Well, my blood re-test came back as "still alive"! The important numbers managed to go down to safe levels (or safe-ish), so that's a win in my book!
I celebrated by going into NYC on Sunday and finally trying out Ichiran Ramen.
It's a NYC location of a popular chain of ramen shops in Japan, and I've been itching to try it for ages but couldn't until now. Mostly due to the long lines it always has.
This time I managed to get there just before it opened at noon, but still had to wait an hour to get in.
A look at the menu. They only serve ONE type of ramen, a tonkotsu (a pork-based broth). But you can customize it any way you want: how salty or garlicky it is, if you want pork, how firm you want the noodles to be, etc. I'm not TOO familiar with ramen, but I liked what I've had over the years. It's noodle soup, it's pretty universal in terms of food standards. I'm also not one for a lot of bells and whistles that you typically find in ramen dishes, so I went rather basic. Just pork, noodles, scallions, and spice.
And here it is! Yes, it smelled and tasted just as good as it looked. It was certainly worth the wait. Next time I'll up the spice level, I can barely feel a level 3. This was just a test run just to see how spicy it really was. See that red sauce? Every dollop is another level, and that's what three looks like. I've seen people order level 10 and it's more sauce than broth at that point.
Either way, make sure you don't get that broth in your eyes, as that happened to me a few times while eating it. I made the mistake of eating the noodles when they were fresh and really hot, which actually burned some of my lower lip. I'll spare you what it looks like, it got kinda gross. But absolutely worth the pain. Again, something to fix for next time.
If there's a negative it's that they only give you two slices of pork with your order, just so you'll buy the refill. Which totally worked on me, because it was really good. The same with getting extra noodles, and I'm really glad that's an option since I got sad once I finished them and still had plenty of soup left over. Yeah, it's not cheap, but this is NYC after all.
Look at me, I'm a regular Naruto or whatever his name was! I only know that he liked ramen and had a really raspy voice, and that he's really popular with people born after 1992. It's tough using chopsticks as a lefty, but I was really impressed with myself with how easy I was able to handle things with it.
As good as this was, I keep hearing that the ones in Japan are even better than this, and I can believe it.
Just watch this video of a guy eating Osaka Ichiran:
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/lp5XlUvGVNk" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>
I don't like watching people eat...except for the Strictly Dumpling guy. Thanks to the magic of HD cameras, everything he eats also looks amazing. Hell, he's most of the reason I went here in the first place.
The other cool part is that everyone gets their own booth, and you're served through that window there. It's great with people with social anxiety and like eating by themselves like me.
And with that out of the way, some other cool things I saw and did this month:
The new Pokemon TCG set Astral Radiance came out (mostly based on the Legends Arceus game), and I snagged some good hits! I never pulled a black and gold card before, and these two cards came out of the same pack! I bought ten packs from the Pokemon Center site and I got some other nice hits:
Once again I'd say I'm gonna retire from pack opening, but buying more booster boxes is seriously tempting. Thankfully, I haven't given in. Yet.
I also caught the Bob's Burgers movie last week! I haven't been back in a movie theater in ages, but I had to make an exception for the Belchers on the big screen. I loved it, but I might be biased because I love the show. Instead of going "big" by doing big stupid movie tropes like the family goes on a road trip and meet characters we'll never see again, the movie felt more like a 90 minute episode. But it was a GOOD 90 minute episode of Bob's Burgers, with some great songs and fantastic animation. And frankly, that's all I could ever hope for.
Slight spoiler alert, but I really loved that the villain WASN'T some flat character created for the movie, it was somebody already established! They don't give Tina a new love interest that's totally boring, either. They keep it to Jimmy Jr. If you like Bob's Burgers the show, you're gonna like Bob's Burgers the movie.
The Cradle of Aviation Museum had their first Cradle-Con since the covid mess started and I had a good time! But the highlight was their hall of vintage arcade cabinets, which included a working cabinet of Computer Space. It was the very first arcade game, and it was quite primitive and hard to control. Imagine asteroids but harder to control. But at least I can say I finally played it.
They had all the classics, including the Simpsons beat em up game, Moonwalker, Centipede, even more "modern" hits like Marvel vs Capcom 2. They also had every version of Donkey Kong. I've NEVER seen an arcade cabinet of Donkey Kong 3 before. In that one, you play as Stanley the Bugman, trying to spray gas on bugs Donkey Kong keeps throwing at you.
That'll do it for this month. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna get me a New York slice.