Despite the combined DC-living experience between my wife and I of 36 years (most of that experience being hers), somehow neither of us had actually ever tried Ben’s Chili Bowl. Ben’s is sort of DC’s version of a trademark junk food—our Philly cheesesteak; our Chicago deep-dish pizza; our Baltimore crabs, I guess one could say. Well, this weekend, we found ourselves at a Nationals game, and decided to give the classic half-smoke a roll.
It being a Virginia summer—hot, humid, and sticky—I find myself longing for a refreshing, light beer… something easy to drink that doesn’t skimp on quality. Victory’s Summer Love brew is just that. Light and refreshing, with a nice easy-going hop profile without a bite. There is a subtle floral aroma and it just goes down nice and smooth. I suppose it has character without being a character. And that’s just what I needed this summer.
The other day, I said to Teresa, “You know, we never really make side dishes.” She followed, “We eat the same vegetables every single day.” In fact, we had been eating the same rotation of three or four vegetables for months. Stir-fried cauliflower. Stir-fried zucchini. Grilled squash. Broccoli. Yup. We were in a rut.
I love ramen. If there is one food I am deeply sentimental about (other than a perfectly seared and rested steak), it’s this one. As Teresa and I were sitting about reminiscing our travels in Japan, missing deeply the likes of Suzuran and other ramen shops in Japan, I set out to make a batch of really good tonkotsu (pork flavor) ramen at home.
It’s hard to know how just how good ramen can be if you’ve only had the cheap packet instant stuff or americanized restaurant varieties. If you’ve had it in Japan, you know what I mean. That perfect bowl of broth, quality noodles, and Japanese style toppings like you would find in a little shop off a side street in Osaka or Tokyo. No, I don’t presume to think I can make ramen as good as those masters. I’ll still have to go back to get the really good stuff. But this came out pretty darn good.