Monday, October 13, 2008

笑堂 (Shodo Ramen in Kawagoe)


13-2 Kubochuo, Kawagoe City, Saitama
It's near the road entrance to Kitain Temple. It's not hard to find Kitain from anywhere in Kawagoe.

Shodo Ramen, in my "home town" of Kawagoe. I'd never been there before, actually, my culinary expertise of Kawagoe was limited to only a couple spots.

  • There was the Jamaican Okonomiyaki place near my apartment. This place was out in the cuts, and you are guaranteed to be meeting some locals there. The master has dreads down his back, and about 300 reggae discs.
  • A spicy Indian place called Pao's that opened not long before I left.
  • A smoky, loud yakitori place that I went to almost every Saturday night after work. The つくね was the best I've had. Plenty of hearts, livers, and cartilage to satisfy the Japanese people in your group.
  • Oatman's Diner. A seriously cool tex-mex place with route 66 memorabilia all over, and rock music on the speakers.
  • Countless lunch spots too, but those are mostly chosen because of the availability of caffeine. The Italian chain restaurants that played country western pop hits had shitty food, but you could have as many mochas as you wanted. Caffeine + Kids + Kanchos = a great way to start the afternoon.

Shodo earns it's #17 rank. You'll see the walls covered with magazine articles and TV spots touting it as a spot to go. The owner speaks English and his dream is to open a sister shop in Manhattan by 2015. The menu is kind of complicated, but that's cause it is just extra wordy. There are explanations of the broth, meats, toppings, and of course the noodles. I had the standard ぶたそば, pork ramen. The noodles for this one are thin with a lot of bite. Also on the menu is つけそば, with big thick noodles to dip in the broth. If you're hungry, get extra pork, it was hit with an extra roasting before being served to give it some flavor.

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