Road trip to Mitsuwa

I have been to Mitsuwa’s in California but the gem is really in Edgewater, NJ which makes for a great road trip.  It is much bigger than the places I have been to in LA.  Not sure who the people are behind Mitsuwa but it is genius.

They have 9 grocery stores around the country (you can shop on line too) that carries Japanese products.  They have events, they care about local farm produce and there are classes to take. No surprises that the customer base is mostly Asian and the store is probably geared towards how people eat and shop in Japan.  The stores have created community with having the food court in the same building as the grocery store and the grocery store carries products you can’t get anywhere else.  Retailers should look to Mitsuwa and see what they are doing right.  It is a fun way to shop and do lunch.  We headed out in the snow which ended up being key because the place was not as packed as it supposedly can get.

The food emporium takes over about half the store.  Keep in mind all restaurants are cash only.  There are a few different places to choose from and we went in for a few.  First thing is staking out a table.

Then we began at the Omusubi Gonbei where we tried a handful of things.  The miso soup with a few of the rice balls.  We got salmon, grilled eel and randomly one with spam on top.

The chicken is classic Japanese style with crispy tasty skin over the boneless soy marinated meat.  Really good.  A must get.

Ramen at Santouka is certainly the call on a cold snowy day.  I got the large bowl super melty pork with miso to split with the crew.  They staff is insanely efficient and really nice.  You get the bowl of soup filled with broth and noodles with a plate of the pork, mushrooms and to put in yourself.  The pork melts in your mouth, the broth is rich flavorful and feels like it is made for your soul.

I always get a kick out of the plastic models giving the customer a visual look of what they are ordering. Here the photos are above and believe are the plastic models.

This is purely a closet of plastic meals for the soba noodle restaurant next to Santouka.

We also got something from Tokyo Hanten where we got a mixture of sushi over warm rice.  Top quality.

Then the shopping begins.  Josh seriously stocked up for college.  Green tea galore.

Magnums of sake.

Jams.  This is lemon.

Steak perfectly sliced for shabu-shabu at home.

Fish for sushi.

Noodles.

A variety of misos.

Chips and sweets.  There are also pickles, beauty products and rice cookers.

Dessert was needed after all our hard work making purchases.  Matcha Love has soft serve ice cream.  We went with the triple and chose black sesame, green tea and roasted green tea.  Creamy and so good.

Got our cart and packed the car.

One last stop.  We decided since we were out in the area that we should stop in Kuppi coffee.  What a great coffee shop.  Modern, large, and they take their tea and coffee very seriously.  Impressive place.

We will return.