Normally we go to ShutoCon as artists – selling our usual array of buttons. This year however due to conflicting schedules I missed out on alley registration and decided to just buy a normal badge. It’s been YEARS since we’ve hit a convention as regular run-of-the-mill attendees. I’m always either working a table or official press. So it was very weird and kind of lost-feeling to not have a “purpose” each day.
I had a work commitment in the morning so couldn’t roll in until the afternoon.
Lunch per usual was at El Azteco. It may not be the most authentic mexican place you can stop at, but the burritos are a must-have for us. That and their cheese dip, which is so amazing that I have tracked down a recipe and often make it at home now.
With those delays, we got our badges after opening ceremonies had already started. Not a major bummer, since this was a totally open weekend for us.
The badges were hard plasticards with an area to write in your name – sharpies were on the table nearby. So were about a hundred plus doodles on the plastic table covers:
We popped in to catch the end of Opening Ceremonies
Love the ShutoCon logo projections
The first cosplayer I stop would be a freakin’ Five Nights at Freddy’s.
I am NOT into horror games or movies. Chris loves to torture himself with them (and then ask me to make sure the house is clear of monsters – thanks!) but he hasn’t played this either. How do I know what it is then? Because of Youtube. Now, I generally don’t get the “watch other people play games” unless it’s my husband, because let’s face it, then I’m typically telling him what to do.
But Jack Septic Eye is one of the few that I keep coming back to. Hell, I’ve purchased a few games because of his videos. This one was more hilarious than creepy (the animation helped).
We sat in on the Virtual Reality panel – which wasn’t bad but could have been a little better organized. He didn’t touch on a lot of the options that are out there (like GameFace Labs) and had no pre-printed or compiled list of resources for people to look things up after.
Since we weren’t staying the night – we drove home shortly after that.
Saturday we overslept a bit. . . :/
For lunch we stopped at Omi.
The sushi we were not impressed by. I will say we’re sushi snobs and I account for this. I also grant that Michigan isn’t the first place you’re going to think of for great sushi locations. Still, the sushi was all uniformly cold (except for the eel), instead of being properly warmed depending on the fish. The cuts were thick and oversized and hard to eat. The toro was obviously pre-frozen and did not stand up well to it.
That said, the gyoza and the beef bowl were tasty and looking around we noticed a lot of the “regulars” appeared to be eating anything but sushi (noodle bowls and hot pots). So – I think we’re on point to say come back for the main menu or maybe a roll and skip the regular sushi.
Top row first three: Ebi, Uni, Hokkigai and Bottom row first three: Unagi, Smoked Salmon (2pcs)
Top row: 3pcs Toro and Bottom row: Hamachi, Sake (3 pcs)
Back at the convention…
We may have spent several hours sitting in the AMV room (there were some good selections!) . . . and so I swear it looks like we just got back from lunch but it really is dinner time and some friends’ texted us to meet up. So we headed to the Radisson where they were hanging out.
On the way, I just liked the shadow this little umbrella had.
I love when cosplayer’s take the time to work out a photo pose to strike.
My friend Cozy on a mission. TO DINNER!
We went to Empire Szechuan.
The Radisson people are the smartest ever – bowls of makeup remover wipes on each floor!
Over at the Ouran Host Club it was game night…
Honey senpai was of course running the Candy Land board.
The Twins were seated at the Jenga table, which is probably the most devilish game they could find.
It was a very tense last few rounds for Hikaru and Kaoru.
These two were awesome keeping in character.
Ok. This one.
Down it goes.
Love the delayed reaction from the gal across the table. Her face was priceless.
We wandered into Shutonanigans 3, but it was just a little too bizarre for us.
When one of the presenters stripped to his tightie
whities er, red-ies? It was time to go.
The Electric Dance had started by now so I headed in to check it out.
The DJ did a great job I thought, and while the audio could have been mixed a little better it was at least kept at a good thumping but not ear-bleeding volume.
I love watching kids get totally into dancing.
After dancing and photographing till I was exhausted, we headed back to our room. Huge thanks to the manager at the Radisson who didn’t bat an eye at us asking for a last minute room, and who offered us the convention rate as a courtesy.
The next morning, I had decided we were going to finally knock out one of our foodie grails this trip. We did however sleep in again (hey, staying up until 2 am dancing will do that). So around 11 am we rolled in to the parking lot.
Golden Harvest. The line is no joke.
It was almost 2 hours before we were seated, and as is noted on the door: you will be seated with other people if you are a party of two. This doesn’t bother us (Biergarten in DisneyWorld makes that familiar territory).
Also to note, Cash Only. Luckily I had researched and was prepared on that count, since we don’t often carry cash anymore.
Finally we are called in! I get a strawberry lemonade.
Taking in the surroundings. What’s not to love about a place with a Mr. T gameboard on the ceiling.
First up, Grilled Harvest Raspberry Swirl with sweet-cream cheese drizzle.
One of the two women sharing the table with us had an existential crisis / debate and then waved the waitress back over. She proceeded to order one of the specials from the board: Chorizo Cheesy Grits. That sounded delicious and I seconded the add-on.
This was the moment of truth on whether a 2 hour wait outside in barely 30° weather was, indeed, worth it.
It. Was. That raspberry swirl bread was ever so lightly french-toasted. The drizzle was not too sweet. The bread perfectly crisp on the outside and fluffy soft still inside.
The grits were the creamiest I’ve ever had, and the chorizo was an excellent savory balance. Not greasy or spicy.
I caught sight of someone’s plate at the bar and had to grab a shot. Look at the SIZE of that breakfast burrito.
Chris ordered the “Hash Bash”. An omelette filled with crispy cornedbeef hash, onions, mushrooms, bacon, and cheddar and swiss cheeses.
Along with a side of french toast.
I opted for the Hungry Man – the basic breakfast special of two eggs, choice of meat (bacon), choice of potato (homefries), and toast.
Plus two hotcakes. Which were MASSIVE. I should have done a half a hungry man, clearly. When my plate came out even the next table was exclaiming at the size of the pancakes.
This man – working the grill – all by his lonesome. You cut him some slack. And give him some love. Because he is slingin’ some FINE food in this place.
We ended the day buying a bunch of lovely artwork in the Alley. Stopping a few more cosplayers for pics:
Seriously. How creepy is this little Foxy. He even had it set up so the jaw moved with his own.
And a fantastic Louise Belcher.
On the way home we couldn’t resist stopping for a pile of takeout burritos for lunch for the week. So tasty.
It was definitely strange but fun to get back to just wandering the con as a general attendee again. But we had so many people coming up and going “where was your table?!” that I know we’ll be back to selling again next year.