Having subsisted on nothing but fat, sugar, and alcohol for the past twenty-four hours, I was feeling a little light-headed as dinner time rolled in last night.  Under normal circumstances, I might have called it an early night but, of course, these were not normal circumstances.  I was in Tokyo and headed to Pachon, a restaurant recommended to me by the king of French dining (and portable salt pouch) himself, Stefan. 

As always, we had excellent directions to where we were headed along with an accompanying map.  And, as always, we got lost.  Fortunately, we made it in time for our reservation.  Our dining companion, Sachi, was already there.

Our table was located not far from the fireplace that, besides warming the room, was used to roast everything from beef to duck that night.
We started with the amuse-bouche, a little something from the chef ("And I didn't get him anything!"to quote Peter DeLuise).
All three of us opted for the five course Gourmand menu. To star, I went with the duck foie gras with figs, muscal gelee, and honey-roasted spice bread. Terrific.
Next up was the soup course: soupe de truffe en croute.
The pastry shell was almost ethereal, breaking down easily and offering a nice textural addition to the flavorful truffle broth.
The fish of the day was a nicely cooked sea bass served in a saffron broth.
Le cassoulet Die de La Cuisine Occitane: duck confit, sausage, and white beans slow-roasted for hours.   The best I’ve ever had.

Throughout the evening, the chef would come out of the kitchen to survey the dining room and make sure all the diners were happily enjoying their meals.  I thought that a very nice touch.

Alas, I thought we'd get a choice of desserts as I was eyeing the souffle. Instead, I was served this gorgeous fruit-based dessert I didn't touch.

 I did, instead, avail myself of the dessert cart.  Mini macarons, chocolate biscuits, and pistache de provences.

After the excellent meal, we wandered back to the subway and passed this curious vehicle: 

I may not be fluent in French, but I understand to know this doesn't make sense. I mean, they're French words but they seem to have been assembled at random.

We caught the subway back, got off on the wrong stop, then Ivon got fed up and we caught a cab back to the hotel.  There, I documented some of my recent toy store haul…

Three types of Kit Kats: wasabi, sweet potato, and soy. Can't wait to sample.
Monster Hunter t-shirt. Not familiar with the show but thought what the hell.
Vash the Stampede. Awesome!
I was looking all over for one of these: Black Lagoon t-shirt featuring Revy.

I slept fitfully last night – which is about par for the course so far.  If it aint the alcohol or the rich food, it’s the dry air and weird in-room temperatures that varied wildly between freezing cold and blistering hot those first few days until I discovered how to turn off the air-conditioner (which happened to be running along with the heat). 

Today, we met up with my friend Keiko who brought us to Great Burger for some pretty good burgers (the burgers are Alright Burgers were just so-so).  Following a ten minute wait (apparently anywhere worth eating/shopping/drinking in Tokyo requires a wait) we were eventually seated and served.

These particular burgers have clearly seen better days.
Casual eats at Great Burger
Chocolate-Maple thick shake = Greatest milkshake ever! I could've just had three of these.
I had the jalapeno cheeseburger with bacon, avocado, and barbecue sauce. Things got real messy, real fast. Ivon was mortified.
Interesting hat fashion. This is Harajuku after all.

After lunch, we walked the backstreets of Omotesando and, eventually, Harajuku…

We ran into this adorable fellow. I, of course, had to stop to say hi.
Ivon in Omotesando
Even though we'd just had lunch, I couldn't deny Ivon his first takoyaki experience.
Tasty octopus bits and cabbage in partially-cooked batter. Yum!
Ivon in happier times (aka before he popped the molten hot octopus ball in his mouth).
Awesome name for a cafe. You can buy one cup of coffee and then just hang around forever.
E.T., phone hospital.
Ivon: "Whether it's a hair salon or a restaurant, I aint going."
People lining up to eat pancakes.
Them's some big-ass earmuffs.
Meiji Jingu Mae - konde imasu!
I believe these next few pictures speak for themselves...

We visit Meiji Shrine
Take a gelato break (pistachio and salted caramel for me).

And Ivon bought a new pair of glasses –


36 thoughts on “December 13, 2010: Tokyo Travel Day #7! Pachon! Great Burger! Harajuku!

