Takayuki Yamaguchi / Energy & Environment Infrastructure Division
* In this column, Marubeni Group staff provide a glimpse of the cities in which they are living and working.
Houston is the fourth largest U.S. city following New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Marubeni has 20 employees here in Houston, including those working at subsidiaries.
Before my first business trip in 2012, I’d always thought of Houston as “the center of the petroleum and gas industry”, “the space shuttle command center”, “the birthplace of Terryman (a character in the popular manga series Kinnikuman)”, a destination in the 1988 film Twins, and a semi-desert landscape. I never really thought of it as a tourist destination. Even after I began living here, my initial impressions weren’t far off, and even though Houston is home to NASA’s Johnson Space Center, there really doesn’t seem to be that many visitors who come to do sightseeing.
However, there are times when I feel delighted to have come here. That’s because I love meat; namely, steak. In Japan, a normal serving of steak is 200g or thereabouts, but over here, a typical steak for a male diner at a steak house weighs a hefty 400g (14 oz.) Even though it weighs about double that of a Japanese steak, at an American-style steak house which has also established itself in Tokyo, you can eat one at 50–70% of the cost of what you’d pay in Japan. Marbled wagyu (Japanese beef) is good, but since there’s little fat in red American beef, you can easily finish off a 400g steak. It’s heaven for steak lovers.
In addition to nationwide steak house chains, Houston is also home to popular local steak houses. Some places don't accept reservations and are so popular that there are snaking queues around dinnertime on the weekend.
Apart from steaks, it’s worth trying a hamburger from local restaurants as well as from sports bars. Hamburgers from these places are packed with ingredients, making a large hamburger in Japan look small and simple by comparison. Be warned — they exceed 1,000Kcal, so you will need to exercise to burn off one of these massive hamburgers.
That’s it — Houston is a paradise on Earth for meat lovers. Why not come and eat a massive steak at a steakhouse or a massive burger when you visit?
Marubeni Group communication site “MS+ (MS Plus)” (June 15, 2015)