Friday, June 8, 2012

Totto Ramen


A few Thursdays ago, 
it was warm and sunny, 
and it was 5:15 p.m., 
and I was starving.

So I went by myself to Totto Ramen.

I pass by this restaurant almost every day, 
twice a day, 
to commute to work, 
and there's always a line. 
ALWAYS, unless it's closed.
In the rain, snow, at midnight, there's a line.

But at 5:25, I just walked in and was seated immediately 
at the counter and given a tall glass of water.

Their menu isn't huge, 
and if you're not there for ramen, 
you should really reevaluate your priorities
since you probably waited on a line to get in.

So I went for their signature ramen, 
and since the original Totto (and the former Torys) 
is known for its chicken, 
I got ordered my ramen with chicken.

And I got it pretty fast. 
The broth was very chickeny delicious. 
It's like the best chicken noodle soup broth ever, 
concentrated, but light on the sodium
that usually gives chicken soup its flavor.

But then I felt the fat on my tongue 
and around my mouth, 
and I was confused about where that aftermath of fat came from, 
because the lightness of the broth 
makes it so that you can just eat it forever.

The straight noodles were perfectly chewy and tasty.

The greens were not very cut up, 
so they were a little stringy. 
I choked on one a little as gracefully as I could 
before being able to swallow it.

The chicken though. 
Oh, when I saw the pork, I regretted ordering my chicken. 
It was pretty dry despite swimming in a really great, chickeny broth! 
What's up with that?

Is it worth the hour plus waiting times that I've seen? 
Not really.
There are many good ramen joints in NYC,
though I wouldn't count Momofuku Noodle Bar as one of them
because the last time I went
the noodles tasted like cardboard,
and I still love the one at Mitsuwa best of all.
Totto Ramen did have some excellent tunes playing though.

Is it worth going there without the hassle of the line? 
Definitely.

Note: Bring a take-out bucket to enjoy the broth later in the evening 
if you don't get a chance to really savor it all there 
because you're full or too warm 
from sitting in front of the huge vats of boiling noodles and broths.
I have no idea if they'll protest this,
but c'mon, you'd be clearing a seat a lot faster
if you weren't mulling over how to fit a cup more of liquid
into your overfilled sweaty gut.
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