  1. Always glad to read of your journey. Glad that Jelly is doing so well!!! While I don’t eat seafood at all, you do make it sound enjoyable along with the pix. But, that’s about as far as I’d get to eating it.lol
    Have a great time

    oh, if you were to pick up an extra large black tshirt, I’d gladly pay you for it.

  2. Hello Joe.

    Looks like Lulu paid you a visit to give you a Jelly update. 😉

    Speaking of Jelly, how is her recovery going?

    Enjoy the rest of your vacation. Best Wishes,


  3. Joe, I can’t seem to recall you mentioning trying any natto (fermented soybeans) in any of your previous Japan trip posts. It’s pretty much the most awful thing I’ve ever tasted, so I’m very curious to hear your take!

  4. I wander off for a day and miss three blogs? Yikes. I did get to an engagement party and drank enough Moet to have a blissfully bad hangover day. Yay.

    Everything looks yummy, even the Alright Burgers and the blackout donuts. The shrimp are so pretty.

    Isn’t Akihabara … um. Unique? See any pink vacuum cleaners?

    Absinthe? An acquired taste, some are easier to enjoy than others. I prefer Le Torment Verte, which is more like a sweet absinthe liqueur than a full, true absinthe.

    Good to hear Jelly-chan is headed home. Excellent.

  5. Ah, so there’s a limit to your gall bladder superpowers. You sleep poorly when you eat too much fat just like a regular Joe.

  6. Three types of Kit Kats: wasabi, sweet potato, and soy. Can’t wait to sample. That is just WRONG!

    Keep having fun!

  7. I didnt know octopus’ had balls, kind of gross if you ask me. I joke of course, definetly different eating over there though. How well does your stomach adapt? Or is sitting in the washroom when you find the time to write the blog?

  8. Out of all that, I’m most amused at Ivon’s new glasses. I recently lost my glasses on an LA-Chicago trip, and when I was in Tokyo before Thanksgiving I decided to check out an eyeglass store in Shibuya that was having a sale. Bought a pair, and am still surprised at myself for that impulse. Tell Ivon I really like his choice! Mine are also classic nerd style.

  9. Tu as raison, le Àllo Cafè et le crepe, ça veut rien dire et c’est mal orthographié. (allo/allô, café,crêpe)

    “Le càfe et le crepe qui nest pas avec quelque chose et sentiment heureux devenu.”

    Let’s see… the coffee and the crepe that is not with something and feeling good became.


  10. So many pictures, so little time, thanks for sharing..
    The guy in the eating pancakes one, with the white glasses on his head, looks like he has a baseball bat in his hand, dangerous crowds?? for pancakes..
    Uh, I vote no on the glasses for Ivon, although he is cute in whatever.
    Love the milkshake, now I want one, thanks.

  11. Is Monster Hunter a show? I know it’s a game, because my son has it.

    Glad to hear Jelly’s made it through surgery and went home. I hope she continues to do well!

  12. Hi Joe, and please tell Ivon ‘hi’ too.

    Sounds like your trip is a real blast. Are you figuring out Japanese culture yet? The more I read your blogs about your trips, the more I’m convinced that Japan was dropped onto the Earth by a bunch of aliens with a sense of humor.

    You had mentioned a while ago that you were taking Japanese language lessons. Are you able to converse in Japanese yet?

    Hoping Jelly is feeling better.


  13. THAT meal looks delicious!! Stefan knows his stuff. 🙂

    You had me loling a few times, but that Nerd!!! picture just did me in! 😆 Also, that Vash the Stampede shirt is totally awesome!


  14. Hey Joe,

    I ☆ஜ♥Love♥ஜ☆ your view of the world. It is as unique and fun as you. I feel like I am seeing Japan…only through your eyes. Makes me smile…

    The pictures were fabulous as always. The food..unbelievable…as in “I can’t believe you ate the whole thing!” hehehe

    Happy further travels to you and Ivon. “The FURTHER Adventures of Joey and Ivon”…so loving this. You two are GREAT.

    Best to you Joe,
    Cheryl 🙂

  15. The word “maple” makes me want to vomit. I want to know how you can possibly eat all this stuff and stay so fit (both of you).

  16. So glad to hear that Jelly is home! She’s a little heart tugger. Bet you can’t wait to give her a smooch when you get back.

    Sounds like you’re wearing out poor Ivon. It’s great to see you both having such a wonderful time.

    And it looks like Tokyo can rival LA when it comes to whacky looking people.

