Regional Guide to Ramen in Japan

ramens-main

I was searching for some information about Sapporo-style ramen, and came across this wonderful post “A Guide to the Regional Ramen of Japan” at Lucky Peach. 🍜 My mouth is watering! The Kumamoto Ramen sounds amazing.

(photo is from Lucky Peach)

Pizza Nite

"Secret Sauce" Cedar Park, 2016
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.6, 1/125 sec, ISO3200
“Secret Sauce” Cedar Park, 2016

こんばんは!How’s it going?

As usual, I didn’t have breakfast or lunch (I pretty much fast during the day) but in my mind were visions of pizza because I knew that we’d have some for dinner. 🍕

Tonight’s photo is of the dipping mixture that we have been enjoying lately – ranch dressing + sriracha. It’s really good! There’s a nice combination of cool and hot that goes well with tomato sauce. I sometimes will just go with sriracha for some tangy spiciness, but Bay likes it with ranch so tonight that was the preferred sauce.

And of course our dog Lani is always anticipating getting a taste of human food. I can only imagine that it must be torture for dogs since their sense of smell is so heightened! 🐶

"Hopeful" Cedar Park, 2016
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.6, 1/125 sec, ISO5000
“Hopeful” Cedar Park, 2016

I hope you had a nice day!

おやすみなさい!

– B Barron Fujimoto

Cold Front and Mexican Food

"Kotatsu" Cedar Park, 2016
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/125 sec, ISO1600
“Kotatsu” Cedar Park, 2016

こんばんは!How’s it going?

The weather has turned cold and so I brought down the kotatsu and set it up in front of the tv. The kotatsu is a Japanese table with blanket and small heating element. In many homes in Japan the rooms are pretty cold in the Winter, and people keep warm by using heavier clothes, small space heaters, and kotatsu.

Here in the States, we tend to keep the whole house warmer, but we still like to break out the kotatsu because it is so comfortable! It’s a little “dangerous” though, because once you get comfortable under the kotatsu, the chances of falling asleep go up considerably! In fact, this afternoon I took a nice 1-hour nap… it was too hard to resist.

For lunch today, Koa and I were going to go to Taco Bell to get a couple burritos, but I decided we’d go to another place, that served more authentic Mexican food. I wanted to eat our food there, but Koa wanted to take it home so I compromised and we got the meals to-go. (He really wanted Taco Bell!) Anyways, the food was delicious and I liked going to this restaurant because all the diners there were seemed to be Mexican workers on their lunch-breaks.

"Mexican Take-out" Cedar Park, 2016
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/125 sec, ISO2000
“Mexican Take-out” Cedar Park, 2016

Here in Texas, we have plenty of Mexican restaurants and also Tex-Mex style. I grew up in Southern California, so I am used to a different kind of style of Mexican food, and when I first tried Tex-Mex, I thought it was strange. It was yummy, but just strange. Tex-Mex tends to use more gooey American-style cheese, whereas California-style has more fresh ingredients, most notably avocado. I actually like both styles of Americanized Mexican food, but still cannot stand American cheese in Mexican food.

However, I love to eat where the “locals” eat, and going to a Mexican restaurant in which 95% of the diners are Latino means you are getting the real-deal.

Rare

"Rare" Austin, 2016
Photo info: Motorola XT1064, 3.54mm, f/2, 1/180 sec, ISO80
“Rare” Austin, 2016

こんばんは!How’s it going?

Today’s photo is of one of the food trucks that comes by our office on Wednesday’s. We have a variety come by – noodles, Indian curry, BBQ, coffee, etc. As you can see, today’s was the Mighty Fine Burger truck and I made a “rare” exception to have lunch today.

I love Mighty Fine 🍔! But ever since In-N-Out Burger opened nearby, I haven’t been to Mighty Fine because In-N-Out has the killer combination of taste and value. I have to say, though, Mighty Fine is a better burger (plus they offer grilled jalapeños) and the fries are way better than In-N-Out’s. In my opinion, the In-N-Out french fries are below average, but at least they cost under only $1.60.

Anyways, I decided to forego my usual eating schedule, and give their food truck a try today and I am happy to report that the “mobile” version of their food is just as good as their traditional restaurants. 😃 And now that I have my Mighty Fine “fix”, I can go back to my regular In-N-Out and not feel quite as guilty.

Burger-crisis averted!

おやすみなさい!

– B Barron Fujimoto

Wurstfest

"Bier Time" New Braunfels, 2016
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5.6, 1/35 sec, ISO6400
“Bier Time” New Braunfels, 2016

Hello!

Today was a fun day because we went with some friends to “Wurstfest” in New Braunfels for the evening. Wurstfest is a German festival where the main activities are drinking beer, eating German food, and listening to traditional German and German-inspired music.

The weather for the one-hour drive was terrible, with heavy rain ☔ and a bit of traffic but once we arrived to the festival, the rain let up and eventually went away and we had a wonderful evening. I think it worked out perfectly because there wasn’t a huge crowd, especially at the beer and food lines. For instance, the potato pancake line is often over half an hour wait, but last night it was just a couple of minutes. Also I am guessing Sunday is not their busiest day since there is a BOGO admission ticket for Sunday through Wednesday. At any rate, it was a great day to go to Wurstfest.

"Marketplace" New Braunfels, 2016
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4.5, 1/280 sec, ISO12800
“Marketplace” New Braunfels, 2016

For food, we tried a few different things including sausage, sauerkraut, & pita sandwich; potato pancakes with applesauce; funnel cake; and fried pickles. It was all pretty tasty, but I’m sure my arteries weren’t liking any of it. Then of course there was plenty of beer to be had 🍻. Since I was driving, I only had a little bit, but that was good because we did save a bit of money. 😝

"Ferris Wheel" New Braunfels, 2016
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/6.4, 1/70 sec, ISO12800
“Ferris Wheel” New Braunfels, 2016

For entertainment, Wurstfest features lots of live music, mainly polka bands, and we watched a band called Yodelblitz who were really funny. And there was quite a bit of Chicken Dance going on during the festival! 🐔

Wurstfest takes place every year and it’s definitely worth your while to go see what it’s all about at least once, especially if you live in Central Texas. Just be sure to bring an empty stomach and a full wallet!

Have a great evening!

おやすみなさい!

– B Barron Fujimoto