Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Saint Marc Bakery / Restaurant サンマルク 022-307-4309

View from Akiu-dori (Route 286) going towards Sendai
Website:  http://www.saint-marc-hd.com/saintmarc/
Also look at the following website for coupons/map, etc.:  http://r.gnavi.co.jp/t247400/

Address:  宮城県仙台市太白区西多賀3-1-35.  On Akiu-dori in Nishitaga heading towards Akiu.  It’s on the right-hand side next to a コナカ men’s clothing store (the photo above is showing the opposite viewpoint).


Map:  Scroll down to the bottom.

Open everyday from 11:00 am – 10:30 pm.


Raisin, Chocolate, and Two Melon Pan Rolls
The main reason I go there:  BREAD!  And lots of it!  Some of the bread selections are just okay, and some are really good.  Plus, the chicken with mustard sauce (若鶏と彩り野菜のグリル) is delicious.   I usually order the chicken a la carte with the pan/coffee set, but on occasion I will order one of their many course meals.


若鶏と彩り野菜のグリル


But back to the bread:  When you order the bread set, a bread girl will come around your table every so often with her basket of different bread rolls.  Here is a list of some of the ones I like:  yomogi, mini croissant, wheat, basil, walnut, raisin, chocolate, strawberry, caramel, melon pan, apple pie, sesame stick, garlic, and French bread.   And these are only the ones “I” like.  There are more varieties to choose from, such as spice chapatti, sunflower seed, cheese, bacon, milk, and onion.  If you don’t see the type of roll that you want, don’t worry, they take requests.  If I’m in a particular mood for a certain type of bread, I’ll ask for two rolls for myself then shoot my wife the “order for me” look and she’ll order another one or two and then will give me what she doesn’t want.

Their coffee is also very good, which is another plus.

Speaking of pluses, be sure to sign up for their point card.  My wife and I eat here quite often and have been rewarded with free course meals, gift certificates, and bread rolls to take home.   And it seems like the points add up rather quickly, too.  We also receive postcards offering course meal discounts from time to time.

Saint Marc is a chain restaurant but it is not to be confused with the Saint Marc Choco-Croissant chain.  The restaurant is rather big and offers a non-smoking section and parking. 

In the evenings, a piano player will perform for your pleasure, which adds a nice touch.


Caesar Salad




My wife ordered the hamburger patty

This restaurant was recommended to me years ago by my friends Stephanie and Laura, who lived nearby in Nishitaga.  I am forever grateful for this.  They also recommended another restaurant that is across the side street from Saint Marc’s and that has also made my Favorite’s list
:  Curry House Sakura.

**For a more recent update of this restaurant, please click HERE.


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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Wantsu-chi (Wan-zu-ji?) 万豚記 022-249-3336


Set Meal Menu for the Saturday that I went
Gyoza Set Meal

*I'M SORRY TO SAY THAT CURRENTLY WANTSU-CHI IS CLOSED.  FOR A WHILE, THEIR WEBSITE STATED THAT THEY WERE "TEMPORARILY" CLOSED.  BUT NOW THE WEBSITE IS ALSO DOWN SO I DON'T KNOW IF IT WILL RE-OPEN.  THE STREET THEY WERE LOCATED ON WAS HIT VERY HARD BY THE EARTHQUAKE AND MANY SHOPS HAVE BEEN TORN DOWN.  I WAS HOPING THEY WERE GOING TO REMODEL BUT WHO KNOWS?  HERE'S HOPING FOR THE BEST.

Website:  Not their official site, but one with info on them:      
             
http://www.kiwa-group.co.jp/restaurant/t100214.html
Address:  宮城県仙台市太白区長町1-4-1.  Located in between the Nagamachi and Nagamachi-ichome Subway Stations on the same road.  Also on the same side of the street as the Nagamachi JR Station.

Map:  Scroll down to the bottom.

Hours:  Closed Tuesdays.
            Wednesdays – Mondays:   11:00 – 3:00    and   6:00 – 11:30 pm.
            Sundays:   11:00 – 3:00   and    6:00 – 9:30 pm.

Great Chinese food.  I especially like the big gyoza set meal!  It’s not the set that is big, but it’s the gyoza: Around 13 centimeters or so.  The set meal comes with rice, egg soup, a bean sprout salad (that has miniscule bits of chicken) and a white gelatin dessert (杏仁豆腐).  I don’t like the dessert because … I’m picky, but the wife loves it.   My wife also gives the ramen a big thumbs up.  Other choices I like are the さくさくchicken set meal and the pork with cabbage set. 

They sometimes play Beatles or cheesy 80’s music.  When it’s 80’s night, I keep thinking, 懐かしい! I haven’t heard that song in years.  Oh yeah, I didn’t like that song did I?”

This restaurant chain actually has a few different locations in Sendai and they all have different names (which is helpful-hmmmf).  I went to one a long time ago on Minami-machi dori across from the old Brother Building that's called Benitorazen  紅虎禅.  Walking from Sendai Station it’s before you get to Meidi-ya Import Store on the same side of the street.  It’s next to a small conbini.  That restaurant had a different menu, but it was still very good.     
There is also one in Yamatomachi that I’ve heard is also very good, and the website lists one in Izumi.  Let me know if you’ve been to any of these or any others I don’t know about.

The Nagamachi location has free parking but it’s down the street.   Your best bet would be to pull over and run in and ask the staff where to park.                  

Unfortunately, they have no stamp card nor do they have a non-smoking section.


