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Nom Nom Ramen

Finally, a ramen place in Philadelphia that we mostly seem to agree on. Nom Nom Ramen popped up quietly in center city. It was soft open for awhile, and now is open for lunch and dinner. And diners, rejoice in their ramen goodness. The menu is starkly simple – RAMEN. Plus pork buns. And that’s it. The pork buns are delicious. They surely give momofuku a run for their money, plus you don’t have to take a trip to NYC. 
Moving onto the ramen!  Here’s the original Shio, which is the salt broth. It’s seasoned with salt and white soy sauce, but is all based on the tonkotsu broth. What’s tonkotsu broth? Pork, baby, pork. Pork bones, to be exact. And that’s just what this broth is – porky. There’s really no other way to describe it. It tastes, looks, and feels porky. It leaves that slickery pork residue in your mouth. It’s thick, fatty, and porky. This comes with chashu, kikurage mushrooms, naruto, bamboo, scallions, and pickled ginger. I’d never had a salt broth ramen before, so I was a bit wary. But it’s delicious. 
I always love me the spice, so I got the Spicy. It’s the same tonkotsu based broth, but spicy, with chashu, bamboo, kikurage mushroom, naruto, scallions, and Nom Nom Black Garlic Sauce drizzled on top. This is a delicious bowl of food. Spicy, but not too spicy, and of course, porky as heck. There’s a nice helping of firm noodles. There’s much more noodles than the other ramen joint, which I felt was serving out a paltry serving of actual noodles. It made me happy that Nom Nom doles out a fair portion. I am a fan of this place and their food. It’s very casual, where you order at the counter and then you pick it up. It’s no muss, no fuss, with delicious porky treats. 
Nom Nom Ramen on Urbanspoon


Everybody loves Circles so I finally went! Why did I wait so long? I have no idea. There are two Circles, one take-out place and the sit-down place. I went into the take-out place and got very confused. But they kindly sent me across the street! Ah… that’s more like it! It’s a small dining room with no kitchen. That’s right, all the cooking is done across the street at the take-out place! I don’t know how the logistics of this works, but it just does! I would like to videotape all of the trips the servers have to make crossing the street.
Here are the famed tofu and corn fritters. These hot little suckers are battered and fried and served with a side of citrus aioli and a warm curry tomato compote with crabmeat. These were definitely a win for me. As a fan of tofu and corn, I saw everything right about putting these together.
The pad thai! We both loved it, and M is a big pad thai fan. As for me, I never ever tried pad thai very much, so I hadn’t ever been much of a pad thai fan. Not because I don’t like pad thai, but just because I’ve barely ever tried it. Well now, I’m a convert. Everything just works well here. The ingredients are super fresh, nothing is overcooked, and all of the flavors blend well together.
Drunken noodles are my usual thai dish of choice. I could never get enough of thick rice noodles. And I love the spicy sweetness of drunken noodles. It’s great here, and the portions here are large!
The Fried banana dessert aren’t just slices of banana fried up. Instead, they’re fried spring rolls stuffed with banana, drizzled with a sticky and sweet caramel sauce. They’re incredibly decadent!
We also tried the Thai Donut. Let’s face it, put the word donut on it and I’ll try it! These little donuts are more like plops of fried sugary dough. So they’re like fingerling donuts. And they are amazing! They come with a creamy and sweet dipping sauce, but you don’t need it. These hot puppies are great, as is. I probably haven’t tried enough of the thai restaurants in Philly, but with how good Circles is, I almost feel as I don’t need to! 
Circles on Urbanspoon

Ramen Boy

Ramen in Philly, you say? Until Ramen Boy just opened, the only places to get ramen-like bowls of noodles were at Yakitori Boy, Tampopo, Morimoto, and some random pop-up events. And now, Philly has its very own ramen shop. Brought to you by the same people who run Yakitori Boy, Ramen Boy is in Chinatown. It’s a small place, tastefully decorated, where wood rules. The stools at the bar have a big concave dip for your tookus, and ladies, you can store your purses inside this stool. Handy! The menu is simple: 4 ramen options and a few other appetizer type things. I think they also do have curry and tonkatsu, maybe, for those of you wanting an entree, but not wanting ramen.
I got the spicy ramen. I only got the spicy ramen. I did not try the other options. I really enjoyed it. The broth was spicy, but not too spicy so that it was painful to eat. The meat was tender, although there wasn’t enough of it. There were sprouts as well. I liked the noodles in my ramen the best, as it was firm and not overcooked. But like the meat, there wasn’t enough of the noodles. And at $13, I don’t have to be stuffed, but I should be fairly full, and I could have eaten another bowl. I think they really need to rethink their noodle portions. I’ve read some very mixed reviews of the other ramen options so I’m curious to try them all, but I definitely do have to give the spicy one my thumbs up. But they really need to up the amount of noodles if they’re going to charge me what they’re charging me and still leave me hungry.
I’m no ramen expert, aficionado, connoisseur or anything like that. In fact, I would say I really don’t know much about it. I haven’t even been to Ippudo, shame on me. But I have been to Katana-Ya and a few other respectable ramen joints in or near San Francisco and Seattle. I enjoyed my bowl of spicy ramen at Ramen Boy just as much as I enjoyed my spicy ramen in those other places. It’s overpriced though, considering I can get more bang for my buck in San Francisco, but hopefully, they’ll do something about that. We know Philly has a hankering for ramen and I just hope Ramen Boy will step up to sate our hankers!
Ramen Boy on Urbanspoon

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