Another gem from Steff Dechenes’ Eat the Year is today’s holiday. When I saw this on the calendar, I knew I had to do a post about noodles. Noodles are one of my favorite foods. Mushrooms will always take the cake on that, followed closely by garlic. Noodles are up there, though. Pasta with marinara, buttered noodles, Chinese lo mein, Thai pad thai noodles, it’s all good. Also, ramen! Which brings me to what I wanted to share most for today’s holiday.
On one of my recent trips to Whole Foods, I came across Annie Chun’s Spring Vegetable Ramen. It’s a packet of soup base and soft-dry noodles that you can customize yourself with protein and veggies.
The first time I made it, I had just made my snow pea and mushroom concoction the night before and had some left overs. I added those after I tried the ramen on its own. The ramen and broth are really flavorful. Without any veg or protein, it definitely doesn’t feel like a meal, so that’s something to consider when you make it. Adding the snow peas and mushrooms, plus the bit of their sauce/juice they created was a very nice addition.
I’ve made it a second time now and ventured to add a protein. I had some leftover rotisserie chicken, so I hand shredded one of the legs and added it in with yet again leftover snow peas and mushrooms (they really are good!). All in all, a really good meal. I’ve seen the ramen at my local Fred Meyer (Kroger group grocery) in the natural foods section. If I remember correctly it also comes in two other flavors, but I don’t remember what they are. I’d say they’re worth a try.
If you live near Forest Grove, OR, you should make the drive out to Pac Thai. I was lucky enough to be introduced to Pac Thai by a good friend in 2012. Since, it’s become an addiction. A delicious, delicious addiction.
One of the things that I love most about Pac Thai is the staff. It’s a family owned restaurant in the truest sense. Besides the owners, the others who work there are warm and friendly, remembering regulars and very helpful to newbies. PT is actually the first place that I feel I have achieved regular status. There is one girl who, in the nicest way, gives me a hard time when I order the same thing every time she waits my table. What’s my usual?
Amazing on a plate. My mouth is watering just looking at this photo. Not kidding.
Pad Thai. Does that not look delicious? Aren’t you hungry now? I go back and forth between wanting it with shrimp or chicken. I have also enjoyed the ginger lover (first a little tongue-in-cheek after telling one of my best friends–who happens to be ginger–about the dish), and broccoli with oyster sauce. The one thing that I have yet to try is the curry. I have heard nothing but raves about it, but for some reason (okay, I’m a little scared of how spicy it might be) I haven’t brought myself to do it yet. Part of it is that I am a huge sucker for noodle dishes. It is what I love most about Asian cuisines. Noodles in so many sauces, and almost none of them dairy based! Worry free eating! But I digress.
What also makes PT a fun place to eat is the local community. If you don’t know, Forest Grove is a small place. It has that lovely small town feel. So every time you go in, it’s a little like stopping into a local diner, seeing familiar faces (even if you don’t know their names) and for most of the year, students of the nearby Pacific University (my alma mater–a little aside: I love that I can say that now! I graduated! Ok, I’m done.). It just a fun place to go with friends and hang out, chat over some really good food.