gr/eats Last Day Feb 13th!

Yes there’s a special priced menu. The food is yummy and it’s time to say goodbye! Visit before we close!


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gr/eats Changing Hands on Feb 14

Take 20% off of the following items! Yes, we’re in our farewell mode for gr/eats. It’s been a great ride and it’s time to move forward on exciting new projects.


Kit Kat in Japan – 200 Flavors?


200 kinds? This is news to us. There’s surely been 30 or so, but 200? We’d like to see a list of the flavors! Anyone have one? A quick search yielded no list.

From CNN: “Running with that tonal advantage and tapping into Japan’s love of novelty, Nestlé has produced over 200 special edition flavors of the chocolate bar since 2000, often sold as gifts rather than snacks bought on the go. From wasabi and green tea to flavors specific to regions of Japan (Hokkaido roasted corn flavor, anyone?), Nestle has kept up the innovation to make it a mainstay on the shelves of stores across Japan, even making souvenir editions around holidays and events.”

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$170 Super Chickens

These are Super Chickens. Imagine, they aren’t afraid of predators… They get played Mozart so they’ll hatch nicer eggs. They have freedom. All this is a place where food safety is a concern. They’re known as “golden phoenix” Their eggs are multi-colored and also fetch a premium.

“Their feed is very carefully selected. Aside from the staple diet of corns, wheat and worms, they are also fed with traditional Chinese medicines to ward off disease. The water they drink comes from mountain spring running down hill, which “may be more fresh than what we drink”, said Yang, who believes his chickens are the most athletic and their meat juicy, perfect for making chicken soup when they reach 6 months old and weigh 2 kilograms.” (China Daily – Super Chickens)

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Strawberry Donuts… IN!

Donutman in Glendora, strikes again.

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Dashi – The Magical Ingredient

In Japanese food, dashi is the magical ingredient. It’s in almost everything and made out of bonito fish (katsuobushi). Vegan in Japan? You’re near doomed although there is a seaweed version (kombu dashi) that’s gets used as well, often in tandem with the bonito version. This ingredient is almost not considered as a meat related product. It’s just the starting point and from there, it’s off the cooking. I grew up with it and I now use it. It’s even in miso soup. LA Times covers it. (LA Times – Dashi)


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Banana Diet Fad in Japan

Want a banana? Can’t find one. Supposedly bananas are harder to find by 12 noon in Japan. They get sold out. The morning diet is eat a banana with room temperature water and then eat a lunch and dinner or any size, no dessert and sleep by midnight. Yes, do you think it’s really going to work? Who’s behind these diets and how do they get started? It’s usually a “quack” who makes a statement of some sort, has very thin proof, and off to the races the idea goes. If they could do this often with paying scams, they’d be richer than they probably already are. How about “Banana Pills”? It’s a fad, and like many diets in Japan, it’ll pass. (Time – Banana Diet)


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Bootleg Fast Food Places (11)

Funny list of 11 spots including the two above. It’s spots you might see in China, although now one is allegedly in Russia. Doesn’t matter, right? You can still blame China. Burger King is cleverly disguised as Cheese Burger. You’d never know! The 7-Apple-11 shop? “Slurpee and a Nachos with that Ipad?” (11points - Bootleg Fast Food Spots)

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Lower Class Rolls on Food for the Rich in Karnataka, India

Food rolling. The lower class roll across the food of the upperclass. In Karnataka, this happens. It’s all part of the caste system and this is a ritual that’s being criticized by the holy men. Yet for those in favor of the rolling (the rich) they say it cures disease! (bbc – Rolling on Food)

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How to Win at the One Trip Buffet

This might be how The Great Wall of China was made. Pizza Hut China has been documented in the past for it’s food architecture. Not by the shop, but by the customers. We reported some images in the past and now this infographic takes it to the next level. Yet, gluttons eating this much cucumber (perhaps 5 cucumbers?) and carrot sticks (10 carrots?) makes no sense. Seeing this infographic makes us think that they should just allow more than one trip. (Dailymail UK – Pizza Hut China)


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Edible Bird Nest Industry

Asian swiftlet build nests using their saliva. like a bat, they make these nests up high to lay their eggs. Poachers come and take the nests down while destroying the eggs for the $5000 a pound bounty that comes with it. According to Mercury News: “In Asia, it is a $5 billion industry, said Le Danh Hoang, who founded Hoang Yen, a Ho Chi Minh City-based bird’s nest business with annual revenues of $3 million and growing rapidly. In Vietnam, it’s a $200 million industry, behind Indonesia, the world’s largest producer, Malaysia and Thailand, he said.”

Le harvests the nests without killing the birds. He even builds the climate controlled and structures for the birds and has 500 of them in Vietnam. The entrepreneur not only has the nest farms, but also has a restaurant where you can eat a $26 soup. This guy has the nests all figured out. Anyone ever try bird nest? (Mercury News – Bird Nest)

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$730,000 Tuna Turns into $100,000 Worth of Sushi

and no… this isn’t a photo of the actual tuna, but we’ll guarantee it looks just like this but bigger.


