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Sunday, August 10, 2014

NFL's 49ers Selling $336 Japanese Steak


The San Francisco 49ers National Football League team is moving into a new stadium this Fall, but Levi's Stadium has been officially opened as of July 17, 2014.

The stadium costs over US$1-billion (¥102.05-billion), and looks pretty good. It also tastes pretty good, from what I hear.

Situated within the stadium is the 17,000-square-foot (1,580-m²) Bourbon Steak & Pub, a restaurant owned and operated by a famous San Fran chef named Michael Mina--a James Beard Award-winning chef with 20 restaurants.

At this restaurant, there are two menu items that caught my eye:
  • an eight-ounce Kagoshima rib cap steak - $336 ( ¥34,300);
  • a smoking double barrel wagyu beef hotdog featuring two bacon-wrapped hot dogs topped with pork chicharrones, honey mustard and coleslaw - for $18 ( ¥1,837)
Yup... a steak - a small steak, in fact, that costs $336. For that kind of money, the chef should feed me and get me laid with one of the San Francisco 69er cheerleaders. I don't think that's a typo.

Chef Michael Mina wants you to pay lots of money to eat food while watching the San Francisco 49ers. It could abe a long year. Can't I just eat the food?
For some reason, Japan produces some damn fine beef. Unfortunately, it's also a rare product, what with their being little land available for cattle production, seeing as how most of Japan has either been paved over with cement and asphalt or is home to either a rice field or a 7-11.

Just trust me on that...in my city of Ohtawara-shi, Tochigi-ken, I couldn't go anywhere without riding my bicycle into a ricefield (never bicycle drunk) or getting my fill on pre-made 7-11 triangles of rice balls filled with something delicious.

Anyhow... I never actually ate a beef steak while in Japan... not like what I could get here in Canada anytime I want or can afford it. I'm not that rich anymore, except in the things that count - and I'm pretty pissed off about that.

Steak in Japan was just too expensive.

And so... Japan has exported its expensive steak to the rest of the world, such as San Francisco, where you can pay insane amounts of money for a taste sensation that I can only imagine is out of this world... well, out of this country, to say the least.

But perhaps to prove a point that Chef Mina is a world-class chef, few menu items at the new stadium restaurant are inexpensive.

You can get a:
  • 25-ounce Deus Belgian Strong Ale beer for a mere $75 ( ¥7,600);
  • Mickey's Brown Bag Special featuring 40-ounces of malt liquor - $12 (¥1,225) - good price!;
  • Falafel burger with minted Greek yogurt, tahini and tomato jam - $16 (¥1,633) - where's the beef?;
  • half-rack of ribs with liquid gold BBQ sauce - $18 (¥1,837) - this is a good price.
Chef Mina must be expecting a heavy load of customers, because the Bourbon Steak & Pub can hold 900 people, featuring a dining area with mirrors that turn into TVs during the football games; a pub; and a private tailgate area for games and other events featuring communal-style foods featuring foods cooked by other celebrity chefs from the opposing team's city.

The restaurant will have the capability to roast a 1,200-pound (544.31-kilograms) ox; has a few (three) 500-pound (226.8-kg) pots for cooking hundreds of lobsters at a time; and even a two-story rotisserie that looks like a Ferris wheel to cooks ducks and chickens.

If I lived in San Francisco and was hungry, I might try the wagyu beef hot dogs for $18 each... except that I can eat more than three or four when hungry.

Hmmm.... maybe I'll have to load up on hotdogs at the street vendors for $3 (¥306) a shot outside first. Hey... it's not like I'm such a gourmand who can taste the finer delicacies of Kagoshima or wagyu beef and say I know it's any tastier than the steak I purchased at the local grocery store.

If anyone has visited the restaurant and tried either of the two Japanese-beef concoctions, let me know if it was worth it and if you had to sell your soul to afford it.

Bon appétit,
Andrew Joseph

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