Monday, April 27, 2015


Location: Saizeriya

Rating: Not great
Meal:  Lunch
Price:  500 yen
Payment:  Cash Only
Dishes: Spinach and Bacon Spaghetti
English Menu:Yes
Smoking: No

Saizeriya is a ubiquitous chain of inexpensive Japanese Italian restaurants.  You can find them absolutely everywhere.  It was one of the first places we ate when we arrived in Japan and I was so turned off I vowed never to set foot in one again if I could avoid it.  A pity really, since sometimes you just want a cheap bowl of pasta, and it's hard to find one cheaper.  They also have the usual array of hamburg and steak that you would find in any "Western" style restaurant, but they emphasize the Italian, and that's what I usually think of.

Finally I went back a year or two ago and realized it was pretty good value for the money, and I needn't be so hung up on it.  I'll certainly never crave it, but it has its place, especially the parking lots that are available on the ones by the road.  The one in Daie is nice in that it is outside mall proper a bit and has a nice view of the harbor.  Otherwise, it's just like all the others.

 Today I opted for a lunch special at the astounding low price of 500 yen ($4.20 currently), with which you get a small salad and "soup" that basically broth you pour for yourself out of a coffee style dispenser.  The soup is truly something to behold, being indistinguishable from some forms of tea that one is often served in Japanese restaurants.  Sometimes you just have to shake your head.  The salad was fairly limp and smothered in thousand island dressing.

The pasta itself was fine, if under spiced.  "Bacon" here is never what you expect if you're from the US.  It's chunks of the same meat used to make real bacon, but there is none of the curing involved so the flavor is not there.  I hear real bacon is one of those things it's next to impossible to find in Japan, but we are lucky to have access to the real thing on base if we ever get the hankering.  I smothered my dish in the available parmesan, salt, pepper and spicy stuff (not very) to make it taste like something other than blandy bland bland.

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