I admit, I once thought ramen (the instant kind) was just the type of food broke college kids ate. And for good reason, since I was such a student, years before Menkoi, Columbia’s first and only authentic ramen house, opened downtown. Now, thanks to having a real ramen house in the Vista for the last couple years (and Netflix-ing the first season of the PBS series “The Mind of a Chef”), I’ve learned there’s much more to ramen than meets the eye. In Japan, ramen stocks and ingredients vary from region to region, not unlike the many barbecue traditions across the American South. And like barbecue, a good ramen stock can’t be rushed. Menkoi chef Sato says his tonkotsu pork broth simmers for two whole days before it is ready to serve. Two whole days. The flavor and consistency of this silky, marrow-rich, almost creamy broth is heavenly. Comes with marinated pork tenderloin, a soft boiled egg hiding under a sheet of nori, bean sprouts, green onion, spinach, the requisite naruto slice, and of course, ramen noodles — yellow, dense and chewy from their alkaline ingredients. Also pictured: an order of syumai (also known as shumai, $6.50), a set of five delicately hand-wrapped shrimp dumplings, steamed in a soft wonton flour skin and served with a little wasabi-infused soy sauce.
A Family-Friendly New Year’s Eve Carnival
From 6-11 PM on December 31st on Main Street, enjoy rides, games, karaoke, food, drinks and more! More information here.
Great Gifts for the Whole Family
Don’t miss Half Moon Outfitters’ holiday sale! Up to 30% off Prana, Patagonia, The North Face, and other great brands. Location and hours here.
Ice Skate on Main Street
Columbia’s famously hot skating rink is now open! Additional information and discounts can be found here.
New Year’s Eve at Social
Don’t miss this Black and White Affair featuring Kap Slap. Tickets available online!
Relaxation, Pain Management, and Stress Relief
Licensed massage therapist Allison Morris of AMR Massage offers 50% off your first session and every 5th session free of charge. Click here for location, hours, and more information.
Going someplace cool this weekend?
Let The Backpacker help you go lightweight, comfortable and in style! Patagonia, Prana, Merrell, The North Face and more! Click for location, hours and more info.
SEARCH FREE TIMES
Holiday Wish ListWhere to shop for gift ideas in Columbia this season:
U.S. Security Associates
Now hiring immediately for armed and unarmed security officers. WE TRAIN YOU! Columbia & surrounding areas. ussecurityassociates.com
F/T and P/T avail. Must have a clean driving record, organized and have a prof appearance. Please call for an interview or email resume to Kerry@crystalpool.com. Must bring a copy of your Driving record and a list of all past employers with duration of employment listed as well as telephone numbers for references. Call 803-865-1200
Real Estate Spotlight
COOL CARE HEATING & AIR Fall Into Savings With Cool Care By Your Side! coolcarehvac.com
Coldwell Banker United, Realtors Welcome To Our Neighborhood! Work With The Best! CBCarolinas.com
CoMar Products Inc. Manufacturing quality surfaces for kitchens & baths since 1965. www.comarproducts.com
SC HousingFinancing Housing. Building SC. To find out if you qualify or for more information visit schousing.com