  17. Haha, take a look at the “Casual eats at Great Burger” photo.

    #1 the staff member to the left in the back has a huge afro.

    #2 The WANTED is a real classic and it’s nice to see it seems correctly written. (I can’t recall when I first saw it, it’s an older “joke” sign/ad.)

    And this applies to all the images, Japanese women are hot, obviously.

  18. Again it’s always a real pleasure to read your periple in Japan and thank you for the pictures.

    By the way, the french van, you’re right it’s no sense lol.
    Japan people like write in french (don’t know why?).
    You need to take more pictures of you in Japan.

  19. Meiji temple? How did you manage to interupt your vacation with a visit to an actual touris site?(not including the Ginza, which at least offers you eating opportunities). Glad you folks are having fun. Looking forward to the next posting. But you may want to pick up some more kit kats. It seems only fair you share some with your co-workers when you get back, and let us view the results.

  20. Coucou!!

    ça va ??

    Ahhhh c’est photos me remplisse de bonheurs, elles me rappelle ma région =P ….hummm un bon cassoulet maison..ça me manque trop!!!!!

    Lol…euh pour vous répondre, ce qui est écrit sur la camionette n’a pas de sens…surement un coup marketing..la frenchi attitude ça fait vendre ;)!

    Ils ont des drôles de look au Japon lol, ça fait toujours de bonnes photos souvenirs^^!

    aller gros bisou,
    Je vous adore!

  21. To enlight you, my shakespearian friends, Lekabelle should rather have said, in Japanese:

    “you have reason, le allo cafè et le crepe, doesn’t want to say anything and is bad orthographed”

    You get the idea? It probably means something once every words are turned back into Japanese (Joe?), but that sounds pretty much like the classical “Made in Turkey/Fait en Dinde” we still read once in a while here in Quebec, even though they ought to have heard us laughing loudly as far as Istambul for at least 30 years.

    (again, the joke here lies in “made in Turkey/made of turkey”, if you’re clueless in Molière’s ways!)

    And Joe, though you may commit several errors with your French (mostly with our silly and complicated verb tenses and our habit of giving genders to things, and then, sometimes having to match those verb tenses and genders together, and then, sometimes not; as illustrated by the infamous “have” auxiliary!!!) yet we, “Kermitians”, still can dig everything you mean and appreciate the effort.

    Ok, that’s enough for now. Me go become happy by drinking the coffee that goes in milk and is translated with Italian by a Cappuccino!!! 😀

  22. Love the pics; ah, Tokyo! Something tells me those hugs weren’t free; they look friendly enough, especially Santa. Not at all like expert pickpockets ready to snatch your wallet during a supposed “hug.”

    Lulu’s doppleganger is very cute and so tuff looking, he’d be so cute with Lulu.

    The cassoulet made me weep, it is so tasty looking, but then the delcious burger made me weep even harder. That bacon looks beyond delicious.

  23. I showed the french to my hubby (he speaks a little). He got a big kick out of it.

    Any Jelly news?

  24. BONE-headed deed of the day…

    I was making my coffee…daydreaming (as I often do when I’m obsessing about… ya know… something 😳 )…and I reach in the fridge, pull out the orange juice, and pour it RIGHT into my coffee. Lemme tell ya, THAT is a combo that just doesn’t mix! 😛


  25. Holy crap! That is one big ass burger! Looks mighty yummy! 😀 I would hafta use a a knife and fork to eat that sucka. Oh…and those fries looks scrumptious too. 😀 Got me droolin’ again. 😉

    That cute black doggie looks like Lulu. Awwww! 🙂

    LOL! Love Ivon in the nerdy glasses! 😀 Such a cutie! 😉

  26. Is it just me or does Ivon look 10% smarter in those glasses?

    I like the Vash the Stampede t-shirt best

    Octopus balls? Where’s the video for that….oh and I hope there’s one for the Cod Sperm….you are particularly evil Joe…I love it!!

    I love y;all getting lost all the time…its like an episode of America’s Next Top Model when they go on go-sees.

    Cheers, Chev

  27. Okay, Mr. M., I did some research, and Monster Hunter started out as a video game for Playstation and Wii. It does have a spin-off anime, but that’s based on a sequel game Monster Hunter Diary. So since your shirt just says Monster Hunter, I’d say it’s related more to the game than to the anime. 🙂

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