Olivia Dish

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Out of Teppan, Into the Fire

In Florida, Restaurant on January 22, 2011 at 11:00 pm
Onion volcano

A teppanyaki standard-the onion volcano

“You know it’s bad when we’re excited to eat at a Japanese steakhouse.”

My colleague, Honey Pannacotta, had summed up the situation perfectly. We were on assignment in Orlando, Florida, based in a hotel across from the entrance to Universal Studios. The work had been grueling. We were grateful for any respite, any small comfort. Even a Japanese steakhouse.

The restaurant was chilly, so we asked for a table in a warm spot. The hostess took us literally. We were seated ringside, around a giant hot griddle.

Honey is a former Food Network host who has eaten at many of the nation’s best restaurants. She’s also traveled quite a bit of the world. “Have you ever been to one of these before?” I asked her.

“Once when my daughter was young. How about you?”

I had, when I was a very young 22. A boy took me there on a date. I was appalled.

But tonight, more mature and secure, I was looking forward to some silliness and stir fried vegetables. I hadn’t seen many vegetables in the last 72 hours. And with luck, perhaps there would be a gong.

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