Ramen Spree in NYC
We love to make the most of our weekends alone together. This weekend, we decided to hop on a train to New York City and satisfy our ramen craving. Ramen is scarce in these parts. I've said on so many occasions (probably while I was shivering in these freezing temps) that we need a ramen shop in West Chester.
We were inspired by this story, where a couple went on a 3-day spree, eating 10 bowls of ramen. Ten! After 2 days and 3 bowls of our own, we have a heightened appreciation for Lisa and David. From Saturday afternoon to Sunday morning, we would set out to eat ramen.
Stop #1: Momofuku
Knowing part of David Chang's story and the buzz around this little shop, we knew Momofuku would be our first stop. We arrived at 11:40am on a Saturday, expecting to see the line down the block. We were the second party, surprisingly, but I still swear it was a fluke because the line quickly formed behind us. Doors opened at 12:00. We were seated, and every seat was immediately occupied, still with a line out the door. The staff was bustling, serious, and a well-oiled machine. Impressive to witness.
|At 12:06. Packed.|
|The making of the buns.|
|Brisket buns were our favorite, over the pork.|
|And this guy was dishing out the kimchee and other sides.|
Stop #2: Totto Ramen
- Put your name on the clipboard. *Important* Just because people are waiting outside, don't mistake this for the line. The "line" is the list on the clipboard that hangs on the front door. Open the vestibule door, grab that list, and get your name on it. Now you're in line. Also, don't miss your name being called. Your name will be crossed off, and the next party will be called.
- Take a menu. The hostess will take your order when she's ready.
- Your name is called. You're seated.
- Ramen is served!
And the ramen! I enjoyed Totto Miso Ramen. Mild, savory, buttery. The koji miso and ground pork in a scoop on top would be mixed in for a deeper, richer broth.
He happily slurped the Totto Spicy Ramen. He likes it spicy. And this was just spicy enough, assuming the extra spicy version may have been over the edge.
Stop #3: Tabata Ramen
And now for something completely different. We were so full from an impromptu breakfast-turned-shenanigans with the fun fellows at Empanada Mama. We couldn't possibly order 2 more bowls of ramen, so we split one - despite the odd looks we received for sharing. Onward!
No wait here at Tabata Ramen, but locals seem to love it for a good warm-up. We ordered the Tabata Ramen, which was described as soybean powder and coconut milk-based broth, topped with chicken stew, cilantro, and red onion. Sweet, creamy, and mild with nice, chewy noodles. And we were plenty full, even after sharing the bowl.