Happy FriYAY, Noshers! I don’t know about you, but this has felt like the longest week ever. I flew to NYC for about 36 hours last weekend (our original flight was canceled so the trip was even shorter than expected!) for some fun plans/Mother’s Day festivities, and I’m definitely paying for it in exhaustion this week! But have no fear, Friday’s here – which means it’s almost the weeeekend! I thought I’d kick off this much-needed two days off with my delicious dining experience at Columbus Park Ramen Shop. Cue mouth watering now…
I’d say I’m simultaneously picky and low-maintenance about my ramen. I know, I don’t get it either. But what I mean is, I’ve definitely eaten (and enjoyed) the 99-cent noodle packets that makes me nostalgic for college life. At the same time, I have been known to research and scout out the best ramen joints in NYC (and the competition there is pretty stiff). And I may have gotten hopelessly lost in Tokyo for about 2 hours trying to find a hidden-away ramen spot that was supposedly amazing (and when I did finally find it, through no navigational savvy of my own, it lived up to the hype). So, yeah…I love my ramen. My very favorite spot in NYC is Ippudo, where the line is always long, the place packed, and the ramen to die for. Yup, I wrote about it six years ago – one of my super early posts! Check it out here if you feel like taking a trip in the wayback machine.
So, when I heard about this tiny little spot in KC that opened up in a garage via a Kickstarter campaign and supposedly had some kick-ass ramen, I had to see and taste for myself. The first thing I noticed was the set of instructions posted outside the door, including rule #4 – “Enjoy quickly; others are hungry too” – I dig it. Much like several of the ramen joints I frequented in NYC and the one I found in Tokyo, you order, eat and get out. No dawdling!
As you can see from the menu, the selection focuses solely on ramen, with a daily pickle dish thrown in for good measure. I appreciate the simplicity. The daily pickle actually features a variety of pickled and fermented vegetables that vary by season – our selection that day included kimchee, mushrooms, scallions, and bean sprouts. Yum!
When it comes to ramen, I’m a huge tonkatsu fan, so I knew that’s what I had to order (top photo). Featuring rich heritage pork broth, white miso, braised country pork jowl, pickled bean sprouts, scallion and spicy sesame, this bowl of deliciousness was decadent, fatty, and full of umami. I added a marinated farm egg because that’s how I do. The result – a bowl of ramen that I’d confidently say was on par with some of the better ramen shops in NYC. Yay!
My eating buddy ordered the slightly healthier but still delicious shoyu ramen, which had a chicken/dashi broth base, roasted Amish chicken (who would have guessed?), marinated farm egg, marinated shiitake, scallion, and yuzukosho. I may have reached over a few times for roasted garlic sprinkled on top. Mmmm…
Rumor has it that there may be another ramen joint opening up in KC soon, but I think this town is big enough for the two of them. In the mean time, I’ll be returning to Columbus Park Ramen Shop fairly regularly (and, it’s right near me!) to partake in some delicious bowls of ramen. Hope to see you there!
Columbus Park Ramen Shop
549 Gillis Street
Kansas City, MO 64106