Thursday, June 1, 2017

Get to Know Your Neighbors: Andrew Townson and David Forster

By Craig Bettenhausen

This is the sixth in a series of interviews with Remingtonians. If you would like to be featured, please contact the editor.

Andrew Townson (left) and David Forster live in Remington Row along with Forster’s fiancĂ©e. Forster and Townson are the manager and chef/owner of PekoPeko Ramen, a new restaurant at 7 E 33rd St in Charles Village, across from Barnes & Noble, open for lunch and dinner.

What brought you to Remington?
Townson: We wanted the shop to embody the characteristics we like about Baltimore and wanted to feed off that community feel, and I think we saw a lot of those aspects already present in Remington. And that was attractive to us.

What makes your ramen different than Cup of Noodles?
Forster: I grew up in Tokyo and there, ramen is largely a food you eat out for. Cup Noodles isn’t nearly as good as real ramen. It's not even really comparable. It’s deep fried noodles and sodium; you add hot water and you get something that resembles a meal. Ramen is an entirely different thing when you make it from scratch.

Our style focuses on a chicken bone broth, which is lighter and softer than other restaurant ramen. We have also vegan and vegetarian options where the broth is based on tea and miso. We use fresh, locally sourced ingredients when possible and we make all of our dishes from scratch every single day. Fun fact: this style of ramen is consistently ranked the number one or two children’s food in Japan.

Townson: Ramen is a comfort food in Japan. We wanted to create a relaxed atmosphere where you can eat out, spend some time with your friends. We wanted to translate that comfort food feeling into an experience.

What are your most and least favorite things about living here?
Townson: There’s an energy in Remington. Things are happening. I get my hair cut right here at Old Market Barbers. I just wish it would happen faster; what Remington is doing is really cool, and I want more of it.

Forster: It’s an exciting time to live in Remington. In NYC, which is already so established, it’s hard to see change happening. This city is smaller and it’s easier to see it. It will be interesting to see how Baltimore adapts to the challenges of a fast-growing city.