents and that the average person in North America eats 15 pounds of pasta annually, whereas the average person in Italy eats more than 51 pounds each year? And that the Chinese are on record as having eaten pasta as early as 5,000 B.C.? It’s an easy dish to love, and here’s an easy recipe from Christina! Click here for Bell Pepper Pasta with Chicken.