Baltimore, what is wrong with you? Do you hate Ramen or something? I mean come on! It’s not that hard to make (well, hard to make well but whatever)! Alkaline noodles, a kickass broth and some stuff in it, that’s pretty much it. Behind Pho as the “least repesented cusine in Baltimore City,” there’s barely one hand’s worth of establishments that serve any kind of Ramen whatsoever, Tonkotsu or otherwise (more on that after this whinefest). You’ve got your Seafood Ramen at Matsuri in Federal Hill, Beef Ramen at Tuscany-Canterbury’s Chocolatea , I’ve seen a noodle bowl on Of Love and Regret’s menu (at least, it was at one point) and like, that’s about it.
what’s this ….
Well hello there, Shiso Tavern’s (2933 O’Donnell St., Canton) Shiso Ramen Noodle Bowl ($14, may be $16 as of this post). My, your Tonkotsu broth certainly is rich and porky. That fried pork belly draped across the top of those bean sprouts, chilis, soft egg and scallions certainly is crispy and fatty in all the right ways. It sure does go well with that Hoisin Sauce provided. The Rooster Sauce on the side can be added to my liking and desired heat level, boy howdy. Jesus, this shit is good. I’m probably butchering this quote but I’m reminded by something Anthony Bourdain said regarding a clear Pho broth he sampled in Vietnam: “I’d suck this out of Bea Arthur’s asshole everyday 24/7. It’s that good.”
Seriously. I know most of you who’ve been to some highfalutin place in DC or god forbid Momofuku in NYC, please keep your “UM UM EXCUSE ME BLAH BLAH I’VE HAD BETTER IN NEW YORK CITY” comments to yourself. To be sure, this is the best Ramen bowl available in Baltimore. Be that as it may.
Any other places around here worth mentioning? Ramen? Anyone? Anyone else love this shit aas much as I do?