Sunday, June 1, 2008

Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?

Spongebob Squarepants! And if he ever needs a new house, I know where he should go. More on that in a minute; for now, how about pictures from the restaurant where we ate lunch on Saturday, Yanbaru Tropical Garden. This was a Yakiniku place, which is apparently Japanese for "Cook it yourself, dude!" The restaurant is set up with big long tables that have cooking surfaces in the middle, and they were all set up with the ingredients:

The big platter covered with plastic wrap was the meat (beef) and vegetables (cabbage?, onions, and that long skinny stringy lookin' thing my parents used to eat when I was little but Adam and I wouldn't touch it). You've got a bowl of noodle soup--our tour guide reminded us that it is perfectly acceptable in Japan to pick up the bowl and slurp the noodles :) plus the obligatory sticky white rice, some dipping sauce, a small cup for water, and then some little slices of pineapple. You sit down, grab your bib (no really, they had the type of napkins that you're supposed to tie around your neck but I wouldn't wear it) and get to cooking!

Lee just dumped all the beef and veggies on the cooking surface at one time, maybe we should have done this gradually but oh well! It was really good, especially with the dipping sauce. We just let it cook and then grabbed out bits with our chopsticks. The tour guide said that they have bigger (and presumably better) Yakiniku restaurants in Naha, where you go through a buffet line and they have a large selection of meats and veggies, then you take it back to the table and cook it. You know, Mongolian barbecue works the same way but THEY cook it for you!

Anyway, after lunch we headed out to the Nago Pineapple Winery. You don't have to guess what they have here given what's standing out in front of the building:

Ok, so usually *I* am not standing out in front of the building, but the pineapple is! (Liz, I got in the picture just for you so that I could prove I was there...and now that I look at it I'm all tiny in the picture so it could be Lee in my clothes and you'd never know. But it isn't, it's me. More pics of me when we get the the glass factory stuff.) It was still kind of drizzly when we got here, so we opted not to walk through the pineapple fields. Maybe we'll go back sometime and do that. Anyway, you can go into the winery itself which is basically a big shop that winds around the building, and they encourage you to taste just about everything. You start off tasting the pineapple wine...

Lee liked it better than I did, I apparently just don't like alcohol. They had sweet wine, dry wine, and "Kiss" wine! I just thought the name was funny, and when we walked around the corner and saw this rack of Kiss wine bottles, I had to take a picture of them. Really, I had to take six before I got the shot that I wanted, so here's another one of my attempts to be an artsy photographer:

Not too terrible, huh? In addition to the wine, they sell pineapple cakes of several varieties (including, of course, a pineapple wine cake), several varieties of pineapple cookies, pineapple chocolate--which is, I'm guessing, white chocolate with pineapple flavoring added to it--just about anything you can imagine. And check out the pineapple chocolate fountain!

Yeah, that picture is definitely not the best since I forgot to compensate for the fluorescent lights and I didn't want the lady to think I was insane by taking a zillion pictures of her. She had a plate full of cookie bits that you could dip in the pineapple chocolate. I kind of wished I hadn't eaten so much at lunch with all this pineappley goodness available! :) Actually I'm not one much for fresh pineapple, but I love it dried or else cooked in with my Mongolian barbecue. Grilled pineapple, mmmm!

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention--the pineapple winery is FREE to get in, so I may haul Lee back there again to try to take some better pictures. Plus I might want to buy some pineapple cake to go with the cookies and chocolate I already bought :) Tomorrow it's pictures of the glass factory, I promise that those are really cool!


Amber said...

How fun! Billy and i tried to go there last weekend but got lost, whoops! I gotta get me some of that Pineapple Wine, I've got NO beef with alcohol;) I want to try that restaraunt too, looks yummy!

CCsMom said...

BEAN SPROUTS -- those long, skinny, stringy things are BEAN SPROUTS -- and you don't know what you're missin'! Hee hee! Looks good, though. Yum! I guess you needed to take notes when you are at the hibachi places so you can do it on your own in restaurants like these. But yes, you are getting some good cooking! -- Mom

lizguidry said...

Bobby would love to try that Pineapple wine - he LOVES pineapple.

I see you are toying with me in the picture... tsk, tsk, Christy!

Hope to SEE you soon ;)

CCsMom said...

I forgot to say that Lee looks like a natural with those chopsticks!!! Now he won't let you post any more pictures of him because I said something about it . . . tell Lee NOT to be so self conscious!!! You'd think living with Larry all those years, he would be able to endure a little teasing from his mom-in-law!!! -- Mom