Edo Japanese Restaurant
As we drove down Summer Avenue, Warren and I debated if we might have missed Edo. “I think it’s up there,” I said as we passed one of the many strip malls that line the coolest avenue in town.
“I think you’re right,” he said.
“What did you say?” I asked, stunned. These are not words that slip loosely from Warren’s mouth, especially when it comes to directions.
We were off to a great start.
Edo was much smaller than I had envisioned and it wasn’t in a freestanding building like I thought, but I have to say it was rather quaint. Edo isn’t sleek like Sekisui and it doesn’t have a sushi bar. It is much older than any other Japanese restaurant in Memphis reminded me of places we have been to in California with Warren’s parents.
We arrived at 7ish on a Saturday night and there were only a few other families there, which was fine by me considering the monkeys (Satchel, 4, and Jiro, 2) were jacked up as usual. We sat in a booth near the kitchen and I was pleased to see the owner’s family at an adjacent booth eating, doing homework, and watching a small TV. (It reminded me of the “good old days” when my favorite Thai restaurant, Jasmine, was in Bartlett.) Our waitress, who was very possibly one of the owners, was very friendly and did a lot of smiling at the monkeys. She handed us our menus and per usual, I ordered edamame right away to keep the monkeys calm.
Despite the lack of a sushi bar, the menu did in fact have sushi on it. I was bummed that the rolls were fairly plain and simple, but decided to try a few anyway. Warren, on the other hand, was quite excited by the menu as it offered more traditional dishes than he was used to seeing on Memphis menus. I ordered miso soup and yakitori (skewered meat) for the boys and a bunch of sushi—including a catfish roll—for myself. Warren broke out of his tonkatsu mold and ordered chicken teriyaki and tempura.
By the time the edamame arrived, Jiro was banging his head against the screen that separated our booth from the one behind us. The waitress smiled and asked how old the monkeys were. When I told her she said, “I remember when mine were that young—I couldn’t take them anywhere.” It wasn’t long after that comment that one or both of the monkeys spilled their water all over the table. No one seemed to care that things were a little rowdy in our booth and I liked that. I finished my beer and relaxed.
The boys loved the miso soup and Satchel was quite nice about giving Jiro some of his tofu cubes. The monkeys weren’t too crazy about the yakitori—I think it was a little too saucy for them. Satchel helped Warren polish off his rice and tempura and Jiro helped himself to my sushi. (I just love to watch that kid eat sushi!) Satchel had one bite of sushi but claimed it was spicy and refused to eat anymore. That was fine by me—I had no trouble finishing of my simple, but delicious, rolls. Warren seemed very impressed by his dinner and claimed it was the best teriyaki he’d had in Memphis. His only complaint was that the rice was fried instead of white—something that I’m sure could be remedied with a simple request.
We were so pleased with our food we ordered dessert—tempura ice cream—something I’ve always wanted to try. I still can’t quite wrap my mind around deep frying ice cream and still having it be frozen, but my tongue had no trouble. It was kind of like having pie and ice cream all together. It was yum-my.
By the time we were all paid up, the monkeys were running through the restaurant in search of the gumball machine. The only other family in the restaurant was too busy eating a giant pot of shabu shabu to even look up.
I definitely think we’ll go back, maybe when Warren’s parents visit. Next time I’ll skip the sushi and go for something more traditional like sukiyaki.