Notes from Canada – Tuesday Evening
No update last night for the simple reason that I was fried eight ways from yesterday, and not much happened to report. The training is great when I’m actually up and presenting, but sitting in the back and just hopping up to answer questions tires me out.
Of course, when I say “not much to report,” I don’t mean not anything …
The consultants wanted to get back to the hotel more quickly than usual to address a few issues that had come up during the sessions, so we agreed to find a place to eat more local to the hotel than the night before. A bit of sleuthing resulted in Amanda suggesting Zen Sushi in Scarborough, and with the Garmin reactivated we set off on our way.
I pulled into the wrong parking lot at first, undershooting by about ten feet, and wound up staring at a combination bowling alley / strip club awash in garish neon and the swaddling darkness of illicit entertainment. The actual parking lot had the restaurant wedged in between a Pakistani video rental storefront and a “spa” which may or may not have offered showers.
I’ll be honest. I was leery.
I shouldn’t have been.
Inside, Zen was a tiny treasure amidst the waste. There were no tables for seven, but we split off into two groups. We were instructed by a grandmotherly woman to remove our shoes before climbing into the booths, something I haven’t done since I was a wee lad at the International House of Pancakes! Jennifer, Amanda and I decided on Sapporo and sake before ordering.
It was some of the best Japanese food I’ve ever had. Wanting to try something new, I decided against the usual nigiri and ordered a combination mountain potato / goma-ae appetizer with a stockpot of sakitori for the main course. I can’t accurately describe the sweetness of the sauce on my dish, other than to say that the tofu cubes with the consistency of custard soaked it up like angel food cake. Combined with slices of lightly cooked beef, firm oyster mushrooms and glass noodles as transparent as fishbowls, I was in a little world all my own – too full by the end of the meal to even consider the traditional tamago end-meal.
I ordered it anyway.
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