and eavesdropping is America's pastime. Pete has been eating on the cheap lately, which for Pete means lots of dumplings, sesame pancakes, and bahn mi. So Pete didn't feel too bad about dropping some real yen on lunch with Bryan Neikro. They set out in search of the Akamaru Modern at Ippudo NY--the first U.S. branch of the super popular Japanese noodle restaurant that is also already super popular in NYC since it was packed at lunch and you can wait between two and three hours to sit at dinner--in the East Village. The super congenial staff greeted us with shouts of Japanese at every facet of the meal. (My best guess is that they said: "Hello, welcome, super!" "You just super ordered!" "Look, the tall white man is super slurping up his soup like an anteater." "Thanks, super come again.") The Akamaru Modern ramen--stewed slices of Berkshire pork, cabbage, scallions, and... then you grind sesame seeds over it (super cute contraptions (see pic)--in their pork-bone broth is their signature dish and it is only served in NYC; it might be the best ramen I have every had. And super bonus: if you eat your ramen up too quickly, you can get more thrown in for a measly two bucks, if there is the proper amount of soup left. And three dollars more gets you a side bowl of pork and rice and a small salad of fresh greens with a pineapple dressing(?). Pete and Bryan ate at a communal table with a bunch of lone diners who are all pretty much all caught up with what's going on in Pete and Bryan's lives. Kudos to them for not even pretending to not listen. Pete was thinking about saying something completely outlandish to get a ramen-spitting reaction, but he refrained. Next time. Finished up with a super nutty cup of tea, it almost tasted like chocolate.