Tuesday, January 11, 2011

バリ男 (Bario in Jimbocho)



!!! This shop is now closed !!!

Wandering the streets of Jimbocho, looking for a good deal on some ski clothing, I passed Bario.


I was in no mood for Jiro-kei, especially not from a place that boasts the kanji for man - 男 - in the name. Its not that I don't like it, but I was meeting out of town friends in a few hours, and the after effects of "にんにくを入れる?" are usually painful for those at the other end. Yes, you can always tell if someone has had some from a Jiro style ramen shop by the garlic on their breath.


But what's this? I pulled a staff member aside and asked if they were really giving away free ramen today.


The fresh flowers to congratulate a fresh shop gave me my answer. Bario was serving anyone who walked by a free bowl of ramen on their opening day.


No ordering. Everyone gets the same bowl.


The same great noodles and the same great soup. And the same fabulous pork. Very lean, which can be rare. Usually "manly" ramen shops give you a chunk of pig fat, call it chashu, and expect you to be thankful. Bario lets you get away with whatever level of manliness you subscribe to.


Though 3 scoops of garlic are what バリ男 eat. Bari Otoko? Burly Men? Very Man? Berrie Boys?


With this style, you are forgiven for not draining the bowl. The amount of suspended fat bits and the layer of hot oil on the top could do some havoc. So stop just below the 男, and leave, without touching your wallet.


Before leaving, a customer motioned me over to see his bowl. Sure enough, a special message for those with iron stomachs.

I gave him my site's business card, and he gave me his. It was none other than Mr. Tsujida, the head of one of the best shops in town.


Good luck Bario! I'm glad I randomly stumbled by!


Justin said...

what does the bottom of the bowl mean in English?

Brian said...

男だな、ありがとう。 Literally, "It is man, thank you". But it might mean something more like, "Thanks, dude, you totally finished the entire thing."

ashtequila said...

"Certainly a man, thank you" = "(you're) Certainly a man, thank you (for finishing the entire bowl)!"

Steve said...

According to foursquare, Bario has closed.
Can you confirm this, Brian, so I don't wander around Jimbocho trying to [still] find it?

Brian said...