Real Ramen Noodle

Shoyu Tonkotsu Ramen
Shoyu Tonkotsu Ramen

The ramen that you buy at the grocery store is not even close to the real “Tonkotsu Ramen” you can have in Japan.

If you have a chance to visit LA, go to Mitsuwa Grocery store. This is the Japanese Grocery Store that their food court has several real Japanese fast food shops.

The picture is the REAL Ramen (Shoyu Tonkotu: Soy Sauce & Pork Stock base)…

Heavenly….

Sour Beer

Sour Beer
Sour Beer

Have you had Sour Beer before?

Check out http://www.beachwoodbbq.com/

Hop cam tells you what kind of beers on tap daily.

http://www.beachwoodbbq.com/beer.php

A Little Open Minded

I usually consider my palette to be as well traveled as my feet, there are stones that I have yet to turnover in this vast international scavenger hunt. Indian food has been a long abandoned child resting in the woods awaiting rescue. Maybe I shouldn’t use my mouth as a metaphor for EMT service. Its not that I have never eaten Indian food, but in most cases (save this one and Sherpas) it has been unpleasant. Maybe I shouldn’t say most cases, there was this one time I got pulled into a restaurant against my will and someone made me eat some Indian curry with veggies and I was more or less disgusted by the whole event. That said, I had sworn off the stuff until my trip to Boston with the PingVision crew.

While wondering the empty streets of Cambridge MA, near the MIT campus, Matt Al and were stopped dead in our tracks due to a salivating aroma wafting in front of us. We had been in transit for several hours getting to Boston and none of us had eaten for at least 5 hours. The delicately pronounced seasonings and warmth drifted through our brains like a spell. Resistance was futile.

Hunger stricken, we begged the gracious wait staff at India Castle to prepare us a spread of Vegetable and Meat Pockets, Lamb, Chicken, Curry and a mysterious beverage known as the Flying Horse.

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As a non Indian food expert I walked into the meal thinking that everything would be horribly hot and over curried, but much to my surprise and delight almost every single morsel had a voice and dance around my palette all its own. A rhythm of flavor delivered in a sequence that steps delicately through complicated combinations of herbs and spices.

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Our appetizer, featured the aforementioned array of meats and various vegetables, wrapped in a thin dough and then delightfully deep fried to crispy perfection. They truly reminded me of a chinese wonton in many ways. The light flakiness of the wrapper and the juicy burst of flavors inside. We were also served three sauces to dip our foods in. One was green and at first glance resembled the texture of guacamole, it in fact became my favorite of the night and the waiters had a hard time prying my fingers from the small dish at all. It had hints of mint and several other little splashes that I cannot begin to decipher. The second, was a red tomato and onion salsa of sorts but was not really anything more than a light sweet distraction. The third, was a brownish sauce that was smokey and savory and slightly sour. It also found its way all over my plate and the shirt I was wearing.

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I ordered the Lamb sausage and regret nothing. I really like lamb, and I often find it to be a complicated protein to decorate. Most Americans are really trained into the idea that red = beef and this can lead to some surprises. Fortunately for me I had no problem really assimilating the flavors of this very unique dish. It arrived on a plate sizzling like fajita meat. Mixed into the meat itself were various herbs, looked to be parsley, sage and garlic, along with some spices that I am not entirely sure of the names. It was really amazingly well balanced. And it seemed that the more you mixed combinations of the main dish with the sauces the more ever bite became a majestic scene. Sampling angle after angle of this flavor landscape I soon became totally full and forced myself to return to the hotel with a little doggie bag for a midnight snack.

But my co-worker Matt T., insisted that I sample his chicken before throwing in the towel. I am so glad that I did. It was the most unbelievably tender, juicy chicken breast I have ever enjoyed. It was absolutely unnecessary to bring a knife to the flash, Matt was able to quickly separate a small portion with his fork by simply dragging the tines through it.

Unbelievably impressed and forever entranced by these eastern delights, I leave you with this salivating memoir of a dinner few will enjoy but really should.

Zach

special thanks to the folks at:

INDIA CASTLE
928 Massachusettes Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 864-8100

Thirsty to Play?

I am a few things, hungry, thirsty and amazed by creativity. I also have a soft spot for anything video game related that can become a consumable product that is both unique and delicious.

Enter the greatest collection of awesome mixed drinks for the alcohol loving fanboy inside of a lot of us.

MARIO TASTES GREAT

http://scrollbar.dk/events/20080215.Mario.Bar/

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This one is sort of a classic and appeared on Kotaku a while back. Luckily I had a public event coming up and I had a chance to experiment on the thirsty public.  The Most popular shot of the event turned out to be the Super Mario Shot. But I was unable to acquire the Blue Bols (mentioned in the recipe) and had to substitute with Blue Curaçao. As it turns out, many of the liqueur stores in Colorado have a very limited selection of Bols products.

