Japanese dining experience


August 07, 1994|By Karol V. Menzie

There's much about dining in a good Japanese restaurant that's pure theater: the meticulous and graceful preparation of sushi, the flash of knives and chopsticks as food is cooked table-side. Local fans of such culinary entertainment have a new spot to try: Kobe Japanese Steak House, which opened recently at 1023 N. Charles St., at the Belvedere Hotel.

Owners Vui Do and Xuyen Do are Vietnamese, but Mr. Do was for nearly 14 years head chef at Nichi Bei Kai in Lutherville. They have renovated the former Nichi Bei Kai location on Charles Street. The name Kobe comes from a renowned type of ` Japanese beef. Entree prices range from about $10 to just under $30; most include rice, soup, vegetables and hot tea. Kobe is open for lunch and dinner. For more information, call (410) 685-0780.

Nutritious crabs

Any Baltimorean can tell you, blue crabs are good eating. But are they good for you? Well, yes, pretty good. Like most seafood, crabs are high in vitamin B-12 -- essential in red blood cell formation and regulation -- and fairly low in calories -- about 87 per 3-ounce serving, steamed, according to the Prevention magazine "Nutrition Advisor." Only 16 percent of the calories come from fat. The same serving would provide 17.2 grams of protein, 88.4 milligrams of calcium and 275.4 milligrams of potassium. However, crabs do contain cholesterol (85 milligrams per 3-ounce serving) and sodium (237 milligrams per 3 ounces, raw; if you add seasoning, the sodium level can rise considerably). And oh, yes, crabs are also high in purines -- bad for folks with gout.

Seafood buffet

Imagine all-you-can-eat shrimp, crab cakes, clams, mussels, oysters, grilled fish and other seafood items -- as well as pasta, spinach and Caesar salads, fruits, cheeses and an ice cream bar. Hungry? Head over to Phillips All You Can Eat Seafood Festival Buffet at Harborplace.

The buffet, located in the center of the Light Street Pavilion where Phillips' cafe used to be, is open for lunch (price $11.95) and dinner ($19.95). (There are prices for children 6 to 10, and children 5 and under eat free.)

There's indoor and outdoor seating, and many items -- such as stir fries and pasta -- are prepared right before your eyes in the

buffet line.

Pick up sticks -- of shortening

Every now and then a product comes along that makes you think, "Wow, what a great idea, why didn't they do this sooner?" That's our reaction to the news that Crisco now comes in sticks, just like butter and margarine. Home bakers can have the convenience of pre-measured, easy to use and easy to store solid shortening.

The new Crisco comes in packages of three 1-cup sticks in regular and butter flavor. Suggested retail price is under $2. Look for them next to the familiar cans of Crisco in the baking needs section of supermarkets.

Old Bay recipes

And speaking of seafood, Old Bay Co. is offering a cookbook called "Cooking With Old Bay," which features winning recipes from the company's 50th anniversary recipe contest. It's free with two proofs of purchase from any Old Bay products. Mail-in certificates are available at area grocery stores. Or write to the Old Bay Co., 211 Schilling Ave., Hunt Valley, Md. 21031.

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