Gyu-Kaku

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There seems to be a theme going on with my friends not telling me where we’re going anymore. They pick a place and just tell me where to meet them. It’s kind of fun, but I never know what to wear or expect.  Today’s surprise trip was to Gyu-Kaku a Japanese BBQ. One of my friends made a reservation and we took a cab there. It’s not far away, my friends just get cold easily and the weather was really bitterly cold.  Gyu-Kaku is located at 210 E Ohio St which is near several bus stops and the red grand line. Gyu-Kaku has locations in other states and countries.

We went for lunch, during two of their specials. One of which was their happy hour or their ‘lunch happy hour’ which is every day from 11:30am-3pm, the other was their lunch specials. Our waiter suggested we order two meats each and one vegetable. I didn’t know what to get because my knowledge of meat cuts and which ones I like is really poor. The menu wasn’t very helpful either, because their picks were almost everything except two items on the menu in the section I was looking at. So I picked out a vegetable and had my friends decide which meat I should get. I picked out broccoli and my friends picked enoki mushrooms and japanese sweet potatoes. I’m not sure what all of the meats were we picked I know we ordered their top two best sellers: the Harami Miso Skirt Steak and Kalbi Short Rib. We also got extra Sesame oil with sea salt and bowls of rice. On the little divider at the edge of our table we noticed a bunch of signs. One with drink specials, one with warnings and cautions, and the other with a note that if you check in at the restaurant on facebook you get free edamame. One of my friends did that and we split the edamame.

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I’ve been to a couple different BBQ places, but not one where they leave me to my own devices for the majority of it. They heated up our grill and came out to brush it with oil. The meat was suppose to be about thirty seconds per side depending on how well done we wanted it and the vegetables (they are wrapped in aluminum foil) were to be set towards the sides for two minutes then flipped over. Some of the meat didn’t take long to cook, but we started with a very thick meat that took a lot longer to cook because we wanted it well done. The thinner meats cooked quicker.

The vegetables seemed to be slightly marinated. We started, like with the meat, with the more difficult ones to cook, the japanese sweet potatoes. They’re harder to cook perfectly because their thicker and it’s easy to get them hot on the outside but not on the inside. They were easy to break open with our chopsticks, but not hot on the inside, yet still wonderfully delicious. I don’t think I’d ever had japanese sweet potatoes before. The broccoli didn’t cook all the way either, but towards the bottom of the foil they were more cooked and had a chance to marinate. We had it perfected by the time we got to the mushrooms, which had cooked through because they were thinner and had marinated well.

There were also three different sauces on the side for us to try and to dip the meat in. I felt like the meat was already marinated and had enough flavor that I didn’t really need the dipping sauce, but I tried them anyway. They weren’t bad but I couldn’t really tell between the marination and the sauces.

Some of the meat was a bit fatty or chewy, but over all I enjoyed everything except for one or two pieces I got. They also serve deserts, we were too full to try any. But they have s’mores that I assume you can cook on the fire and make yourself which sounded like fun. They also have a bar upstairs that we didn’t go to. I liked the atmosphere and our waiters were nice and helpful.

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