In case you don’t know, Bols is European Liqueur company famous for making several flavors of alcohol  see link here. They could be compared with the brand Dekuyper, whose fame sadly is related to their Pucker line of sour sweet mixing liquids. Bols I found to be a slighter cheaper and superior tasting product. I would be amazed if some of the local shops started carrying this brand as a replacement for the aforementioned liquid peril.

Don’t forget to practice. These drinks are best if they are prepared slowly and carefully and it is not always easy. It takes some time to get used to pouring things at the speed as to not mix them together, till they get in your tummy.

FINAL FANTASY SWEETS

http://scrollbar.dk/events/20080509.Final.Fantasy.Night/

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This is probably one of the most beloved game titles of all time and will continue to, bring out the creative urge in people, even if the vehicle or medium in this case are thirst quenching beverages. The fabulous Scrollbar has assembled yet another bang up collection of mixers that can transport you to nostalgic mess. But as in the list before, without the proper access to some of the more exotic Bols flavor selections you may not have a full bar ready to go. In fact, I would recommend that any of you out there thinking about using these drink recipes please try to find common threads. Don’t buy everything on the list. Pick out 3 – 4 drinks you like and see if you can line up all the ingredients so that you don’t waste all of your money turning your basement into a part time nerd bar.

MOST PROFESSIONAL

http://www.oxm.co.uk/article.php?id=9806

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I think it is safe to say that Msoft could not be outdone, so they hired some professional cocktail wizard, and a great photographer, to come up with some really delicious and radically interesting drinks. And out of all of the sets this one seemed the most appealing. I think people could reasonably order these at a bar without much suspicion. The garnishes and ingredients are more refined, and there is less of syrupy texture to most of these.

The biggest disadvantage for drinks that are based purely on thick liqueurs, is the sugary density. One or Two of these is generally not to bad but after a few more, my mouth feels like leach stuck to a jaw breaker. Plus you look dumb carrying around “fruity ” looking cocktails at your favorite pub.

But all small thought aside these are really wonderful drinks that everyone can enjoy and they look really amazing. I recommend giving these a spin to freshen up the ol cocktail bar.

Thanks for playing,

Zach

Apple Pie the way it should be

Apple pie is without a doubt a keystone in the structure of American cuisine or at least what we identify with as Americans. And I am not talking about that strumpet Sara Lee’s take and bake nonsense. I mean real PIE. Like mom cut all the damn apples herself and soaked them in water with a little bit of lemon juice so that the flesh of the sweet little morsels doesn’t brown, HOME MADE PIE!

Anybody who comes around you with one of those pre-made frozen pie treats should immediately be shown the nearest exit and rebuked for their blind betrayal to the all amazing art of pie making. A craft not unlike wood working or steel smiting. Not often seen due to the technical skill required to complete the job at any high level of proficiency. Any of you who have ever tried to roll out a pie crust know exactly what I am referring to. The flour, the cracking, the tears, the success. If you don’t believe me try it. Or don’t, cowardly tromp your way to the super market and purchase the simplest take and bake crust you can and fill the thing with Apple preserves. Philistine.

Luckily for me, and the people who have had the honor of tasting it, I have a family of dedicated and skilled pie makers that simply confound mere skill and elevate the craft to that of the divine. But they have gone through the phases of traditional and non-traditional styles in their preparation.

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Exhibit A – The crossed top dough is often displayed as a staple of the stereotypical American pastry, however I am not a big fan of this version for a couple of reasons. First, I hate breaking through those damn strips of dough to get to where I am going. Those bands can often be a real hindrance to the end game of tasting the warm delicious insides. And Secondly, this part of the production process requires a great deal of care and finesse on the part of the baker. Especially at high altitudes, it can be quite difficult to ge the desired baking texture to emerge.

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Exhibit B – The covered top. This is like the previous example a complete nuesence and should be thrown out of the books altogether. How is one to know what lies beneath the crust. I am a pie snob after all and I want to see the damn filling before I make any rash decisions regarding my consumption of said treat. Also, the magma like temperature that the filling holds after baking will teach you a lesson about being over eager if you do not respect the cooling process.

Exhibit C – The crumbled top (or as I have seen called “Dutch Apple Pie”). This is my favorite method of preparation and delivery. It is like the happy hybrid love child of an Apple Crumble and an Apple Pie. The delectable Granny Smiths covered in a sprinkling of Cinnamon Sugar and Butter, could not provide a better amplification or compliment to the dish. Having grown up on this brand of baking for years I admit to my personal bias.

Certainly there is not a bad apple pie, but in terms of texture and taste I have to say that my wife’s crumbled top pies are the most delectable.

Enjoy your pastries America,

Zach