Tuesday, October 16, 2012

伊藤食堂 (Ito in Kitakata)



I was planning on only having three bowls in Kitakata. But on the walk back to my motorcycle, a little old lady, just shy of 85 years old, stopped me on the street.


She was telling random strangers that the best ramen shop in town was just down the little alley to her right.  Who can argue with little old ladies!


I wanted to continue hanging out, so I invited her along.  Together, we slowly walked the 10 meters in 10 minutes and entered Ito.


As local as it gets.  The place was old, dirty, and empty.  The menu? A stained piece of paper pinned up on the wall.


The tencho fit in perfectly.  Slightly egotistical, he proceeded to tell me which shops in town have horrible ramen, and which shops have horrible staff.  I won't share, but a couple dudes who run ramen shops in Kitakata are apparently すごくダメ.

"What makes your soup so special?" I asked.


It is the niboshi. The dried fish are common in Kitakata ramen, but not at this level. Cooking with niboshi is tough, but if done right it is great for an after-drinks meal.

According to the master, even the foreigners love his ramen.  A group of English teachers living in Shiokawa, the next town over, make a weekly trip to Kitakata for sushi, drinking, and Ito's ramen.


Yeah, this was perfect post-drink ramen.  I should also note that the place wasn't really up to code in cleanliness, and I found a little bug in my ramen.  Not a big deal for me, but I could see that being a big problem for someone used to the spotless, fashionable ramen shops of the big city.


Fukushima-ken, Kitakata, Yachita 7413
Closest station: Kitakata

Open 11:00am-3:00pm, 8:00pm-2:00am

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