I don't cook on Friday nights. It's a tradition dating back to the early days of our marriage when Friday was synonymous with collecting a paycheck and having two days off from the job that provided it. Even though those working days are far behind me, I figure why mess with a good thing so we still eat out on Friday nights.
The second part of that tradition is that we rarely eat alone. I don't know that the other couples in our circle of friends have the same history with dining out on Friday nights or if we've corrupted them but Fridays regularly find the whole gang descending on some area restaurant for a chance to break bread together. It's not like it's been a long time since we've seen one another but we still enjoy the chance to talk, laugh and, of course, eat together.
Due to out-of-town trips, it was just Hiram and Bonnie and us last Friday night. We were trying to think of somewhere new and different to go, a constant quest when you eat out on a regular basis and don't have the variety a large metropolitan area has to offer. I was a little surprised to hear Wayne ask Hiram if he thought he could find something he'd enjoy at Ichiban, a local Japanese sushi grill. We'd been to a different restaurant a few weeks ago and I had commented to him recently just how much I had enjoyed the sushi that Bonnie and I had shared. (He ate a quesadilla; not every restaurant can do both and do them well.) His reply had been that sounded like something Bonnie and I could do while he and Hiram were at football games on Friday night. Kuddos to him for being willing to indulge the girls. And I was even more surprised when Hiram responded he could...and was enthusiastic.
Now to know Hiram is to know that he's a meat-and-potatoes kind of guy. He's come a long way in the almost 20 years we've known him but sometimes I think we've drug him along to get him there. I was fully prepared to see the guys order some teriyaki or tempura so Bonnie and I were deep in consultation over what two sushi rolls we were going to order to share.
That's when Hiram announced he was going to order some sushi. "No, you're not!" Bonnie exclaimed. She just figured he was teasing her but he wasn't. As soon as the waiter arrived, he promptly ordered some for an appetizer, one filled with chicken and crab. And even though Bonnie proclaimed it wasn't going to be any good, they both agreed that it was. Hiram shared with Bonnie but he did eat the biggest part of it.
Buoyed by the culinary adventurous spirit of his running mate, Wayne ordered sushi too. I'd tell you what kind but frankly I was too shocked to pay enough attention to remember. I do know that it had asparagus in it and I can guarantee that it didn't have raw fish or avocado. Still, the fact that he ordered sushi is pretty amazing.
You'll note that he consumed it sans chopsticks but so what...he ate sushi and he liked it!
Wayne stuck with the Chicken Teriyaki which he proclaimed to be delicious but Hiram wasn't done surprising us. He ordered a Bento even though the waiter's explanation didn't go beyond the fact that it was served in a box. As he worked his way through the combination of different foods, he'd hold each one up and say "What's this?" We'd answer or make a guess, he'd bite off a taste and then announce that it was pretty good. And it came with another sushi roll too. Bonnie and I had plenty of sushi to enjoy and we did just that.
My mother-in-law, God rest her sweet soul, used to say that your taste buds change every seven years, meaning you should be open to trying new foods, even ones you thought you didn't like. It took a whole lot longer than seven years for Wayne to come to sushi but I'm thrilled he was open to the idea and had such a great experience. Who knows what might be on the dining rotation next.