When the good old faithful alarm went off this morning, I thought “It’s here!”
The much awaited Friday of all Fridays, folks! Friday, 5th, 2017.
Wrapped everything up around 4:30 P.M., I cleared my office desk, and walked home along the deserted parking lot of the campus. Yes, I was feeling mentally exhausted yet excited. It was a gorgeous sunny day here in the Great Plains no doubt. This is the time of the year that Mr. Chi-Town calls “Another day in paradise.” However, when the hot weather hits (and it’s coming –yikes!), that’s when I want to dizzily crawl into a cave and wait longingly for the silvery moon to help cool off the land. Anyway, the best part about today, the Friday of all Fridays, was Mr. Chi-Town and I had earlier planned an outing together: A leisure drive along Route 66 toward the city. The agenda? Grab a nice hot dinner, complement it with a cold dessert; then, go watch a movie that grabs the attention of my already tired self. The kind that will also help overhaul my head from the day-long heavy duty grade-a-thon.
As we approached the city proper, Mr. Chi-Town had a change of mind. Well the initial plan was to eat at a new Japanese restaurant where upon Yelp-ing, we found out that they served a “special” tonkatsu ramen. (Actually, I’ve been craving for some good ramen for a looong time.) But then, there was construction work on the road. Re-routing the destination, Ms. Garmin pointed out that, with the after-office-traffic and all, the drive would gulp another 30minutes. We contented with a Japanese eatery which was the closest to where we were. We had been there once before. Daughter #2 discovered this little place when she was in college. And they serve spicy ramen! 🙂
As soon as we got seated, we placed an order for spicy ramen. The waitress raved about their house special: Garlic-fried rice. We also ordered curried ramen and a couple of meat appetizers. Without any hesitation, Mr. Chi-Town decided might as well give it a go. I, on the other hand, was apprehensive. In the Great Plains, you have to make a deal with the devil in order to find real, authentic Asian cuisine that tastes just so. It turned out the curried ramen was not worth talking about; the appetizers were so “meh”.
I’ll show you what we had. Take a look.
First, the garlic fried rice. It reminded me of Tiger Mom’s plain garlic and egg fried rice that I would take to school when I was growing up. It was peasanty-simple yet so incredibly aromatic and tasty I’d wait all morning for the bell to ring in the “happy hour” called “recess time.” This Japanese-style fried rice scrambled with eggs was a little salty and soggy. I like my rice a tad grainy and chewy. Not clumpy. The interesting part was that the rice came in a skillet. Little chunks of rice which were stuck to the bottom of the skillet were deliberately crisped up. See if you can spot the crisped-up rice. It might interest you though.
See what I mean? Who knows? The golden brown, crispy, clumpy rice might just be your cup of tea. And who knows? The more I talk about it, I might grow to like it, too.
Next came the appetizers.
This was chicken on a stick. It had a gooey, sweet sauce on it. Sad to say, the meat was literally tasteless. Mr. Chi-Town asked me to give it a try. I tried the end piece and that was it. He eventually had to eat the rest. Pretty plate, yes?
Then came another meat on a stick.
Also on a pretty plate. I decided to give a small piece a try. Mr. Chi-Town ended up eating it, too, even though he wasn’t enamored by it either. Over-tenderizing the meat is an overkill, don’t you think? It literally takes away the real chicken-y flavor of chicken and the real beefy flavor of beef. Frankly, I’d rather eat a cucumber than any form of meat that doesn’t remotely taste like what nature intended. Period.
Next, the spicy ramen. I’ve been waiting to talk to you about it.
As you already know by now, I love jalapénos! This spicy ramen also came with halved hard-boiled egg and some ground meat.
Scented with sesame oil, the broth came hot in a pretty lapis lazuli-colored bowl with matching spoon and chopsticks.
Some Sriracha sauce was added for that extra kick.
We split the ramen. The broth was thick and hardy. It was very filling.
See what I meant by thick, hardy, and filling?
After slurping the spicy ramen, we checked out some frozen mochis. We sampled a strawberry and a green tea.
Pretty cool plate. The mochis were tasty: not too sweet which I liked. You know, I really don’t know what happened to that poor strawberry mochi. Dented and smashed, it looked like it was caught in some jam in the freezer.
Curious, Mr. Chi-Town wanted to try the frozen vanilla mochi. The waitress was swooning over the red bean. I said “Okay.”
Pretty plate. The taste? Meh. I went back for another green tea. As it Cooks agrees that it’s is #1 favorite, too.
After leaving the eatery, we went found ourselves at a movie theater. We picked “Logan.” Why? Daughter #2 sent an urgent text stating that parts of the movie were shot in the Great Plains. So mighty Wolverine was mooching around the Great Plains while I was busy teaching. Who would have thought? With a happy tummy, we wrapped up the *Friday of all Fridays* with a really fun movie. “Logan” with a sad ending. Still watching the movie helped overhaul my head. I went home feeling lighter than when I first walked out of the Japanese eatery. The good old alarm clock will be on leave for the next three months. Time to curl up in bed knowing that I can sleep in as long as I wanted.
Fun plans are in the air for the holidays, folks. Mr. Chi-Town and I are planning to visit some foodie places on the West Coast that we’ve never been before. One of them happens to be Vancouver, Canada! Yes, Vancouver. Nevertheless, I plan to blog whenever I can to keep you updated. Besides, I’m also planning to “spruce up” my blog. If you have any comments or suggestions, or a cool ramen story, feel free to share. On the other hand, if you have any cool tips on good eats in Vancouver BC, Washington, Oregon, and California, I’d be so glad to hear from you. 🙂
Wishing you a wonderful summer! In case you’re traveling, I wish you safe travels.
Vancouver, here Tee comes! 🙂