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  • Post #91 - January 6th, 2018, 3:33 am
    Post #91 - January 6th, 2018, 3:33 am Post #91 - January 6th, 2018, 3:33 am
    Well, it seems another event has slid to a different time of year. In this case, it is Ramenfest. This used to be in November, but for 2018, it is slated for Sunday, 18 February. It is still @ Urbanbelly {1400 W. Randolph St.; Chicago, IL. 60607}. If you did not click through back there, it will cost $78.62, and start at 12:01 pm.
    Another element which also has not changed is that its twenty-three participating restaurants are not ramen shacks, or even Japanese cuisinal restaurants.
    1. Barry Sorkin | Smoque BBQ
    2. Giuseppe Tentori | GT Prime
    3. AJ Walker | Publican Anker
    4. Stephanie Izard | Little Goat
    5. Julie Warpinski | Big Star
    6. Dan Snowden | Bad Hunter
    7. Christine Cikowski & Joshua Kulp | Honey Butter Fried Chicken
    8. Pat Sheerin | City Mouse
    9. Nick Lacasse | Half Acre
    10. John Manion | El Che Bar
    11. Jimmy Bannos | Heaven on Seven
    12. Mathias Merges | Gideon Sweet
    13. Dan Salls | Quiote
    14. Eric Michael | Regards to Edith
    15. Jimmy Papadopoulos | Bellemore
    16. John Shields | Smyth
    17. Mark Steur | Funkenhausen
    18. Mike Brockman | Woodstone Ovens
    19. Brenton Balika | Margeaux Brasserie
    20. Jason Hammel | Lula Cafe
    21. Toni Robertson | The Peninsula
    22. Carrie Nahabedian | Naha
    23. Rick Ortiz & Diego Cruz | Antique Taco
    (I wonder: Are ramen shacks even invited, or do they need to apply to the organizers?)
    Oops. I forgot to buy a ticket for this. :oops: However, I think they will release a second batch of General Admission tickets before 18 February.
    The links you can use, without the fluff, or sales pitch: http://208.84.112.25/~pudgym29/bookmark4.html
  • Post #92 - January 6th, 2018, 12:24 pm
    Post #92 - January 6th, 2018, 12:24 pm Post #92 - January 6th, 2018, 12:24 pm
    We were at Oiistar a couple weeks ago for dinner and really enjoyed the spicy veggimen ramen and the mushroom buns.

    It was a crazy cold night and the ramen really hit the spot prior to heading to the Den Theater.
  • Post #93 - January 7th, 2018, 9:04 am
    Post #93 - January 7th, 2018, 9:04 am Post #93 - January 7th, 2018, 9:04 am
    Maybe it was because I'm 2 weeks into a cold, maybe it was because I like salt way more than most people, but I thought the Oiistar classic was lacking a little flavor. The broth was great on its own, but the noodles were bland and dragged the bowl down for me. I sat at the counter by the kitchen and used some of the hoisin and sriracha which helped, but to me it specifically lacked salt. I don't have a high spice tolerance, so I don't think going to the spicy bowl would help.

    The plusses: the pork belly was silky, the egg was still runny. (Not sure if it went into the bowl hot or not, I tend to save them til the middle - end.) I got the upgrade of fried chicken thigh which was terrific - especially with a dab of hoisin. The waiter was friendly and recommended the Forbidden Root ginger beer, which was great. (It's actually beer brewed with ginger rather than a soda-type ginger beer.)

    I tried to finish the bowl, couldn't quite do it. I'll go back, but bring more people with me so we can try the buns too.
  • Post #94 - April 20th, 2018, 1:16 pm
    Post #94 - April 20th, 2018, 1:16 pm Post #94 - April 20th, 2018, 1:16 pm
    WhyBeeSea wrote:Really wanted to love kizuki as it's one of the few places in the area w tsukemen, but thought it was just ok

    I agree. I ordered the Garlic Tonkotsu Shoyu Ramen and thought the broth was one-dimensional -- mainly a strangely acrid and unpalatable garlic note. The pork chashu was just plain tired and chewy, and tasted like old meat. I thought the noodles had nice flavor and chew, though. Overall, the the bowl was so disappointing, I cut my losses after a few spoonfuls and hoofed it a block south to Oiistar, where I enjoyed a far more righteous bowl.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #95 - April 20th, 2018, 2:02 pm
    Post #95 - April 20th, 2018, 2:02 pm Post #95 - April 20th, 2018, 2:02 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    WhyBeeSea wrote:Really wanted to love kizuki as it's one of the few places in the area w tsukemen, but thought it was just ok