Odd story and a tremendous waste. Imagine, a sushi chain (which means cheaper sushi) buys a tuna for 730k but then carves it up into 10,000 pieces of sushi worth $1.50-$5 a piece meaning some mangled math telling us that they lose about 600k. The reason? It’s patriotic? Showing how dumb economics majors can be? It’s about ego, breaking records, and being dumb with money and we do hope the sushi at least tasted great. It’s written that to break even each piece needed to be something like $50+ each. (Bloomberg – 730k tuna)

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Poison Cat Stew Poisons a Billionaire in China

They do eat cat in China. Yes, poisoned cat stew kills a billionaire, Long Liyuan. The article mentions that cat stew is a delicacy in the Southern regions of Guangdong, China. From the Guardian UK, “Huang, deputy director of agriculture in Guangdong’s Bajia township, is suspected of poisoning the hotpot with the herb Gelsemium elegans, according to a statement on the microblog of the investigating police. The poisonous plant is found in forests in parts of China.”

The photo on the left is a Civet Cat which are evidently used in cat stew. Also it’s written that Long enjoyed house cat meat more!



Burger Battle: Japan McDonald’s Big America Burgers


McDonald’s VS Wendy’s in Japan. We reported on Wendy’s Foie Gras Burger, and McDonald’s is now doing their specials. Less gourmet, and more themed on the US, these burgers look fair, if you’re a junk food eater and they’re all limited. January is the Las Vegas, Feb is the Broadway, and March is the Beverly Hills. The December that’s now over was the Grand Canyon Burger. If you want more details on the contents, click on the link below. (Inventorspot – Big America Burgers)

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New Years Day – Oshogatsu Osechi

It’s January 1st or “oshogatsu”. Thanksgiving, Christmas and even birthdays have nothing on this day for Japanese families. My photos are of food, but know that the annual feast that’s cooked mainly by my mother but also my aunt and uncle, is for a family get together. We don’t have a shrine to visit as many do in Japan, so we have a special meal that we don’t forget for the rest of the year.

Like any special day, whatever it may be, one would hope it wouldn’t take a date on a calendar to make it come back. I know life can’t be Disneyland everyday, but once a year isn’t often enough. Twice would be nicer, right? Then you have to think: work is maybe 5 days a week, for almost every week and a special day is just one day. It doesn’t make much sense. Hopefully we’ll all figure out how to make this happen one day soon and value things that are really important.

Hope you enjoy the photos. Happy New Year. There are additional photos at the end in the set.





More Food Porn. New Year’s Day 2007

And that’s just the main table. There’s a dessert section and a kitchen table where the rest of what can’t fit, rests. Yes, it’s in a couple of days. Time to stretch the stomach like Kobayashi.


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NPR Mochi Making

That’s ozoni which is mochi in a soup, but the story by NPR talks about mochi, making it and how it’s done in one person’s family today. It’s something done for New Year’s Day.


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Wendy’s In Japan CEO Interview


Wendy’s Japan CEO Ernest Higa gets interviewed about Wendy’s Japan’s relaunch.

“When I did Domino’s, I thought it was very critical to adapt it for the Japanese market. I did a lot of brand repositioning and product adaptation and added Internet ordering. How you adapt and what you adapt for the local market are crucial. There is no manual for that.”

This holds true for all brands in Japan whether it’s food, clothing or toys. You can’t just turn on the ON button and it works. (Japan Today – Wendy’s)

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Oshogatsu, New Years Day from 2010


Scenes from my parents New Years Day 2010. The photos are spectacular. It’s not always like this, or is it? The big day is coming and the food will be  just like this. (GR – New Years Day 2010)

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Wendy’s Foie Gras Burger in Japan


I was there on the last day of Wendy’s burger chain in Japan at the end of 2009. I was cold in Tokyo, yet dumbfounded at the long lines as people celebrated Wendy’s exit. They wanted the last taste of their burgers with the square patties. Other fast food chains Freshness Burger were putting a dent in the luster of Dave Thomas. But now, in a Thomas less world, Wendy’s just opened up their first revival on Omotesando Street. For those of you who don’t know, Omotesando is a stylish Beverly Hills. It’s among the higher end streets in Tokyo. To fit a relaunch and to do something different, you can now get your burgers with Fois Gras. There’s other specials on the menu as well. The burger will not be a $4, $5, or $6 excursion, this is a $16 project. From their press release: “At the same time, we’ll further differentiate our restaurants by adding innovative new menu options created exclusively for the Japanese market, including the Avocado Wasabi hamburger and the Truffle and Porcini Grilled Chicken sandwich. Our food will be served in a contemporary, inviting atmosphere that we believe will exceed the discerning expectations of Japanese consumers.”  (Eater – Wendy Foie Gras)

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