Most of the travel I did in and around Portland, Maine was on foot. This was true whether it was sunny or snowy, mild or cold. After a long day of walking, despite an upset stomach and a deflated mood, I decided to trek a bit further to a ramen shop in the east end of the city. I was invited in out of the howling wind by a small, warm shop and kind faces. Seating was communal, and I was put at a large live-edge wood table in the center of the shop. I placed my order for Hakata-style ramen and was soon greeted by a made from scratch bowl of comfort. From the broth up, everything was house made and prepared with utmost care. One slurp at a time, the steaming dish thawed me, body and mind. The balanced flavors and textures of the carefully composed bowl rebalanced me. As I walked back to the hotel in better spirits, neither the cold was so sharp nor the wind so biting. Every once in a while, there is a meal that is exactly what you need at exactly the moment you need it.