Cruising Portside

When I announced my intention to go on my normal lunch walk today, my supervisor looked at me like I was crazy.

“In this weather?”

Granted, the snow was coming down steadily, and the temperature was hovering around 12°F. But I was going to be hardcore — exercise is probably the best way to break through my two-month weight-loss plateau, after all, and there’s no time like the present. No excuses.

Then she suggested I check out the tunnels beneath COSI, across the street. I’d only been down there once or twice, and always with other co-workers. I admitted that maybe today would be a good day to check it out on my own.

After not five minutes of walking outside, I made up my mind, and headed into the KeyBank building…

Citiwalk | iPhone

Fujiyama Restaurant, Toledo OH

Fujiyama Restaurant is about two miles from our house; even if it weren’t so conveniently located for us, though, I think we’d probably frequent this Japanese establishment more than the others in town.

Being the creatures of habit we are, Aaron and I tend to find something that works for us and stick with it. That said, although we stick with makizushi these days, we’ve tried several of the entrees at Fujiyama in the past, and haven’t been disappointed with any of them. The shrimp tempura is huge, and could easily be shared by two people. The nabeyaki udon is also very large and very delicious.

Love HotelOrdering from the sushi menu wasn’t always up our alley, either; we used to prefer to pick the pre-selected sushi dinners, so we wouldn’t have to choose from so much delicious sushi that we weren’t really familiar with. The U.S. Collection was one of my favorites (Alaskan, Boston, California, and Philadelphia Maki). The sushi entrees also come with miso soup and salad (with the standard ginger dressing), so they’re a great deal for a lot of food.

Lately, though, we order our sushi a la carte, from the sushi menu. We always start with a shiitake mushroom roll (one of the best in town) and usually a Philadelphia roll (possibly THE best in town). Beyond that, there are a wide variety of rolls to choose from, ranging from inexpensive vegetarian rolls all the way up to the Love Hotel (delicious, but expensive – see photo, left).

Most of the rolls at Fujiyama are inside-out rolls, with the rice on the outside and the veggies and protein on the inside. This leaves the outside available for the sesame seeds that we so enjoy, and that make Fujiyama’s rolls just a little different from the others. Also worth noting is the size of the less expensive rolls; they all seem fairly large, unlike some other places in town that skimp on their cheaper vegetarian rolls.

(Top to bottom: shiitake mushroom, veggie futo, and Philly rolls)

Between the two of us, we generally order five rolls — four reasonably priced and one more expensive — plus an appetizer and tea. This usually runs us around $40, which seems to be on the less expensive side of sushi in Toledo.

Fujiyama Japanese Restaurant on UrbanspoonOf the half-dozen sushi establishments we’ve visited in Toledo, Fujiyama remains our favorite. Their rolls are decently sized and reasonably priced, the presentation and plating is classy and unique, the service is always pleasant and prompt, and their location is ideal for us (and for University of Toledo students).

Fujiyama is highly recommended by Diana! If you’re ever in Toledo, and you like Japanese food, definitely give it a try.

An Open Letter to the Toledo Division of Streets, Bridges & Harbor

Dear Commissioner Welch:

I live on a residential street — on a dead-end street, in fact, in the last house on the street. Understandably, ours is not one of the first streets to be cleared of snow. In fact, the main streets are often cleared by the city days or weeks before our neighborhood streets are finally clear (generally due to a natural melt-off, rather than any city intervention). When our neighborhood does get plowed and salted, very rarely do any of the trucks clear our end of the street.

While I do understand that supplies and manpower are limited, especially in this time of economic hardship, and I also understand that Phase IV roadways have the lowest priority, I cannot help but feel slighted. After all, my husband and I do pay city taxes, just like residents of the more trafficked streets; part of the service we expect in return is that of safe access to our home.

Thanks to the ice storm we experienced approximately 36 hours ago, our neighborhood streets are several inches thick in solid ice. I will be pleasantly surprised if city trucks come through and clear our streets before Mother Nature does the job herself, as temperatures are expected to rise well above freezing in the days ahead.

While I don’t truthfully expect any change in the response time of the city anytime soon, I at least wanted to make my displeasure known. Thank you for your time.

Diana M. Schnuth

Time For A New Favorite Indian Restaurant.

Aaron and I tried Indian food for the first time at a little buffet in (or near) Pittsfield, Massachusetts, during our honeymoon. It took us a few years to discover that there are, in fact, Indian restaurants in Toledo, and we’ve been frequenting one in particular for probably a year now.

The Indian Jewel has a daily lunch buffet, featuring both meat and vegetarian dishes which are prominently labeled with their Indian names (and, sometimes, the English translations). The buffet comes with delicious naan (bread), and the service is perfectly acceptable for a buffet. The dinner portions are generous and reasonably priced, and are served in stylish copper serving vessels.

My Aikido dojo tends to frequent the other Indian restaurant in town, the Tandoor. I was honestly underwhelmed with their buffet selection, and only ate there once or twice with the dojo. As for our regular Indian fix, the Indian Jewel had given us no reason to go elsewhere — until recently, that is.

Maumee River, Toledo

Maumee River, Toledo

Taken during my first week working downtown, over a lunch break. I hadn’t realized how beautiful downtown Toledo could truly be, if you just look in the right places.