Saturday, December 22, 2007

Benihana's Mexican Cousine...

In our travels this week, the Lovely Jules let it be known that she had never been to Benihana's of Tokyo, as we passed the latest addition to the chain in North Scottsdale. I made a mental note to take her there in the near future. Last night was that time. We were able to park close to their front door and that was good because the cutting cold wind reminded me of being in Chicago and experiencing the "Hawk"! The Hawk is what they call the wind of off Lake Michigan, as it is merciless. I pulled the large ornate door open exposing a large group of people in party mode. I approached the receptionist and told him my last name and he looked up confused. With his Japanese accent he told me that there was no notation of my reservation. (strike one). We were told to wait in their bar since we did not have reservations and to wait. We found 2 seats at the end of the bar and were seated and immediately served. Julie ordered a Pinot Grigio and was told they were all out! (strike 2) She ordered a Chivas Regal, neat and surprised the hell out of me. As she sipped her 2 fingers of scotch whiskey, I watched her relax and get more comfortable. She was getting pretty nervous about how they would know we were in the bar at some point. A few minutes later a little man came to get us and seat us.
Benihanas is notorious for family style seating and we were ushered to a table with 6 people that had already ordered. Management was anxious to get our order in to begin the cooking extravaganza. Julie ordered the Chateaubriand and I had the Marina which consisted of shrimp, calamari and scallops. The shrimp were good!
I remember in years past, that Benihanas was a place that entertained you at the table with Japanese chefs that screamed in their native tongue and rally got your Adrenalin pumping while they beat salt and pepper shakers and threw things in the air. Our chef was a little guy of Hispanic origin that wore a name tag that read Jr. Although he was very good at his job, it really didn't impact me the same as having a Kamikaze Pilot crashing his plane into out table. Instead it was more like an illegal running for the border with sheriff Joe, hot on his tail! Although the other diners were nice enough, they wouldn't make eye contact with us making Julie and I the strangers at the table. I was wondering why they wouldn't share the appetizers with us, then I realized that they ordered them.
As we attempted to eat with chop sticks, my area looked like the entire kindergarten at Robert Frost Elementary School ate at my spot. Each time Julie would drop food onto the table, she would look at me to see if I had noticed. I acted like I didn't, but both of our areas looked like they could use a good vacuuming!
Julie took her steak home with us and we stopped at my house to let the Dynamic Duo out for their evening romp. My credit card rolled over in my pocket and spat up a little blood as I watched Julie feed her $30 steak to the dogs, woe is me...
I changed into something a little more comfortable, jeans and we headed over to Julie's house for a goodnight kiss.
I drove the 17.6 miles home at about 1:30 AM, thinking about what a wonderful time I have when I'm with Jules. I tried to remember what we fought about last week and nothing really came to mind.....

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