Iconic Foods in Kakunodate
Speaking of local cuisine at a sightseeing area, what you first imagine? It is probably a popular local restaurant with a long line, or a good cheap food currently getting popular. While walking in a sightseeing area, you see various nameboards of the restaurants which fascinate you to enter. But there are usually other delicious which are not on the sightseeing guide book. In this time, by changing a viewpoint a little, let as introduce the restaurant where the local people frequently visit to eat.
One day in summer, we went to the restaurant next to old Kakunodate general hospital, and its name is ‘‘Takahashi Shokudo.” This place is apart from the old samurai residence street a little, and it is perhaps difficult for a tourist to find the restaurant. The most popular dish is “Katsu-don, ” which is a pork cutlet wrapped with an egg on the bowl of rice. In fact many local people recommended this dish if they were asked, and it is an iconic foods in Kakunodate.
After entering the restaurant through the store curtain, there were a rhythmical sound of the kitchen knife and a spluttering sound of oil, and all the cooking sounds felt comfortable. In the restaurant, there were the table seat, the seat at the bar, and besides three Japanese style seats so that many customers could eat and enjoy the lunch.
Taking a seat at the bar, we saw Mr. and Mrs. Takahashi, who were Kazumi and Noriko respectively, cooking in the kitchen. Kazumi is the second owner and helped the restaurant yo deliver the dishes when he was a student in the elementary school. It was plausible that his cooking skill was obtained through his long career. In this restaurant, since a thick slice of pork is coated with bread crumbs after the order, it takes a little bit long time for a tourist in a hurry. But with this recipe, the cutlet gets less moist and more crispy.
Taste of Katsu-don
The Katsu-don served on the bar table looked very delicious, and at the first bite its taste was more than expected. The thick cutlet on the glossy rice was very soft so that it felt melting after the bite. Instantly at the next bite the happiness by eating removed the tiredness by walking around. The thin bread crumbs of the cutlet was soaked in the tasteful soup with a flavor of soy source. The soaked cutlet was wrapped with an egg and created good harmony to get happy. Although it was a hot day in summer, Katsu-don was eaten in a short time.
The appearance was typical Katsu-don but there was no clue to see why it tasted good very much and made us satisfied. To resolve this question, we asked Kazumi and Noriko in the kitchen and got the plausible answer.
Many ingredients used in this restaurant are locally grown as before. For example, not only the pork of Katsu-don introduced above but also shiitake in the miso soup and the noodle in the Chinese style noodle so-called ramen are locally grown or made. The main reason to use the local ingredients is to keep the taste of the previous owner and to enjoy the same taste for the regular customers. Noriko said “We are grateful for relationship and mutual corporation among the local people for a long time.” The pleasant taste was created by the heart for cherishing the history and local people.
Comfortable Restaurant like Home
“Before the restaurant is not ready for the open, some regular customers are coming in the restaurant. Since it is busy for preparation, it is not welcome but the conversation with them during the preparation make us happy,” Kazumi said with a smile. Through his talk, it seemed that there was no wall among them.
On the other hand, Noriko said “A first-time customer seldom comes to this restaurant.” Although the restaurant is located apart from the sightseeing area, it is a good time to visit. You must encounter the smile and good taste in the hearty atmosphere.
written by Sugawara, Akita University
Restaurant Name: Takahashi Shokudo
Address: 132-2 Katsuraku, Kakunodate-machi Senboku City, Akita 014-0367
Open Hours: 11:30 – 14:00
Direction: 13 minutes walking from Kakunodate station
Notes: Takahashi Shokudo is the restaurant loved by the local people for a long time, and the friendly owner creates comfortable atmosphere. Pork is deeply fried to be crispy slice by slice, and it is wrapped with an egg and put on rice. This is Katsu-don cooked by Takahashi Shokudo and many customers are addicted to it. The soup and meat juice in the bread crumbs spread in the mouth by taking a bite, and the customers cannot stop eating.