In my opinion, there is never a bad day to enjoy a steaming, hot bowl of soup. It is my absolute favorite food group. Yesterday, I decided to jump on the “ramen-makes-a-comeback” bandwagon. So, I hopped the CTA Blue Line and headed up to Furious Spoon in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood for a spectacular solo lunch.
Furious Spoon is located conveniently around the corner from
the Damen ‘L’ stop in the Flatiron District.
What a fabulous choice I made! Furious Spoon is celebrating 1 month in business. Shin Thompson is the Chef/Owner. To say that Chef Shin is very serious about the ramen he’s serving up would be a huge understatement. He shipped his gigantic noodle machine here from Osaka, Japan. He told me it cost him more to ship the machine than it did to buy it. After seeing the actual size and weight of this monster noodle-maker for myself, I believe him!
Furious Spoon has an open kitchen, so you can watch the staff roll, press and cut the long sheets of dough into noodles for the approximate 350 bowls of ramen they create daily. I haven’t taken a survey, but I would be willing to bet that no other ramen shop in town is scratch-making its own noodles. They’re making some serious dough here 😉
Here’s how my lunch went down:
First of all, there are only 4 ramen bowls on Furious Spoon’s menu. To offer so few menu choices, you’ve got to have a pretty big set of ba***… Uh, I mean bowls. Of noodles. Chef Shin’s bowls are just that big and, clearly, he is not lacking in confidence. Very cool!
I ordered the signature “Furious Spoon” bowl. The wonderful mound of ramen noodles swam in a deep bowl of broth with spicy miso, beef brisket, cha-sui (pork belly), toroniku (pork cheek), marinated mushrooms, a poached egg and garlic relish. I added bean sprouts which are one of the toppings offered at additional cost.
The bowl is so deep you can get lost in it. The noodles and meat were cooked to perfection. The egg yielded quickly to my chopsticks and I mixed the runny yolk into the steaming broth. “The Furious Spoon” bowl is nice and spicy. I definitely got my fix of garlic. Of course, I could have turned up the heat even more by adding Chef Shin’s apple hot chili sauce to the mix. However, this was my first visit and I wanted to let all of the original, intended elements of the dish stand on their own. That said, I will be sampling that special apple hot chili sauce on my next visit very soon.
Chef Shin named his place Furious Spoon to honor the Japanese tradition and belief that ramen should be eaten at a furious pace, in order to prevent the noodles and other ingredients from becoming soggy in the hot, steamy broth. His chalkboard menu prominently proclaims that this is “NOT TO-GO” food. So, I suggest you be prepared to sit, slurp and gulp down these audacious bowls of broth in proper fashion, lest Chef Shin hit you on the head with his spoon!
All 4 of Chef Shin’s “ladles of love” are a huge bang for your buck. They range in price from $6.75 – $11.75. You can add a variety of extra toppings for a nominal cost. Furious Spoon also offers some sides in the way of pickles, housemade gyoza and a beef brisket rice bowl. Beverages include Asaki, Kirin, Orion, Reiko sake and soda.
Stop in with friends or join other solo diners at the long galley of communal tables. I had a lovely conversation with another woman who was enjoying the Vegetable Ramen directly across from me.
Furious Spoon does not accept reservations and they do not offer take-out. Since the space is small and narrow, there can be long lines, depending on when you choose to visit. I promise it is worth the wait. I arrived at 2:30 in the afternoon and settled in right away. The intimate space with its hot, almost human-sized cauldrons of broth can make for a balmy dining experience. So, dress appropriately.
As if the proximity of Stan’s Donuts and Glazed and Infused to the Damen ‘L’ stop was not dangerous enough, now Furious Spoon is nearby to tempt our waistlines even further. Ha! I am not afraid. Everything in moderation, so the saying goes. Good luck!
I urge you all to head on over to Furious Spoon. Take a number, a huge wooden spoon and nose dive into one of the most satisfying bowls of ramen you will ever know 🙂
Furious Spoon is located at 1571 N. Milwaukee Avenue. They are open everyday from 11am -1am (2am on Friday and Saturday). For more information, visit http://www.furiousramen.com.
In keeping with the spirit of Feeding Off The Rails, I encourage you to leave your car at home and take the CTA Blue Line to Furious Spoon. Save on gas. Avoid traffic, road rage and parking. Reduce pollution. Don’t drink and drive!