Caving to the craving

Sometimes, we crave fast food. Whether it’s to cure a hangover, remedy a bad day or simply make a good day better, there’s something about greasy goodness that leads us to cave to the craving every once in a while.

Of course, most things are okay in moderation. However, in Japan, I’ve found fast food that is more acceptable to eat on a regular basis. As a result, my cravings for fries, pizzas, burgers and wings have been largely replaced by cravings for salmon, tuna, scallops and edamame

Fortunately, fast foot sushi shops abound. Rather than golden arches, the defining characteristic of these sushi shops is conveyor belts. Passing every customer, sushi and other goodness goes round and round the restaurant. Some options, such as “ebi ten,” Japanese for “fried shrimp sushi,” or “amerikan chokorēto kēki,” Japanese for “American chocolate cake” (obviously a favorite of mine) are not healthy or fresh. But, as mentioned earlier—it’s all about moderation.

If nothing tempts you, you can order from your table’s personal touch-screen menu. Soon after, your order will arrive on the conveyor belt. Upon its arrival, your screen will display a cartoon and sing a jingle—a “happy meal” of a different kind.

However, the happiest moment of the meal is paying. At sushi-go-round restaurants, most things are ¥100, about $1. Essentially, with the exception of beer, soup and a few other items, the entire store is a dollar menu. It’s fast and inexpensive—a happy meal indeed!

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