    I agree. I ordered the Garlic Tonkotsu Shoyu Ramen and thought the broth was one-dimensional -- mainly a strangely acrid and unpalatable garlic note. The pork chashu was just plain tired and chewy, and tasted like old meat. I thought the noodles had nice flavor and chew, though. Overall, the the bowl was so disappointing, I cut my losses after a few spoonfuls and hoofed it a block south to Oiistar, where I enjoyed a far more righteous bowl.

    =R=


    Have y'all tried Strings in Chinatown? Hell Ramen and (when on special) Curry Ramen can be really nice, while I'm so satisfied with duck chazuke - half the price, still a generous portion - that I hardly ever go ramen.

    However, the tsukemen quality is excellent, and perhaps even more than all of the above I recommend the Oden. 95 cents an ingredient - get daikon, maitake, kurubota sausage, age tofu, and you get a big bowl of dashi with ingredients and a side dipping bowl of sweet soy and pungent wasabi for $3.80. That's getting to Ghareeb territory for quality-value ratio. Or, while apropos of nothing, the kalua pork tacos and a bowl of pozole (the latter now sadly out of season) at Aloha Wagon.
  • Post #96 - April 20th, 2018, 2:28 pm
    Post #96 - April 20th, 2018, 2:28 pm Post #96 - April 20th, 2018, 2:28 pm
    Santander wrote:
    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    WhyBeeSea wrote:Really wanted to love kizuki as it's one of the few places in the area w tsukemen, but thought it was just ok

    I agree. I ordered the Garlic Tonkotsu Shoyu Ramen and thought the broth was one-dimensional -- mainly a strangely acrid and unpalatable garlic note. The pork chashu was just plain tired and chewy, and tasted like old meat. I thought the noodles had nice flavor and chew, though. Overall, the the bowl was so disappointing, I cut my losses after a few spoonfuls and hoofed it a block south to Oiistar, where I enjoyed a far more righteous bowl.

    =R=


    Have y'all tried Strings in Chinatown? Hell Ramen and (when on special) Curry Ramen can be really nice, while I'm so satisfied with duck chazuke - half the price, still a generous portion - that I hardly ever go ramen.

    However, the tsukemen quality is excellent, and perhaps even more than all of the above I recommend the Oden. 95 cents an ingredient - get daikon, maitake, kurubota sausage, age tofu, and you get a big bowl of dashi with ingredients and a side dipping bowl of sweet soy and pungent wasabi for $3.80. That's getting to Ghareeb territory for quality-value ratio. Or, while apropos of nothing, the kalua pork tacos and a bowl of pozole (the latter now sadly out of season) at Aloha Wagon.

    Have not tried Strings yet because mixed notes on it have tempered my urgency but your enthusiasm and specific recommendations have certainly moved it up the runway for me.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #97 - December 14th, 2018, 7:26 pm
    Post #97 - December 14th, 2018, 7:26 pm Post #97 - December 14th, 2018, 7:26 pm
    A few weeks ago, I went out one Sunday afternoon. I headed for the Halsted | Randolph corridor. For an early dinner, went to High Five Ramen.
    This time, I went for the full-tilt, full-spice, full-heat bowl.
    Oh dear. :cry:
    This is a mixed report.
    I am glad to relate I finished the bowl. But it did a number on my stomach. I will not order the full-heat bowl ever again.
    I did not have to wait long at all. I got there 15 minutes after it opened. There was a stool along the bar. Here are photographs I shot. I apologize that, at times, in dim light, my Canon camera does not want to focus properly. Image Image Image The remedy for the turmoil in my stomach was going over to Cruz Blanca Cerveceria and having a couple of house beers (Only $4 on Sunday. :))
    High Five Ramen remains a solid ramen shack for Chicago. I just urge you to consider carefully if you want to go for the full-heat bowl. :arrow:
    The links you can use, without the fluff, or sales pitch: http://208.84.112.25/~pudgym29/bookmark4.html
  • Post #98 - December 20th, 2018, 7:07 am
    Post #98 - December 20th, 2018, 7:07 am Post #98 - December 20th, 2018, 7:07 am
    Chicago’s booming ramen scene is getting multiple additions from up north. Kinton Ramen, a popular Canadian chain that began in Toronto in 2012, is planning to open multiple Chicago restaurants as well as some in the northeast in early 2019

