FoodNerd.org

Instant Ramyun! Or “Ramen” if you must, but dude it’s not “Ray-Men”

ramyun collage

Oh poor poor instant ramen! It’s shocking that so many people have no concept of how broad of a variety exists, and the enormous meal potential that resides within each humble little pack. It suffers a stigma in the US, in the inintiated’s mind mainly the domain of indigent college students. I must admit that even many of my very own friends know only of Top or Cup o Noodles (which are in fact made by Nissin, the company that marketed the original instant ramen invented by the late Momofuku Ando). Yes these particular friends are non-Asian, but seriously people it’s 200 freakin 9 already! Get to know ramen.

The range of flavors (and quality)¬† is truly awesome, and with just a few tweaks, a sub one dollar portion of food can be made into a fine repast for two. With some additional time and effort investment the horrifyingly unhealthy aspects can even be somehwat mitigated. In the next several days, I’ll be posting detailed reviews about some more interesting brands, stuff I couldn’t fit into my Citypaper article this week, which includes a general overview and some buying/cooking tips.

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Quality Chinese in Odenton. Yes, Odenton.

gracegarden02 Quality Chinese in Odenton. Yes, Odenton.

Grace Garden

410-672-3581

1690 Annapolis Rd, Odenton, MD 21113

Holy crap it looks like these images are from June 23rd, I know it’s been a while, but I didn’t think it was that long ago. Anyway if there is anyone left still reading, you’ll have noticed that I’ve been on something of a hiatus. This can be mostly attributed to major Godaddy problems, but I suspect it’s also related to the malware problem on citypaper.com a while back. Anyway it seems I was infected with a keystroke logger and some asshole bot screwed up my hosting account. Long story short, I’m back and now posting about Grace Garden seems almost passe. But thanks to Dmnkly over at donrockwell.com, I managed to check out this place quite a while before it more or less blew up, having been reviewed recently in citypaper and in the Sun, I think.¬† The praise is deserved I gotta say, although some of the more gushing reports may be a bit exaggerated.

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Pit Bison – Is There Any Better Way To Celebrate July 4th?

pitbison09 Pit Bison - Is There Any Better Way To Celebrate July 4th?

That’s right, I made me some PIT BISON! I think this may be a first, since searching “pit bison” returns nothing having to do with food, except for links pointing to yours truly…. It’s the largest mammal native to the US – the original American red meat. And it was grown right here in Maryland to boot, at Gunpowder Bison and Trading Company up in Monkton (see pic above). I only recently learned that a bison farming industry even existed in this state, but apparently there are around 13 farms of varying size. Maryland bison, incidentally, will be the subject of my next Citypaper article.

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A Beef Sandwich From a Faraway Land, Beef on Weck From Schwabl’s, Buffalo NY

The first time I’d heard (or read, rather) of beef on weck was many years ago in Gourmet magazine. I think it was the Road Food column, and I seem to recall the beef being described as pink and satiny, like rose petals. I remember thinking, wow people who are as into food as I am, and such beautiful prose! I can’t seem to find the exact wuote, so I could be making it all up, in which case I claim the metaphor as my own, dammit! In any case, I was lucky enough to have my ace food mule (aka my girlfriend) visit Buffalo last week, who brought home wings from Anchor Bar and a beef on weck from Schwabl’s. From what i understand, this style of beef sandwich is more about the bread (in this case “weck”), sort of the diametric opposite of Balitmore’s pit beef. The sandwich didn’t hold up to the rigors of travel too well:

weck02 A Beef Sandwich From a Faraway Land, Beef on Weck From Schwabls, Buffalo NY

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Curse You Guy Fieri! Or, Sorry Chaps

GuyFieriSucks Curse You Guy Fieri! Or, Sorry Chaps

Well, my nightmare scenario has come to fruition. I was wrong. On top of that, I was wrong about food. Worse still, I was wrong about meat. And to top it all off, I was proved wrong by a guy with frosted tips and pinky rings. Chaps Pit Beef was featured on Food Networks’ Diner’s, Drive-Ins and Dives , and my theory about their using precooked roast beef seems to have been debunked. But it was revealed that they use bottom round instead of top round, and add no seasoning whatsoever, which may be why the flavor leaves many, including myself, unimpressed. But I gotta give it to Chaps for being able to turn out such tender bottom round. Also, it was cool to see that the owner and I share the Bulldog as our favorite sandwich. I still prefer Bada Bing Bada Beef, and even The Canopy, to Chaps. And not to sound too self-aggrandizing, but my homemade pit beef blows any of those three away – and it’s easy to make, try it yourself and I guarantee* you will agree.

*I, Henry Hong, hereby guarantee that if my pit beef recipe is followed closely, and the resulting pit beef is not significantly tastier than that of Chaps, Canopy, or Bada Bing Bada Beef, I will buy you a shot of bourbon at a bar of my choosing.

-Henry Hong

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Homemade Pit Beef Recipe. P.S. Pit Beef IS NOT Barbecue

pitbeef18 Homemade Pit Beef Recipe. P.S. Pit Beef IS NOT Barbecue

Lately I’ve been lamenting the seeming proliferation of fake pit beef, which I believe is actually roast beef that’s been charred before serving. So I finally got around to trying pit beef at home to see just how hard it is. Conclusion: easier than pie, since we all know pie isn’t actually very easy.

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Devil Get Out of My Egg, The Power Of (Julia)Child Compels You

eggs Devil Get Out of My Egg, The Power Of (Julia)Child Compels You

This week my article about deviled eggs ran in Citypaper! The edited version can be found at CP online here – please leave a comment if you’re so inclined. The recipe can be found following the article. Below is the full version, after a couple of bonus pics:

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