Sunday, April 26, 2015

Shakey's Pizza Buffet; Lalaport, Shibuya, Ikebukero

Any Chicagoans remember Shakey's Pizza?  I do.  I specifically remember there being one in Merrillville on Route 30 not too far from K-Mart, where the Panda Express is now.  Well, they still are here in Japan.  Japan is funny in that way as chains that have disappeared at least in the Midwest are still here like Mister Donut, Sizzler, El Torito and Shakey's. 

We were at Lalaport in Minami Funabashi and decided to bring the kids for some pizza buffet action.  This wasn't the first time we were at Shakey's.  I remember going to the Ikebukero one a lot with my friends and future wife during 2001-2003. 

Here it is.  They completely remodeled the interior from the last time we went here like three years ago.
Honestly, I can't remember what the Shakey's pizza tasted like in the U.S.  I'm quite familiar with the Shakey's here in Japan though.  It's very similar to CiCi's pizza if any of you have had it, really thin, almost cardboard crust.  The crust is really thin because the pizzas are cooked on a conveyor belt to allow them to be made quickly to serve high volume crowds.  When I talk about CiCi's, my cousin Brandon makes a gag face, so you might guess where this review is going.  We had the pleasure of enjoying CiCi's in Orlando together when I was working for the Mouse.  CiCi's pricing is an amazing under 5 bucks (well at least as of 2004 or so).  Shakey's is a little bit more pricey due to being in Japan.  For holidays and weekends it is 1650 yen for adults (15 bucks), 1000 yen for elementary students (9 bucks) and 500 yen for younger kids (around 4.50).   A family of four set me back 4,800 yen.  I'm sure the prices are cheaper on weekdays.

Not sure why they needed to call it Holiday Buffet.  There's really nothing more special about the buffet .
  We expected cardboardy pizza so it didn't bother us.  However if you are looking for Lou Malnati's or Giordano's, this place really isn't for you.  There is a great varieties of pizzas here though.

Creamy Mayonnaise, Leafy Greens, Tuscany Potato, Shrimp Primavera and Cheddar Bacon 

Pepperoni and Green Peppers, Seafood Basil and Cheesy Ham  
In addition, they had a variety of average tasting pasta, curry rice and fried foods.
Fried chicken and grilled potatoes

Nacho chips and chili con carne
Meat sauce spaghetti
Curry rice
They also had a decent salad and fruit bar too.

Typical greens
Pineapples and oranges

And what would a meal be without dessert?

Dessert pizza!!!
Homemade sundae
As you can tell, there was a decent selection of food.  The price is not bad for Japan.  One thing nice is we automatically had 90 minutes to eat.  For buffets in Japan, you are generally limited to 60 minutes of table time starting from when the server seats you.  Extra time can be bought for more money.

For the selection and extra time, I give Shakey's three slices of pizza out of five slices of pizza.  The food is passable and the price is O.K.  So if your stomach is growling for thin, greasy pizza, this is a good place for you.  Have a good rest of the weekend!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Dowhats!?; "Goodbye" by Who is Fancy?; Tokyo

Chocolate... Dowhat!!!
Hey y'all.  The only follow up to the Wonut is naturally the Dowhat.  The Dowhat is from the same baker of the Wonut, Yamazaki bread.  We found the Dowhat at Don Quixote for around 200 yen (2 bucks).   We got two flavors, chocolate (above) and caramel macchiato (below).  What exactly is a Dowhat?  Well, they seem to be square donuts.  The marketing boys at Yamazaki obviously had the same sentiment with the exclamation mark and question mark following the Dowhat on the packaging.
Caramel machiato. Nice. Let's skip vanilla and strawberry and go for a really complicated falor.
We didn't expect too much since the Dowhats were merely prepackaged pastries.  They were pretty sweet, glazed in sugar sweet that is.  Even the girls thought so.  At least they weren't dry.  
Two Dowhats and sausage. A nice sweet and savory combo.
Nothing else much to report other than this cool song I found.  It's called "Goodbye" by Who is Fancy.  The tune is really catchy, perfect for when you decide to leave somebody.  The line
"I know that I can find somebody, you won't ever find nobody else like me" is classic.

My favorite thing about the song is the three videos shot for the song.  They are as follows.

