Coup de Foudre
I'll begin with the disclaimer that I am relatively new at quality kitchen cutlery. I have had a Wusthof 8"" Santoku for a few years, and I love it, but that's really the only nice knife I've ever owned or used.
My girlfriend and I were walking through Old Town Alexandria last night and we happened upon Sur la Table. I had never been in one before so we stopped and peered in through the window. When one of the associates saw us, she invited us in, even though it was three minutes past closing time.
I immediately fell in love with the store with the wonderful kitchenware all around. I picked up a couple of items that I needed then came upon the cutlery section. I gazed longingly into the display case with the array of Miyabi knives hung with care. One of the employees asked if I had any questions, so we began talking.
He offered me the chance to try one of the Evolution chef's knives, so I took a turn with the 8"" and it was like love at first sight. It sliced through the potatoes with absolute effortlessness. My girlfriend couldn't wait to get her hands on it and sliced see-through thin slices. Since it was on sale for only $99, I decided to take the plunge.
Granted, I've only used it once, today, but I have to say that this knife is an absolute dream. Yes, one of the other reviewers wasn't overly impressed, and I've read some so-so reviews on other sites with ardent purists complaining that it isn't handmade and so on, but for a Franklin, this knife can't be beat.
The best test for me so far was the raw chicken breasts. Trying to cut raw chicken is the bane of my existence in the kitchen. It seems to be amorphous, and when any pressure is put upon it to slice, it seems to twist and contort and make it unnecessarily difficult to get a clean cut. Maybe I haven't been doing it right up until now, but with the Miyabi, it was beautiful!!
The chicken sliced uniformly and thinly with (literally) little more than the knife's own weight being used. At that point, I was forever hooked. It is weighted nicely, balances well, handles perfectly. For the price, I honestly don't think a better chef's knife can be had.
Thanks, Sur la Table!