I had been to Daruma Japan Market in Bethesda a ton of times for fun Japanese groceries, but it wasn't until an old roommate brought me there for lunch a few years ago that I realized how fantastic this place really was. It's tucked away in a corner shopping center off Arlington Road and there's always a ton of refrigerated food items (sushi, seaweed salad, pickled veggies, etc), sweet and salty treats, sauces, mochi, and saki. My favorite (or at least it was my favorite) part of the place was the fast food component. They had a short menu with a bunch of different items - ramen, udon, rice bowls and curries - that you could order from and bring over to a small seating area. Everything was pretty reasonably priced and filling (probably under $8). I think the last time we went to Daruma was probably a year ago?
When Jamie said he wanted to go to the Gap to buy a pair of jeans I jumped on the chance to suggest lunch at Daruma. I was SO looking forward to ordering either a bowl of gyudon or something new, but when we got there we couldn't find the menu! I spotted one on the counter where we usually order from and the woman said 'No, no more,' and pointed over by the seating area. Apparently there's a new restaurant inside of Daruma and it's called Ren's Ramen and they serve just that - ramen ramen all the time. :(
Now, I do love a bowl of ramen every so often (and no, not just a pack of the good ol' college standby meal. I'm talking about ramen noodles with roast pork, veggies, fish cake, etc.), but I really really wanted not ramen!
Shoyu ramen (roast pork, bamboo shoots, bean sprouts)
Jamie's (the shoyu ramen) totally wins for best bowl. His broth was beefy and salty whereas mine was a little too sweet for me. I also wanted to do an add in of corn but they didn't have any :( I love corn.
After eating, we did a lap and I picked out some fun goodies for meals later on this week plus a few snackies. There's nothing healthy about the snacks I bought, but they are definitely delicious. I picked up a bag of these sweet potato sticks. YUM. Think banana chips, but made of sweet potatoes and in stick form...ADDICTIVE.
Also picked up a bag of these tempura crackers a friend of ours got us addicted to. It's basically a piece of one-sided tempura-d nori dusted with wasabi powder. It's like a wasabi pea, but replace the pea taste with the taste of nori. Equally addictive.
Definitely need to detox after this weekend. I made sure to grab a bunch of greens and fruits for the meals this week (not from Daruma though..just the Giant). Plus I've been thinking of a really good track workout for this week. I'll fill you in on Wednesday. Hopefully the group won't hate me for it! ;)
And yes, Jamie's spicy steamed shrimp was awesome. Unfortunately I had too many cocktails while watching the Caps game to take pictures.