Here is the first video. Justin Bieber anyone?
Here is the second video.  Had a hard time explaining to the girls why the guy is dressed like he is in the beginning of the video.
Here is the third video.   This was the girls' least favorite version of the video.
Here is a cool side by side comparison of all three videos.

Music videos are great, three-five minute movies.  A good video can really enhance a song.  What do you guys think of "Goodbye"?

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Opening a Coconut; Disney Tsum Tsum; Aeon, Disney Store Japan

Got a bit busy last week. Finally time to blog and then... the kids had their own production of that 1987 animated Chipmunk Adventure flick.  If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend that you do so.  I know letting 6 animal children pilot hot air balloons on a race around the world is a little farfetched, but the music is classic.  Their show was 58 minutes.  I think the actual movie is only 1 hour and a half or so.  Very entertaining.

Here were there Easter gifts as promised last post.

Mostly stuff familiar to Americans.  Jelly beans, birdie cookies and chocolate eggs generic.  Some uniquely Japanese stuff though.  There's a make-your-own takoyaki set in there (grilled balls of dough with bits of octopus).  Think the takoyaki set is just candy takoyaki though.  The girls also got some Disney Tsum Tsums.  Tsum Tsums is a mad crazy game on Line.  Everyone in Japan plays it it seems.  I even think the Disney Store in the U.S. is selling Tsum Tsums too.
 Here are some Tsum Tsum above.  Daisy, Jessie, Anna, Marie, Easter Dale (from the Easter Bunny) and Olaf form a pile.  The other daughter's Tsum Tsum are probably in the bed next to her.  They are actually very much like Beanie Babies as they are filled with beans and are near the 5.99 beanie baby price (600 yen).  The girls love them.  I think there will be Big Hero Six Tsum Tsum out soon, along with the DVD/Blu Ray release here.

Other than that, we opened a coconut.  The local Aeon supermarket had them.  There must be a Southeast Asian fest or something as coconuts are not regular items to be found here.
Here it is. Young coconut for 400 yen or about 4 bucks.

They make it sound so easy... Liars!!!

You'll need these guys or a machete.
Drain it first.
Two glasses here.  Wifey and I loved the coconut water.  It was kinda meh for the kids. Fine just meant more for us.
Let me introduce you to my leetle frehend!
  I'm no powerhouse but regularly hit the gym.  Honestly, it was pretty f'ing hard cutting the coconut open.
Scoop the meat out.  If you have a spoon with serrated edges, it will be invaluable in the scooping action.
Well worth the 4 bucks and effort.
Here's to a coconut well opened!
 Thanks for the read.  Hope your weekend went well. 

Sunday, April 5, 2015

More Funny Items at the Shopping Mall; Tokyo

Happy Easter all!  The Easter Bunny visited our house and I'll post about the loot he left for the kids later.  But for now, more fun stuff you can find at stores here in Tokyo.
Who needs implants when you can get a shirt like this?
We sent my brother-in-law Joe one of these for Christmas.  It's just what everybody needs, a mini toilet filled with yummy sugary slush.  After you make the slush, you can use the toilet as a planter.
That' right. Fish heads, fish heads... Just like that early 80's song.  My sister sent me the link to that one a few weeks ago.  Here it is below if you don't know it. 
Yes, that's a young Bill Paxton in the video.
 Boxers complete with a measuring stick.  Now you never have to press that tape measure into your lower gut as forcefully as possible.
They're already getting ready for the onslaught of  Star Wars goods this December.  Super-deformed Stormtrooper, Yoda and Darth Vader.
1% alcoholic beverage.  No, it's not for me. 
Just what everybody needs.  Sushi socks.
When ordinary Q-tips don't suffice...
Sonic Boom!!! Guile mini-bloc set.
Can't get that unpleasant smell out of your nose?  Try these nose mints (or cleaning your upper lip).
It was only about time until Cinderella came out with her own brand of pumpkin bread.
Here's a vacuum cleaner... for your ears!!!
Video game magazine.  Don't judge a book by its cover.  This magazine is actually PG-13.
No one can tell you have cotton in your nose under your new mask!

Well, I expect traffic to be low today because everyone is with their families for the holiday.  Please have a safe one and eat plenty of lamb and peeps.