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Bistro Boeuf d’Or ビストロブフドール 022-215-1150



Website:  http://bistroboeufdor.com/index.html

Address:   仙台市青葉区国分町3-9-9 コーポキクセン 1F.  On the same street as City Hall.   Just walk west towards Mediatheque and Nishi-Koen.  This restaurant is very small and a bit hard to find initially.

Map:  Scroll down to the bottom.   

Lunch:  11:30 – 2:30  

Dinner:  5:30 – 10:00     

Closed Sundays and holidays.

Unique flavors!  Edamame and gyutan pâté, shrimp with mango sauce, roasted duck with plum sauce, apple pottage, and cold asparagus soup are just some of the flavors you’ll encounter at this small bistro.   I don't even like asparagus, but this soup was good!   Salads prepared with fresh vegetables and homemade bread add to the delight of eating here.  Plus, goood coffee and a lunch stamp card!

I’ve only been here a few times but from the very start this restaurant made my Favorites list.   This restaurant reminds me of Café de Mieux.  It’s best to make reservations for both lunch and dinner as this restaurant is quite small.  We’ve been turned away for dinner because it was already full.  

This is no cheap meal, but if you want something special or perhaps are celebrating something, Bistro Boeuf d'Or is an excellent choice!

There is no free parking but if you go by subway it’s about an eight-minute walk from Kotodai-Koen Station.

**Please read the update on Bistro Beouf d'Or by clicking HERE.



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Pancake & Café 38 Mitsubachi パンケーキ&カフェミツバチ 022-721-0238



Address:  仙台市青葉区二日町12-25グランディプレステージ1F.  In between Kotodai-Koen Station and Kita-Yobancho Station on the same side as City Hall.

Map:  Scroll to the bottom.  

Open:  Tues. – Fri.  6 am – 6:30 pm.        
Sat., Sun., Holidays they close at 6 pm.
Closed Mondays.


Front of the restaurant


What I ordered


What it actually looked like

I’ve only been here twice but both times were quite enjoyable and I look forward to returning to try the different varieties of pancakes.   On my first visit during a Saturday lunchtime, I wanted to order the chicken curry with pancakes lunch set but they were already sold out.   So I went with the hamburger and pancakes set.  Hamburger and pancakes, not your usual combo, is it?
The hamburger had slices of eggplant mixed in a tomato sauce and it was pretty good.  And considering that I don’t like eggplant very much, I think that’s quite a compliment.  

The 1380 lunch set came with a vegetable broth soup, small salad, the hamburger patty, three pancakes, a small yogurt dessert (which I didn’t like), and a beverage of your choice.

The pancakes were nice and light, but I suggest eating them right away because they can get cold quite quickly.  The butter used is supposedly made there at the restaurant. 

They have a separate breakfast menu that is served until 10 am (see picture below).




The place is small and I saw a couple of people turned away as the restaurant was full (again, this was during a weekend lunchtime). 

On my second visit I ordered the three buttermilk pancakes with two small scoops of vanilla ice cream.  The actual dish looked different from the photo on the menu (see above photos) so don’t be surprised, however, the pancakes were again light and fluffy. 

My wife ordered the caramel pancakes which were good but not as sweet as I imagined.


Caramel Pancakes
I was quite satisfied with the food but I wasn’t too happy about the coffee.  A good cup of joe is the perfect crowning point to a great meal.  Well, they dropped the crown here.  After eating the sweetness of the pancakes and ice cream, a deep, rich cup of coffee would have punctuated the meal.  Instead, the coffee kind of said, “I think that’s about it.”

Still, I recommend this place.  Our second visit was on a national holiday at around 5 pm and the place was empty, so I guess timing is everything.


5 pm on a holiday
There is no free parking nor stamp card.


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Billy’s N.Y. Style Sandwich 022-264-3101

Website:  http://www.billys.jp/      


Address: 仙台市青葉区上杉1-7-23.  Near Kita-Yobancho Subway Station.  Across from Grand Central Sports Gym.

Map:  Scroll down to the bottom. 

Hours:  11:00 – 5:00 everyday.  But … you should call to check.  Sometimes they are not open.



Are they really New York style sandwiches?  Well, I’m not from New York but I’ve been there a few times and, hmm, I’ll just say that Billy’s offers the best sandwiches I’ve had in Japan.  In NYC, they really know how to make a sandwich (at least at most delis).  Though not necessarily the same, Billy’s does a great job.  I don’t live near downtown, but my wife and I will gladly drive to Billy’s on the weekends for a good sandwich lunch.  It’s that good, at least in my opinion.

In fact, we drove out just for Billy’s the other day.  I like the club sandwich with an avocado topping (580).  A sandwich plus the assorted tsukemono satisfies my appetite.  My wife likes the half sandwich set menu. (600 ).  The set menu comes with a drink and a dessert, but I don’t like their dessert choices, while my wife loves them.  She had a pumpkin pottage the other day.  Sometimes it will be some type of mousse.  That’s not for me, but the wifey likes them.

I’ve had friends tell me that they rate the meatloaf or the BLT as their favorites.  I’ve tried them and they are good, but I like the club sandwich the best and I’m sticking to it.  I know this place is popular with people working at city hall and the kencho.

But just one thing:  If Iibuchi-san (the owner who wears glasses and a bandana completely over her hair) is not there, the sandwiches do tend to be missing something in the flavor department.

Also, there is no free parking.  Across from Billy’s is a two-story parking structure, however, next to Billy’s is a very small real estate office, and next to that office is a cheaper parking area.  


*Please read recent updates about Billy's here and here again.


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