After driving up here from South FL to visit Morikami, my boyfriend and I were both starving and in need of sustenance. Just beyond the museum entrance, the Cornell Cafe beckoned and we happily indulged prior to our visit to the gardens.
I had the teriyaki grilled chicken, which came with rice and veggies. The teriyaki was sweet but not overly so, and the rice was cooked to that perfect texture. It was a decently sized portion, and just tasty and filling enough to satisfy my hunger without weighing me down for a walk through the gardens later. Prices are surprisingly reasonable for a museum cafe establishment: most entrees are under or around $10 (expect to pay more for the sushi, obviously). Service was unobtrusive, speedy, and efficient, and the staff is Japanese, lending a little bit to the credibility/authenticity factor.
The view from the patio overlooking the gardens is to die for. Morikami makes you feel like you've been transported to somewhere outside Florida (if not Japan, California maybe?) and enjoying the view of the lake and gardens as you dine only adds to that experience. Definitely one of the best museum cafe experiences I've had.
Bottom line: top off (or start!) a visit to Morikami with a lunch at the Cornell Cafe. It will only add to your day of Japanese immersion.
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