Tuesday, May 26, 2015

10 Foods I Cannot Wait to Eat When I Fly Back to America

As my time in Japan comes to an end and I prepare for summer break back in the US, I can't help but think of all the tastey foods that await me that I cannot get my hands on in Japan. Don't get me wrong I love my Japanese food, however, there is nothing like a big fat juicy burger or a plate of ethnic soul food. You feel me! That feeling of satisfaction where you just want to call everybody and your momma to tell them what plate you just murdered and now you have the "itis". Every summer I wait for this moment.

As I write down my packing list to go home, I am also writing my list of foods and food spots I cannot wait to eat the minute I touched down in America. The anticipation is just that serious!

In no specific order I bring you my stomach:



Yes, bacon! That thick cut, juicy, flavor-filled, clog your arteries bacon! I could eat bacon with everything and everyday. In my fives years of living in Japan, I have yet to find REAL bacon! They have "bacon", but if American bacon could talk...it would be calling Japan's bacon every name in the book from fake to poser. I am shocked that the international stores don't carry American bacon. I would pay $20 a pack if it were available. Call me crazy, but bacon should be a staple item in everyones fridge. Fortunately, we have friends that live near an American military base in Japan that can access the commissary and get us bacon a couple times a year. When my bacon arrives I have to freeze it and save it for special occasions like it is turkey on Thanksgiving.

The struggle.

Big Fat Juicy Greezy Burger

NBC Washington

I am not talking about a pretty little burger, now. I am talking about a big juicy greezy burger that melts in your mouth and in-between your fingers. A burger loaded with gooey cheese that you most likely would't eat on your first date. A burger where there is NO WAY to be cute about eating it, burger. That is the type of burger I am talking about. And so, Five Guys it is!

Unfortunately, you will never find this type of burger in Japan. It is just not Japanese. I am sure many Japanese people would flip out if they saw how greasy American style burgers were because of their for the most part healthy diets. Luckily, this year in Shiga, Japan I found this pretty dope burger spot that was able to satisfy by burger fix for the year. If you are ever in Shiga, Japan visit Aunt-Mee Restaurant.

Pizza! Pizza! 

There is something about New York style pizza that gives me happy feet! That gooey-stretchy-cheese that you try to catch in your mouth just after you took a bite that leaves you laughing because you look like a fool trying to catch the cheese with your mouth and your fingers before it falls on your pants. That pizza!

Japan serves pizza in a few Italian inspired restaurants, however, I think it is the equivalent of public school's lunch pizza. Sorry I had to go there. If you are lucky, you might find a Pizza Hut in your area. However, be prepared to spend to spend ¥3000+ ($25+) for a medium pizza. It is very expensive!


Paleo Local

You know Chipotle must be the bomb if you have people rapping about it and creating memes. I love this place! And I order mine just the way you see it in this photo. Plus sour cream.

Japan doesn't have anything even close to it at all. Someone should definitely open a Chipotle here soon. Tokyo or Osaka would be a good place for a Chipotle. To satisfy our Chipotle fix in my house, we have learned to bring Chipotle to our crib since we can't go get it. Super easy meal to create, but there is nothing like that sauce and guac and chips they serve at Chipotle.

I can't taste it now. Yum.

Steak & Cheese sub

The Cooking Mom 

There is always a debate on who has the best Philly cheesesteak, but hey, I am not from Philly so it isn't that serious to me like I know it can be for the up North folk. However, since being with my fiancé, a New York native, he has set the bar when it comes to where we can only go for a Philly cheesesteak. To him, Gooey provolone cheese is a must! I always double up on the cheese. It makes me happier.

I have never seen a Philly cheese steak in Japan, ever. So you better believe that grabbing one of these "jawns" is at the top of my list when I touch down.

Buffalo wings

If I was stranded on an island and I had to pick one thing to eat for every meal, it would more than likely be chicken wings, extra wet and extra hot! Oh! And blue cheese! I think I eat chicken wings more than anything else in the summer. I frequent Wingstop, Hooters, Buffalo Wild Wings, and I make them at home. But there is nothing like my fiancé's chicken wings. Last summer this was the first American food I ate in Atlanta, GA at the airport. We made a quick stop at Buffalo Wild Wings.

I was super excited to discover that there was a Hooters in Osaka that was a 50 min train ride away. I made it there three times this year and boy was each time better than the last. They never let me down. My favorite flavors are Spicy Garlic and Daytona. If you are a heat lover, be sure to try those two flavors. You will never go back to those other weak flavors.

Soul Food 


Somedays I wish I was that young girl that could eat whatever she wanted and wouldn't gain a pound.   If I was that girl, every Sunday would be soul food Sunday at my spot. I would have a kitchen filled with plates of fried chicken, ribs, mash potatoes, yams, macaroni, collard greens, corn bread, fried okra, banana pudding, EVERYTHING that I shouldn't have. Soul food just makes me happy and I love it! There is something about family and love that is passed on from person to person from plate to plate.

The downside to soul food is that you will NEVER find anyone in Japan throwing down in the kitchen cooking a soul food feast. Again, it is just not Japanese. The Japanese diet for the most part is clean and in very small portions. If I were to put a plate of fried chicken with all the fixings piled up (you know how we do) in front of a Japanese person he or she would probably start laughing and be surprised that all of that food is just for them and not for their whole family.

Chicken & Waffles 

I don't know whose idea it was to put chicken and waffles together as a meal, but man are they genius! It is perfect for me because my favorite meal of the day is breakfast, and I would love to have breakfast for dinner everyday if I had my way and lived alone. We frequent Bay's Bay's chicken and waffles in Florida when we are home.

Recently, Tokyo has opened up a couple chicken and waffles spots in Shibuya and Ginza that is growing popular amongst the young and hip crowd that loves Black culture and to foreigners living and visiting Japan. Since I am no where near Tokyo, this is another meal I have to create from home. Creating it from home doesn't give me the same excitement as going to a chicken and waffle spot, but I'll seize any moment to mix hot sauce and syrup together.

Jamaican Food 

Eat Slurp Burp
Sound the bullets and raise ya gun fingers because it is time to eat! I love me some soul food, but nothing brings me back home like some Jamaican food. Jerk chicken is my favorite with rice and peas. From time to time I will order some curried goat or brown stew with rice and peas, too. My go to spots in South Florida are Palatino Jamaican Restaurant in Miami and Kersmon Caribbean Restaurant in Greenacres.

I have never found a Jamaican restaurant in my neck of the woods in Japan, however, I heard that there is one located in Osaka. There should be more for the amount of Jamaicans living in Japan. I can imagine getting some of the best ingredients like peppers and spices is hard to find.

Spanish Food


Although I am half Puerto Rican, my favorite Spanish food hails from Peru followed by Cuba. My favorite Spanish spots are La Granja, Don Ramon, and Little Havana. I love all Spanish food from the rice to the yuca, to the rope vieja to the croquetitas to the empanadas. Spanish food is one type of food that I can honestly say is always hands down good no matter what you choose.

I have yet to discover any latin restaurants in any city I have lived in since I have been in Japan. However, interestingly enough, I have met many Latinos in my Japanese classes. So we are out here in numbers, but it seems we are not setting up shop here, yet!

OKAY. TIME TO WORK OUT NOW. LOL. But first, I have to get all of this food out of the way.

V1 Fitness Limassol

Did I make you hungry? Writing this made me really hungry and has heightened the anticipation of going back to Miami.

When you travel abroad or live abroad, what foods do you miss and look forward to when you reach American soil? Share them in the comments below.

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