Noodle Soup for the Sunday Soul

Ah Sunday - the day of rest. A day completely dedicated to rejuvenating one's body and soul. Sure, you can work out. Go for a run. Meditate. Read the bible. Or you can find some inner warmth with a bowl of noodle soup. We're not talking bland, boring chicken soup. Packaged soup won't do either. I'm talking about a hearty bowl of spicy, salty, savory, steaming, sleep inducing soup. Say that three times fast.

Over the past few weeks, I have dedicated much time and caloric intake to finding that perfect bowl of soup. Drum roll please...

The Winner: Ippudo
"Ramen is Japan's Comfort Food" says their website. No argument here. For 13 bucks I got my chi back in order with a bowl of their Akamaru Modern - a traditional tonkotsu soup of fragrant berkshire pork, cabbage, onions, kikurage (a type of mushroom I learned) topped with scallions. It's served in what looks like thirds, measured out by three different sauces floating in one bowl: garlic oil, miso paste and their own 'special sauce'. Who doesn't love special sauce? Cool your mouth off with their cucumber salad, a fresh, albeit salty cold appetizer. If you're feeling gluttonous, treat yourself to their kakuni, braised pork belly that will melt in your mouth and slide down directly to your hips.
    Hot: The waitstaff and chefs cheer enthusiastically upon entering the dining room, wiping away any remnants of your low self-esteem Sunday. However if Saturday night left you with a raging headache, you may want to get your noodles to go. The cheers continue all night at what seems like one minute intervals. Complimentary hot tea post meal helps settle the stomach.
    Cold: Ever popular amongst NYU students, there was a sufficient wait for a table. Curb your hunger at their Ramen noodle decorated bar (you'll just have to see if for yourself to understand) - an icy cold Japanese beer and a steamed pork roll from their bar menu will help ease the wait.

Runner-up: Noodle Bar falls in second because I find their broth bland. Excluding the wonderfully spicy/sweet Singapore Noodles, their broths call for a three-pronged attack with their alla cart sauce tray - holding Srircha, soy sauce and a house made chili oil. I find myself giving each bite a pour. It does allow you to control your salt intake as well as the heat, which some might find accommodating. Their lunch specials are also worth mentioning, where for $7.95 you get your choice of soup/salad and two spring rolls alongside your entree.
    Hot: Their cold sesame-peanut noodles are tops. A must try.
    Cold: The decor- minimal, but not in that 'oh, but it looks clean' way.

Honorable Mention: Sammy's Noodle Shop Again I found their broth to be bland and their noodles too dense, but their wok noodles hit home with some of my compadres - the lo mein being the show stopper here.

Write the Heat and tell us about your favorite noodle shop. Afterall - Sunday is only a week away.

- The Heat


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