    https://chicago.eater.com/2018/12/19/18 ... -park-2019
    Hors D'oeuvre: A ham sandwich cut into forty pieces.
    - Jack Benny
  • Post #99 - October 24th, 2019, 9:00 pm
    Post #99 - October 24th, 2019, 9:00 pm Post #99 - October 24th, 2019, 9:00 pm
    To bring this significant thread back to page 1, I mention this intriguing offer I got in my E-Mail box a day ago {alert: .pdf file} from Furious Spoon.
    If you can fill up this {bingo :?:} card between today and 30 November, you are entitled to one free bowl of ramen a day, per person, throughout the month of December 2019. :D
    A glimpse of the card reveals squares I fancy my chance to fill up. I typically order the gyoza ("starter"). The ramen is what I enter for. The beverage spots could be fulfilled on one visit. It appears I would have to order an additional "starter" on two visits. That won't be difficult.
    The difficult part for me would be venturing out of the abode here every day in December 2019, to have my free bowl of ramen. Venturing out of the abode here every day in May (2020), for comparison, would seemingly be easier. :wink:
    Anyhow, I refer this in here. It is under a few layers on the Furious Spoon World-Wide Web site, so you might miss it otherwise. Furious Spoon's ramen is in the Top 10 of ramen shacks in metropolitan Chicago. The previous warnings about explicit hip-hop music playing in the background are still valid.
    The links you can use, without the fluff, or sales pitch: http://208.84.112.25/~pudgym29/bookmark4.html
  • Post #100 - October 28th, 2019, 8:58 am
    Post #100 - October 28th, 2019, 8:58 am Post #100 - October 28th, 2019, 8:58 am
    I'm curious - are bowls of ramen in Japan as huge as they are here? I went to Oiistar and got the Oiimen and while it was very good, I was about done 75% of the way through. I wonder how much of that is the American super-size tendency and how much is traditional. I've found that when places offer a smaller size, I take it (Santouka is the only one I can think of that does this).

    In the meantime, I think I'm going to work my way through some of the offerings in the city - I hit Santouka and Misoya semi-regularly, and now I've gone to Furious Spoon, Ramen-San, High Five (twice) and Oiistar. I need to try more places so I can figure out what I like!
  • Post #101 - October 28th, 2019, 10:06 am
    Post #101 - October 28th, 2019, 10:06 am Post #101 - October 28th, 2019, 10:06 am
    From my experience in Japan, bowls are not any bigger in America and a lot of places in Japan will even offer you more noodles if you want. American places do focus on piling on toppings more, but that is also not unheard of in some styles of ramen in Japan.
  • Post #102 - October 28th, 2019, 3:22 pm
    Post #102 - October 28th, 2019, 3:22 pm Post #102 - October 28th, 2019, 3:22 pm
    Kid Charlemagne wrote:I was about done 75% of the way through.

    I remember a visit to Tank Noodle (I know, off topic) and was watching the ethnics there would eat most but leave an amount in the bottom.

    I was thinking they were not eating what had settled. Maybe you get more to compensate for the dregs?

    Just my observation.
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat
  • Post #103 - October 28th, 2019, 3:34 pm
    Post #103 - October 28th, 2019, 3:34 pm Post #103 - October 28th, 2019, 3:34 pm
    Panther in the Den wrote:
    Kid Charlemagne wrote:I was about done 75% of the way through.

    I remember a visit to Tank Noodle (I know, off topic) and was watching the ethnics there would eat most but leave an amount in the bottom.

    I was thinking they were not eating what had settled. Maybe you get more to compensate for the dregs?

    Just my observation.


