Check It Out

No.167 (7/9/10)

The healing cafe in Oirase: The North Village

Keiko H. Johnsond
Staff Wrter

There aren't any Olive Gardens or Spaghetti Factories, but ramen joints and sushi restaurants are easily found in Misawa. Visiting a restaurant in Japan can be ridiculously difficult if you are not interested in discovering new flavors, or it may even become daunting to make every effort to decode the unfamiliar writings on the menu. I was searching for a restaurant where I could sit comfortably, relax and eat, when I found this cafe restaurant North village in Towada. The cafe/ restaurant North Village is a place to visit on the weekends for a great food contained by a soothing environment, which fulfills each and every desire I had.

The restaurant North Village sits within Oirase's great mother of nature where the wilderness quietly nestles. The smoke rises up in the air from the vent of the chimney contains the smell of the freshly baked bread and pizzas and wraps up the surrounding areas. At the center of the Patio in front of the entrance, there is a landmark of the restaurant: the curved wooden owl sits and stares at the beach tree forest of Oirase from the tip of the tree trunk. The North Village is located on the road just before getting to Ishikedo visitor center by Lake Towada. To get there, stay on the route 4 toward Yakiyama Onsen resort, then, turn left at the intersection to go over the bridge toward the lake. After a few minutes drive on the road, you will see the Oirase visitor center on your right hand. The cafe North Village is located just across the street from it.

I have visited the cafe a few times, the taste of their pizzas, exclusively cooked in the hand made stone-oven, have never disappointed me. The thinly baked pizza crust is so crispy on the rim and chewy on the inside that it almost reminds me of the texture of freshly baked pita bread. The toppings for the pizzas can be chosen from extensive varieties such as: four kinds of cheese, Margarita (The sliced mozzarella cheese with tomato sauce and fresh basil leaves), sausage, onion and more. In addition to those pizzas with relatively common toppings, the cafe North Village has added some twists to their pizzas by adapting uniquely Japanese assortment such as; Japanese shiitake mushrooms, wild vegetables, and seafood on some of their pizzas. They may sound atypical, yet the sauce they use for each pizza adequately mingles with the flavor of the toppings and derives the excellent tastes. You must visit the restaurant in order to see the full menu, yet I can tell you there are plentiful in varieties of pizzas from which you can choose on the menu. There is no need to worry about not being able to encode the menu, the cafe also provides English menu.

Other than pizzas, the restaurant serves a variety lunch platters and desserts that are also cooked in the stone oven. The lunch set includes rice, salad and the main dish of your choice. Their homemade cheesecake and souffle were exclusively delicious as well. According to the sign I read, the dessert menu changes daily. This may catch you by surprise. One of the dishes that caught my attention, yet, I never had a chance to try, was the baked seasonal vegetables. The assorted sliced vegetables are cooked slowly in the stone-oven. This simple dish is served limiting to 10 orders a day.

At the end, food is essential to our lives, but to me, I would like to enjoy good food in the right atmosphere with which I can be comfortable, instead of just eating whatever at where ever, the north village fulfills such desire with lovely atmosphere as well as great food that I truly enjoy. If there is any chance of visiting Oirase gorge, stop by at North Village. You may nod to what I just said.

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