For too long, I didn’t know what ramen could be. I was sure that the cheap college staple was it. I happily accepted the squared blocks of dried noodles as they were, doctored them up with fresh veggies and leftover chicken, and didn’t ask questions… until a friend told me of the FRESH ramen they enjoyed in Japan! THOSE noodles had never been dried, or pressed into compact shapes – I needed to try them!!
Enter Ren’s Ramen – a traditional Sapporo Style Ramen House in Wheaton, MD (formerly of Bethesda). Ren’s imports fresh noodles from the island of Hokkaido, and on a recent weekday lunch – I got my fix.
The menu at a ramen house is not very complicated. Pick your preferred broth and toppings, then prepare to be amazed.
At Ren’s you can choose from three pork based broths – fortified with either Salt, Soy Sauce or Miso paste (Ren’s specializes in Sapporo-style ramen which is built on the hearty Miso broth), and one vegetarian broth.
All soups are topped with bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, green onions and dried seaweed. The pork based soups also include a thin slice of roasted pork and crumbles of ground pork. You can choose from other toppings including corn, butter and pork belly, but the BEST a-la-carte toppings are the slow-cooked fatty pork, and the seasoned boiled egg.
I insist you try them both! Mix the egg into the broth – the soft yolk blends in with the spicy soy or the rich miso broth with dazzling effect. While the gratis pork can be dry, the fatty pork is transcendent. The meat falls apart in your mouth and melts on your tongue, perfect when included in a bite with the delicately chewy noodles. Do yourself a favor and visit Ren’s – SOON!Ren’s Ramen 11403 Amherst Ave. Wheaton, MD 20902 (301) 693-0806 CASH ONLY (No ATM) Hours: Mon-Sat 11:30am~3:00pm(Lunch) 5:00pm~10:00pm(Dinner) Sun 11:30am~3:00pm(Lunch) 5:00pm ~ 9:30pm(Dinner) Closed every second and Third Tuesday of Every Month