Posts Tagged ‘food’

The 2011 Farmer’s Market

The Newark, Ohio Farmer’s Market is on Fridays 3-6  in the downtown off of 3rd street, just south of the square, next to McDonald’s. 

Newark, Ohio Farmer's Market

Newark, Ohio Farmer's Market. Fridays 3pm - 6pm.

 

Newark, Ohio Downtown Restaurants. Are They Safe?

I recently noticed a post on the local Newark Advocate website that simply listed the downtown restaurants with some descriptions. Immediately afterwards, the blog trolls there started making comments about how dirty and unsafe the Newark downtown restaurants are. I was surprised as I’ve been to many and I never seen anything alarming.

I’ve worked in a bakery and a pizza restaurant before and I’ve been through a few inspections from the Health Department. I wouldn’t fully trust their inspections, but for the most part, they keep us safe enough. My problem with them is that they nitpick things that do not matter, but pass over some big problems. The main problem that they pass over is the trash.

How a restaurant disposes of trash is the most tell-tale sign of how clean the restaurant is kept. No employee likes to take care of trash, massive amounts of it are created in food the food prep process, and the problem can be hidden out back. If they choose the least expensive trash service, missed pickups are frequent and create a health hazard. Trash problems do not expose everything, but I won’t visit a restaurant with nasty trash area.

I was pleasantly surprised when I went to check on the the trash areas of the downtown restaurants. They were all much cleaner than I expected. Even the grease barrels, the nastiest part of any restaurant trash, were sealed and not bad enough to warrant alarm. I’m not posting all of the photos because just a few give look like every place I visited. I urge you to visit yourself if you disagree.

The Internet is the worst venue to discuss the restaurant business. All that the competition needs to do is post that their competitor has an unclean restaurant. The Newark Advocate’s health inspection database sends of false alarms too. They post every detail of the inspections and so minor, they’re not worth mentioning. The Licking County Health Department gives these minor violations to follow the law and keep the restaurant on their toes for overall big problems. When put into the perspective of “news”, it’s tough to sort through what is truly a hazard and what is not. To make matters worse, The Advocate’s “database” is created by hand input from reports that the Health Department sends them. There is room for error.

If you think that a restaurant has a health hazard, ask the management about it. Any good restaurant is going to thank you as a violation is a serious matter for them. A bad restaurant cannot stay in business long with reported violations either. Making baseless and unproven comments on the Internet doesn’t do a thing for the exception of harming the reputation of a business working hard in a very competitive climate.

As for me, I would eat in almost any of Newark’s restaurants. I’m not going to bash some of the ones that I wouldn’t eat at. For all I know, they’ve cleaned up their act and a revisit may change my mind anyhow.

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Kanji Japanese Steakhouse

I’m not a “foodie” or a restaurant aficionado, so you can take this into account with anything that I have to say about the Kanji Japanese Steakhouse. It was different and I could only see going back there for someone that really enjoys it that wants my company or if someone who’s really curious wants to go.

I did not dislike the Kanji Japanese Steakhouse, I just don’t want to go back. The food was good, but way overpriced. It had nothing to do with culture. If you think this is culture, you’d do yourself a favor to just watch Shogun or buy a Toyota. It’s going to have the same “culture” effect. The thing is that this is a show. There’s some skill involved, but overall, it’s not a great show. Here’s how the experience went for me, please excuse the cell phone pics.

You start with a clean grill and alcohol. You’re going to need the alcohol. The grill is the centerpiece of the entire event. You order from a list of appetizers that you don’t have a clue what they are. The waitress starts to explain, but after about the 5th explanation, you get the sense that you should just pick something and go with it. If you have a “foodie” in the group this is where they’ll get a chance to shine and talk like their studies have finally paid off. Thankfully, no experts or the alcohol would have been a bad idea. I was just wishing for the option of a hamburger at this point.

The Japanese Steak Chef then starts throwing food into the air and people try to catch it with their mouth. I told you that you would need alcohol. Sadly, I didn’t have enough and just couldn’t bring myself to get into this.

The chef then does an impressive array of fast moves with his utensils and food. This would require serious skill and it was an impressive part of the show.

Flames are a big part of the show. The chef seemed to control them well, but I see this as an accident just waiting to happen. I don’t have the luck of a person that enjoys sitting next to a giant uncontrolled flame.

After the flame show, he took a pile of smoking onions and made choo-choo sounds like it was a train. My fears were confirmed that this guy shouldn’t be trusted with fire. If kids were there, I’d understand the choo-choo thing, but they weren’t. He said and did a lot of things that were just plain odd. I couldn’t understand what he was saying well enough to quote it all back.

If all of this sounds like fun, and I can understand how many would see it that way, go for it. It’s worth the price if you want the show. The food was very good, no complaints. As for me, I’d rather eat food that I understand what it is made from with the normal waitress/customer service that I’m accustomed to.