Anti-Social Ramen Chain, Ichiran, Opens in US

ichiran-new-yorkThe popular Japanese ramen chain, Ichiran, has opened its first US shop in Brooklyn, NY. Ichiran focuses on what they call “low interaction dining” where guests dine alone in booths and focus solely on their food. Diners are not greeted upon arrival, nor do they need to speak to a server to order. Customers check their ramen preferences on a menu printed on a chopstick sleeve which is placed over an electronic eye on each table.While Yardbird’s motto is “sharing is caring”, Ichiran’s success reveals that sometimes, people just don’t want to share. Some say it's the delicious ramen, others say it’s the mindfulness of eating without distractions, but with 60 locations in Japan and Hong Kong that are open 24/7 and crowds waiting to dine at the new NY outpost, Ichiran is definitely on to something. Or maybe we just need a little solo time with a big bowl of hot noodles once in a while. Image Courtesy: Grub Street

It's Not New York Without its Bodega Boys

bodega-boys-sundays-groceryBodegas - the convenience stores on street corners that stock everything from toilet paper to cigarettes to Arizona Iced Tea. They're a New York City staple that add character and a sense of community to each borough. Unfortunately, with rising rent prices, bodegas in NYC are starting to close down, but the 'Bronx Bullies' (Desus Nice and Kid Mero) are trying to keep the spirit and soul of the bodega experience alive.The duo began with a podcast and web series on Complex called Desus vs. Mero and have continued with a new podcast, aptly named Bodega Boys. While they've branched out to contribute to MTV's Uncommon Sense and Joking off, they remain an authority on the native NYC bodega experience. They shared their thoughts on why these spots are so integral to New York's identity in an interview with First We Feast."The bodega is pretty much the heart of the hood, so we’re giving you that feeling," Desus says. "People call it [our podcasts] barber shop-type talk, but it’s just two dudes talking about whatever the fuck is going on in the world."Check out episode 1 of Bodega Boys, titled 'WE GOT WINGS', below and listen to the entire series here.[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/223412554" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="450" iframe="true" /]Want to know more about bodegas? Check out @40sandflower's photo project, Bodegas of Manhattan here. Image Courtesy iTunes