Beni ha-ha (or “Benihana’s gets the last laugh) by Matt
So…birthday night. Get a group of friends together. Go someplace fun. That at least was the idea on Saturday night as I celebrated my birthday with some friends at a hibachi restaurant near our apartment.
Now I know…I’ve been preaching the benefits of eating vegetarian/vegan, or to be more precise, that if you are going to eat meat/chicken you should eat grass-fed. But I also felt like it was my birthday and “what the hell,” I might as well just throw caution to the wind for one night and eat what I wanted.
So we went to this restaurant (which was no beni-hanas,let me tell you), and I was all excited to get my girly-drink on, only to discover that this restaurant (which only had about five people in it at 8:30pm on a Saturday night, perhaps this should have been a clue) that not only did they NOT have a drink menu, but that they only had 2 types of beer (no light) and only two types of sake (I kid you not), “hot” and “cold. ” This should have been indicative of what was to come.
It’s safe to say that when you go to a hibachi meal that a few things are given: the food will all taste the same, the grille will be smothered in butter and oil, and you will leave the restaurant smelling like your food. This restaurant did not disappoint. Unfortunately, the food did all taste the same and it was not a good thing. In fact, it was a very, very, very bad thing.
A funny thing happened during my meal: As I ate this lard-laden entree of lobster and chicken, I found that I really didn’t enjoy the buttery food. This kind of surprised me as I thought that eating this stuff would be a treat to my taste-buds. It had the opposite effect. It grossed me out. Ironically enough, all this time spent eating well has changed the way my taste buds work, and it’s almost as if my mouth is now adjusted to eating healthier foods. Truth is, my senses are slowly developing the ability to tell what food i’m eating is synthetic or loaded with preservatives and what is not. My meal at this hibachi place really just felt ‘fake’ and there’s no other way to put it. It also made me feel like crap. My stomach also didn’t appreciate it either.
Looking back, the birthday was great (many games of Rockband made up for it), even if the meal was not. And I realize (more and more every day) that eating foods that I used to enjoy…well, I don’t really enjoy them as much. The more naturally I eat and the healthier I am, the more I enjoy real food vs. things that are processed. And the more I learn about what goes into processed foods only helps to reinforce my new habits. And as I have said before, don’t misunderstand me, I still like the occasional food that isn’t good for me, but overall, I find that as time goes by, eating these types of foods just isn’t that rewarding to me. I’d rather spend my time eating things that are good for me and then focus on other things in my life.
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