January somehow both flew by and took forever to finally pass, thanks to some really weird weather and my own fractured brain, which seems to be no longer capable of understanding the passage of time. But it is gone, dead, buried, and we are reborn, Phoenix-like, in February--a month that is both deeply important and so short that people in comas are statistically unlikely to wake up in it.
More to the point, it is a month in which there are specials to be had at some of your favorite local restaurants by one of your favorite local fat guys. And since February is so short, let’s stop wasting time and get to this month’s Monthly Features feature.
(If you know of a restaurant with great monthly features, let me know about it on social media or email me at email@example.com.)
True fact: Every Thin Mint Pie from Pie Junkie contains an entire box of Girl Scout Thin Mints cookies. Maybe that doesn’t matter to you. Maybe you’re too cool to even react to how delicious Pie Junkie’s monthly features are. Maybe you’re a brave warrior who accidentally caught sight of Medusa and was turned to stone, forever trapped on an island where your glory became your grave, a warning to the heedless others who are fated to be statues until the end of time.
If that’s the case, well, I’m just impressed you’re on the Internet, bud. Way to go.
For the rest of us, this chocolate-and-mint masterpiece is a textural wonderland with a hearty crust of crushed cookies, rich chocolate ganache, mint-infused whipped cream and another dusting of cookies on top.
One thing I really respect about Tokyo’s monthly specials is a focus on the fish. February’s feature is no exception, putting forward big, beautiful pieces of fatty tuna, salmon, shrimp and crabstick alongside creamy avocado, crunchy cucumber, smelt roe and sesame seeds. The best way to describe this roll is “meaty.” The fatty tuna gives the overall roll a lovely richness that makes you feel full. At $17, it’s not the cheapest roll on the menu, but it might be one of the most satisfying. (And if you need a little extra, check out the daily fish menu on the wall for some great nigiri options.)
On the heels of their January special, which revived the Chili-Lime Burger for a month, S&B’s has brought another much-loved burger out of their vault: Hot Lips. This half-pound burger is grilled in sweet and savory Korean BBQ sauce and topped with lettuce, grilled onions and their own house-made kimchi. It’s a messy burger, but well worth using a few napkins to eat. I loved the blend of textures--the crunch of the cold kimchi against the hot, juicy burger was a delight. I also really loved how well they nailed the burger at medium. All around an excellent burger and one I wish would stick around beyond February.
For the second month, S&B’s chose “monthly fries” that are not, in fact, fries. Going hand-in-hand with the Hot Lips burger are a trio of steamed buns stuffed with kimchi and bulgogi beef. I’m not going to say these are the same as buns at Ur/Bun or Goro Ramen, but I still dug them. The chewy, stretchy steamed buns had a nice pull and held firm the firm and flavorful meat. If I have any issue at all, it’s that three is a weird number. Two couples would have to either split a bun or one person go without. Luckily for me, I’m not great at sharing to begin with.