    Ethnics. Cool....
  • Post #104 - October 28th, 2019, 4:16 pm
    Post #104 - October 28th, 2019, 4:16 pm Post #104 - October 28th, 2019, 4:16 pm
    Panther in the Den wrote:I remember a visit to Tank Noodle (I know, off topic) and was watching the ethnics there would eat most but leave an amount in the bottom.

    smh, wow
  • Post #105 - October 29th, 2019, 6:45 am
    Post #105 - October 29th, 2019, 6:45 am Post #105 - October 29th, 2019, 6:45 am
    Image
  • Post #106 - October 29th, 2019, 9:35 am
    Post #106 - October 29th, 2019, 9:35 am Post #106 - October 29th, 2019, 9:35 am
    Panther in the Den wrote:watching the ethnics

    Like an episode of National Geographic.
  • Post #107 - November 7th, 2019, 12:39 am
    Post #107 - November 7th, 2019, 12:39 am Post #107 - November 7th, 2019, 12:39 am
    Am I being challenged? :wink:
    I have taken photographs of the dimensions of ramen bowls. I do not discern a difference in the sizes used between Japan and Chicago.
    Now, as for toppings of ramen, the pre-eminent pinnacle in Japan is Ramen Jiro [no link by me - there are thousands if you search for it]. I ate at the Ramen Jiro in Jinbocho in December 2012. It nearly ended horribly, but not for reasons to do with the ramen. (You can ask me about the snag.) Finishing a bowl of Ramen Jiro is a requirement. If you don't eat it all, you won't be served in the future.
    I finished the bowl. {Phhhhtttt}
    Here are the photographs illustrating my accomplishment. Do not challenge me like this again, OK? :o Image Image Image Image Image
    The links you can use, without the fluff, or sales pitch: http://208.84.112.25/~pudgym29/bookmark4.html
  • Post #108 - November 7th, 2019, 10:52 am
    Post #108 - November 7th, 2019, 10:52 am Post #108 - November 7th, 2019, 10:52 am
    In the expanded sense of Chicago, Kitakata Ramen Ban Nai in Hoffman Estates is a very nice add to the lunch options in the area. Part of a Japanese chain, their base ramen is Kitakata style, with a lighter, clear broth when compared to tonkotsu or other styles. In fact, I find is is one of the few ramens I crave even in warmer weather. On the flip side, some who have joined me have been slightly disappointed if they expected a super rich broth. There is a plain and one with chile and green onions, which I prefer, as it has a bit more flavor. They later added a few other versions, and I have tried the miso, which was fine but I don't think their specialty.
  • Post #109 - November 7th, 2019, 11:58 am
    Post #109 - November 7th, 2019, 11:58 am Post #109 - November 7th, 2019, 11:58 am
    gnarchief wrote:From my experience in Japan, bowls are not any bigger in America and a lot of places in Japan will even offer you more noodles if you want. American places do focus on piling on toppings more, but that is also not unheard of in some styles of ramen in Japan.


    Strings Ramen is expanding into Hyde Park soon, and I’m a fan of the Chinatown location, particularly the often gratis extra toppings or noodles the kitchen sends out. I admit I like the duck chazuke, broccoli, and oden (age tofu) more than the ramen, plus royal milk tea. Their togarashi is exceptional (so orangey) and on every table with house chili oil. I find the broths simple, but the basic dashi itself really nice, and the toppings well-prepared. Santouka is still my gold standard / happy place but really a different animal.
  • Post #110 - Today, 8:53 am
    Post #110 - Today, 8:53 am Post #110 - Today, 8:53 am
    Santander wrote:
    gnarchief wrote:From my experience in Japan, bowls are not any bigger in America and a lot of places in Japan will even offer you more noodles if you want. American places do focus on piling on toppings more, but that is also not unheard of in some styles of ramen in Japan.


    Strings Ramen is expanding into Hyde Park soon, and I’m a fan of the Chinatown location, particularly the often gratis extra toppings or noodles the kitchen sends out. I admit I like the duck chazuke, broccoli, and oden (age tofu) more than the ramen, plus royal milk tea. Their togarashi is exceptional (so orangey) and on every table with house chili oil. I find the broths simple, but the basic dashi itself really nice, and the toppings well-prepared. Santouka is still my gold standard / happy place but really a different animal.

    They will occupy the space at 1453 East 53rd Street, which was filled by Hiro Sushi until it closed earlier this year.

    https://www.chicagomaroon.com/article/2 ... ngz-ramen/
    Hors D'oeuvre: A ham sandwich cut into forty pieces.
    - Jack Benny

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