Monday, January 23, 2012

Birthday recap Part 2

We left the Galleria and JenJ and I were alllll happy!

I got Godiva for my Birthday, and JenJ got all the things she set out to get, plus a new tea pot! Score!
As I drove, JenJ navigated.

She had a plan for lunch. With her trusty phone in hand we made minimal turns and ran into less traffic than we thought we would. It was Houston after all!
We ended up at Benihana.
JenJ had told me about this place that she went with her boyfriend a few weeks back when they were in Houston for work. She said they put on a show while cooking your meal. She was very excited about taking me there, and I was equally as excited to go!

We walked in, and after a few moments we were seated at a rectangular table, with a grill in the middle. There was seating on 3 sides, and a space in the back of the table for our chef to stand and cook for us. Our drink orders were taken, and JenJ ordere an appetizer.

The decor was not what I expected. I expected authentic Japanese decor. What I found was a bright, bold more urban design style. The walls we painted in Blues, reds, greens, and orange. each wall a different color, and different design. The lighting was minimal, offering each table a slightly secluded feel. It did not feel like we were in a huge restaurant with other people around. It felt as though were we almost sectioned off from the other tables by walls of glass, allowing us to see the others enjoying their meal and it's preparation as well. It is a unique dining experience, that is for sure.
We munched on our appetizer, and waited for the show to begin. I thought JenJ had ordered peas in the pod. They were yummy! But, what I was really eating was an authentic Japanese dish called Edamame. Edamame is a preparation of immature soybeans in the pod. The pods are boiled in water together with condiments such as salt, and served whole. I've never eaten soybeans prepared in the fashion before, but they were very good!

We ordered, and while we were waiting for our chef to arrive we were served out salad. JenJ went right for her chopsticks while I grabbed my fork!
"Hummmm," I thought......wonder if I can figure out how to use those things?
Why not? It's my Birthday lunch, after all!!

I opened my package of chopsticks, and with some trouble, broke them apart. I was afraid to pull too hard for fear I'd break them. JenJ urged me to keep pulling, and pull harder! Finally the chopsticks gave up, and I glanced at JenJ for further instruction.
I watched her use them. I tried to position my fingers like she had hers. I put them in my bowl and grabbed some lettuce with ginger dressing.

FAIL! I came back up with nada! It was like the claw game most department stores have in the foyer. You know the one I'm talking about. You out your quarters in the try to grab a stuffed toy that has been strategically stuffed between other toys to minimize your chances of being able to pluck one from it's spot.

Our chef came out, and introduced himself as Henry. Henry ended up being a very neat character! Henry started off our meal by making fried rice. It was so neat to watch him prepare our food right in front of us!
He started by making fried rice. He flipped and flopped his spatula around and around, working his majic! He tossed the rice into bowls, flipped mine over and slid it onto my plate without spilling one grain of rice. WOW! Henry is talented now!
Then he whipped up some mixed veggies and shrimp. He cut the tails off the shrimp and flipped them up into the air, catching them in his hat! Next, he made a choo-choo train our of sliced onion. Good show Henry, good show!
JenJ must have told the host that it was my Birthday, because after we were done stuffing ourselves on yummy Japanese cuisine three waitresses came over with a Birthday treat! They made me put on a silly bright red hat before singing "Happy Birthday" in English and Japanese. I just knew my face was as red as the hat. The photo they gave me about 5 minutes after the Birthday song confirmed this.
I must say that the ice cream was over the top delicious! It had a cinnamon flavor, and was topped with whipped cream, a cookie stick covered in chocolate, and a cherry. JenJ and I devoured it in a hurry!
We joked, enjoyed wonderful food, and laughed till we almost cried! We left with our bellies full and our spirits high.

Next stop, tack shop! Most girls like shopping in malls for clothes, shoes, make-up and purses. JenJ and I love tack shops like a fat kid likes cake!
As we opened the door we were smacked in the face by the smell of leather. It is an unmistakable aroma that makes my heart and my nose happy. We shopped for about an hour and a half. JenJ had me pick out my own Birthday gifts. So, I can now cross girth and headstall of my list of necessities for Casper, yes!!

Upon leaving the tack store we realized we had about an hour before we had to head home so I could help with the catering job. JenJ called her boyfriend and rattled his brain for ideas. He reminded her about a book she was looking for, and off we went to the Piano Store. Or so we thought!
Our piano store trip was cut short by my dear husband. We had to scour the area and try to find a bank so that I could fix an error in judgement he had made. BOYS!

Upset and put out we headed back to Edna. I felt bad that JenJ didn't get her piano book. We arrived at The Diner and much to my surprise I didn't have to help cook. It was a fib to get me back to town for a surprise Birthday Party.
The Diner was decorated with Birthday signs and brightly colored balloons. My husband had gathered a few of our closest friends to help in the celebration. We "partied" fairly late, enjoying some snacks and an amazing homemade Tiramisu that was to die for!

What a day!

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