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Ren's Ramen, Chef-Owner and GM-Owner Eiji and Yono Nakamura in Wheaton


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While enjoying a wonderful bowl of shoyu ramen with pork belly, some egg and seaweed today, overhead the following and found it both incredible and amusing (the latter just until annoyance set in):

Diner#1 @ adjacent table (D1) to companion: "Do they only have ramen here?!"

Diner#2, the companion (D2): "Not sure...wait, they have a couple of other things here on the menu."

D1: "I can't believe how busy this place is given they pretty much only serve ramen"

Waitress: "ready to order"

D2: "yes, we'll have a fried rice and a gyoza. do you have green tea?"

Waitress: "no"

D1: (exasperated): "no tea?! okay, a coke then."

They then divided and shared the rice and the gyoza; but not the coke. One drank water.

Full Kee is just around the corner with a bevy of rice and dumpling dishes. Ruan Thai is just next door.

Huh? How does this happen. I was half expecting Allen Funt to burst through the door.

Ren's RAMEN. RAMEN. Really good RAMEN. It's like someone going to a bar and complaining they don't serve sushi.

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Had the miso today. I forgot to get an egg but didn't forget the pork belly special. It's my best bowl there to date, and I want to go back tomorrow. Chronological proximity is always an issue, but today I am wrestling with this vs. Toki. I think today's was the best I have had at either.

Also, I wanted to note that someone on yelp posted a review complaining about the lack of parking, and having to walk 2 blocks in this "not so great area." That joke wrote itself I think.

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Had the miso today. I forgot to get an egg but didn't forget the pork belly special. It's my best bowl there to date, and I want to go back tomorrow. Chronological proximity is always an issue, but today I am wrestling with this vs. Toki. I think today's was the best I have had at either.

Also, I wanted to note that someone on yelp posted a review complaining about the lack of parking, and having to walk 2 blocks in this "not so great area." That joke wrote itself I think.

Can anyone confirm no msg (soy excepted) at either or both locations of Ren's Ramen and Toki Underground?

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Visited Ren's again. They have a lot of additions to the menu. I should have taken notes because they all have names I don't remember. But there were 4 "weekday specials" on a board, including what I got, Bakudan Ramen, which was a spicier broth with a choice of two broth bases (miso or tonshio I believe).

They also offer two of their styles, again miso or tonshio (I think) in a lighter style, which the waiter explained was a response to customer complaints of saltiness. I am so happy they did not simply change the awesome broth, but rather are offering a choice to dumb gaijin who don't want the authentic, delicious broth.

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Visited Ren's again. They have a lot of additions to the menu. I should have taken notes because they all have names I don't remember. But there were 4 "weekday specials" on a board, including what I got, which was a spicier ramen with a choice of two broth bases (miso or tonshio I believe).

This is probably the Bakudan Ramen, I had it a few months ago when it was a weekend special. It's definitely my favorite of all of their styles, so I'll be very happy if it becomes a regular thing.

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This is probably the Bakudan Ramen, I had it a few months ago when it was a weekend special. It's definitely my favorite of all of their styles, so I'll be very happy if it becomes a regular thing.

Yes that is what it is called, edited my above.

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This is probably the Bakudan Ramen, I had it a few months ago when it was a weekend special. It's definitely my favorite of all of their styles, so I'll be very happy if it becomes a regular thing.

I had this the other day so it's no longer weekends only. It was very good, with a nice amount of heat. We also tried another special, the tantan-men, a sort of Japanese interpretation of dan-dan noodles. Not as spicy as either dan-dan or the bakudan, but I enjoyed the few slurps I tried.

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I waited for the relatively cool weather today and was there at 2:30. The sign said that it was open until 3:00 as does the website.

Door locked, no one came to the door.

Bad form Ren's.

Could be an illness or unexpected emergency. What was your backup plan?

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Lunch! (I am turning into the Lunch Ninja.)

One of today's specials was Ishikari-ramen: salmon, onion, scallions, bean sprouts, seaweed, butter, carrots, and napa cabbage. I got mine with cha-siu pork belly (srsly, ALWAYS get pork belly unless it's against your belief system.)

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The butter was a little bit of a surprise, but man was it good. I will have to do this at home. Tasted like a ginger seasoning on the salmon, which was still firm and held up well in the broth. Gave each bite a nice, unexpected zing. The noodles themselves were nicely chewy.

Don't forget: cash only. There's a gas station ATM across the street in case you get in a pinch. :rolleyes:

I liked this better than Satsuma, but I couldn't tell you exactly why. The latter was good, but just kinda ... there. This bowl had something different about it. A little more depth, a little more adventure.

No matter. There are bigger problems than knowing two good ramen places.

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Did dinner last night since our daughter had a ramen craving and I had to pick up both kids and son's daycare is out in that direction. First in spite of it being nearly totally empty on arrival, they insisted on us waiting until everyone got there. I understand the policy, but sometimes it can be ridiculous.

Anyway WRT the food, the noodles are still fantastic here. I made a departure from my usual shoyu and got miso ramen which was superb. Very nice flavor and not as salty as  I had expected given the saltiness of the shoyu. Both kids loved it and ate a lot of my ramen. My wife got the shoyu which remains very salty which is too bad as the underlying broth is really good, just too much salt for me. The only complaint I would have is that the boiled egg is cold. While it worked out fine since it was for my kids to eat, if it were for me, I would not want such a cold egg, though it is boiled to just the right gooey-ness in the yolk and re-heating it would probably overcook it.

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