Tag Archives: japanese restaurants

Naoberly’s Noodle Tour: Chicago Ramen

Right before the shut down, Naoto and I went to Chicago Ramen. It was our next-to-last meal in a restaurant before the pandemic. A few weeks ago, before numbers were really kicking back up with the Delta variant, we were in the neighborhood, so we decided to return. I am so glad we did because now we’re left wondering when we will feel comfortable eating inside again.

Naoto went with the classic white miso ramen. Doesn’t he looked so pleased with his choice? (Also, check out that trail of steam coming off his noodles!)

I ordered the dish Chicago Ramen is famous for–tsukemen. It’s cold, thick noodles that you dip in a warm broth. The broth at Chicago Ramen is made with chicken, pork, and vegetables that is mixed with miso paste. The broth is thick and intense, so it coats the noodles with lots of flavor. At Chicago Ramen, the tsukemen comes with a decadent slice of pork and a lime wedge that adds some acidity to the noodles before you dip them in the rich broth. I can’t express how delicious this combination is. Ramen is hard for me to eat in the heat of the summer, so tsukemen, with its hot/cold combination and perfectly chewy noodles is a perfect substitute.

I am so glad we took advantage of the brief window of safety and went back to Chicago Ramen! We’re looking forward to more noodle tours soon!

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German in Japan

German beer in JapanNot every plan works out perfectly in Japan. On our nengajo day, we had a plan to go to the post office, to the Kitte mall, and to the Tokyo Station Traveler’s Store. While we were at Tokyo Station, we planned to eat at a pretty famous ramen shop in the train station. By the time we were ready for lunch, we were starving and didn’t realize the level of popularity of the ramen shop…the line was so long, it was wrapped around several other shops at the station and we would have had to wait probably upwards of three hours…I wish we’d gotten a picture because it was insanity.

So, it was lunch time at one of the busiest train stations in the city and we had no other plan. So we wandered around the station, trying to find someplace, anyplace that didn’t have a long line. We ended up at a German restaurant. At first I was really disappointed…I felt like we were wasting one of our few meals in Japan at a place we’d settled on. German restaurant in Tokyo, omirice Buuuut…they had omurice, which is Naoto’s favorite Japanese comfort food. He even sang a song about it.

The omurice was a little bit different at the German place. Usually it’s more ketchup based, but here it was more of a brown sauce. But Naoto really enjoyed this spin on his favorite dish. Japanese salibury steakI had the Salisbury steak (hamburg,) which is also a common Japanese comfort food. (Usually, if you can order omurice at a restaurant, you can also order Salisbury steak.) Mine came with fries and really great carrots.

So, an unexpected lunch ended up being a hit…it would have been nice to have tried the amazing ramen shop, but I think we did all right for the circumstances…plus I got to have a melon soda which is always a treat.

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