Friday, March 1, 2013

CoCo’s Curry カレーハウス CoCo壱番屋

Address:  Numerous locations throughout Miyagi, but I often frequent the stores in Nishitaga, Nagamachi, and the one on the corner of Ichibancho and Minami-machi dori.
Open from 11 am till either midnight or later, depending on the location.
Not to be confused with the COCO’S chain of family restaurants, which uses a similar color scheme in its advertising.  Which came first: COCO’S or CoCo’s Ichibanya?  Who knows, but I wish one of them would change their colors.  
I don’t know how many of your acquaintances have tried a CoCo’s Ichibanya before, but upon taking an informal survey of the Japanese people I know, I soon found out that almost none of them had ever tried the curry here, including my wife.  It's a mystery as to why others have passed on CoCo’s, but I became a convert upon my first venture to the Ichibancho store over a decade ago.  In my opinion, CoCo’s Curry has always been a dependable choice for a meal out.  Sure, this is not gourmet dining at the pinnacle of elegance, but it’s always good and filling, and at a reasonable price.  You can’t go wrong with CoCo’s!
Last week, I wrote of my visit to Kanazawa 18 Curry.  Sorry Kanazawa, you may have the gimmicky pricing and the Challenge platter going for you, but for pure flavor CoCo’s is head and shoulders above you.
I always order the Chicken Katsu Curry for 680 yen, while my wife orders from either their seafood or vegetable curry selections.


And talk about selections!  CoCo’s offers a variety of seventeen meat curry platters, five seafood entrées, and thirty-seven topping options!  There are also vegetable curry and allergen-free alternatives listed on the menu.  But a word of warning to vegetarians:  I could be wrong but I believe the curry sauce is always meat based regardless of your selection.  You might want to stick to one of the four veggie salads listed on the menu.


I forgot to mention that you can also order larger or smaller portions of rice on the curry, as well as the degree of spiciness.
On a side note, the Ichibancho locale will always hold a place in my heart.  A few days after the March 11th disaster, my wife and I headed downtown in search of food and supplies.  We were astonished on the availability of resources on Chuo-dori and Ichibancho compared to where we lived.  But what really thrilled us was that the CoCo’s Curry was open for business.  It was our first hot meal in days and we were so grateful for it.
If you’ve never tried CoCo’s Curry House Ichibanya, I highly recommend it to you.  

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