On our way over to our weekly Dinin’ Hall visit, I remarked to Kish — and special guest Russell — that I had a serious hankering for a brothy noodle meal with, perhaps, some pork thrown in for good measure.
Oh, did the food gods ever answer my hungry prayer! When we arrived the Mashita Noodles cart was there, and cooking. Their homemade Ramen noodles were exactly what I was craving. And what intriguing options, too! I went for the spicy noodles, the Mashita bacon broth, and the Kool-Aid pulled pork. That’s right — Kool-Aid pulled pork. Like every Mashita bowl, it came with a soft-boiled egg and some thin cucumber slices on top. I had to check it out, and I was willing to run the risk that a large, sweaty, anthropomorphic beverage pitcher would come crashing through the wall while I was enjoying my meal
It was an inspired combination and stuffed to the gills with moist, fall-apart, infused-with-broth pulled pork — so good that I found myself thinking strange thoughts as I used chopsticks, and then a plastic soup spoon, to pound it down. Thoughts like: why can’t Dinin’ Hall provide larger plastic spoons so I can eat this even faster? And: why do they have to make these plastic bowls with the annoying little ridge ringing the bottom, which makes it difficult to get at every last, savory drop?
As I write this, I recognize that I’ve raved about virtually every food item I’ve consumed at Dinin’ Hall. So be it. Their food truck vetting process must be flawless. I’m beginning to suspect that Dinin’ Hall is like Italy — you just can’t get a bad meal there.
It was a beastly hot day today — so what better thing to do for lunch than hike more than a mile across the river in the broiling sunshine to get to Dinin’ Hall?
The Unkempt Guy, the Bus-Riding Conservative and I decided to tough it out anyway. We were intrigued by the fact that the Dinin’ Hall calendar showed that The Urban Pig and Mashita Noodles would be there dishing out food truck and food cart goodness. Who can resist a food truck called The Urban Pig, with a capital “The”? Obviously, this is not just any Urban Pig — it is The Urban Pig, just as OSU is The Ohio State University.
When three sweaty walkers finally arrived, however, we learned that The Urban Pig was not present. It had succumbed to the bane of food trucks — a mechanical breakdown. Our consternation was only momentary, however, because that meant we all got to eat the excellent noodle bowls served up by the friendly, hard-working folks at Mashita Noodles. I had mine with shredded pork, to give a nod to The Urban Pig, and I ate every morsel and gladly spooned up the last drop of the traditional Japanese broth. Surprisingly, a bowl of hot noodles, pork, cuke and radish slices, and broth goes down every well indeed on a hot day.
We savored our noodle bowls, our cold water, and the shady, fan-breezy atmosphere in Dinin’ Hall, then ventured out into the harsh glare and humidity once more. By the time we got back to the office we were wilted and dripping and had decided that Dinin’ Hall might be past the outer walking limits on days when the thermometer hits the mid-90s. That just means that, on the next stifling summer day, we’ll have to let the BRC suggest a bus route instead.