Tuesday, August 28th

Ramen Tatsu-ya

Holla! New ramen shop opening in Austin. You guys know I’m a big fan of authentic ramen. I even tried to make my own last month and when I recover from the PTSD it caused, I will blog about it. Luckily, I won’t have to attempt it again any time soon since Tatsu-ya is filling the void. Mr. Betty and I high-tailed it to the soft opening over the weekend and had a delicious preview of how lucky our city is about to be.

Ramen Tatsu-ya

Located at 8557 Research Blvd, right by Din Ho, Ramen Tatsu-ya is sure to be a hit. I love that this area boasts some of the best Chinese and Vietnamese in the area…and now Japanese. And Mr. Tramps is within walking distance. So, you know: win, win, win, win.

The soft opening was a blast and I was so impressed. I’ve been to authentic ramen shops that offered little in the way of ambiance and no one ever minded. People stared into their bowls and concentrated on slurping their noodles. Ramen Tatsu-ya gives you more to look at than your noodles. This place is so cool! The clean, modern decor and communal seating made me feel right at home. The red, white, and black theme is carried throughout, even to the bathrooms. But more on that in a minute.

Ramen Tatsu-ya seating

We ordered two bowls of ramen. Both were tonkotsu broth based with various other ingredients. Both were divine. They plan on expanding their offerings to include vegetarian options and I’ll be excited to try those, too.

Tonkotsu Original

The Tonkotsu Original was rich and velvety. Satisfied with the normal toppings, we opted not to add any of the many additional ones offered. We did add a Spicy Bomb, which came in the form of a thick red paste and spiced up the broth. They have a Mexican Bomb, too, which I was told gives the soup a tortilla soup-like warmth. I will definitely be checking that out.

Mi-So-Hot

The Miso came in two versions, Mi-So-Hot or Mi-So-Not. Naturally, we got the hot. Look at how amazing that looks! It tasted just as good. Can’t wait to have this again.

Gyoza

We also had an order of gyoza and the succulent dumplings were light and delicious. Really, really good.

Even though this was a soft opening and they were working out the kinks, I could detect none. Service was perfect, food was fast and delicious. I anticipate a line out the door as soon as people realize what a gem this is. So hurry up and go. Ramen Tatsu-ya aims to open in the beginning of September. Check out their website and keep up with the news and updates on Facebook and Twitter.

Bonus, you can pick up some other fun Japanese treats at the counter like Hi-Chew, Pocky, and various sodas and drinks.

Pocky and Hi-Chew

And now, as promised, here are some shots of the restrooms. How amazing is this?! I foresee some Chronicle Awards in their future.

Ramen Tatsu-Ya Restroom Art

Ramen Tatsu-Ya Restroom Art

Ramen Tatsu-Ya Restroom Art

Ramen Tatsu-Ya Restroom Art

Ramen Tatsu-Ya Restroom Art

Ramen Tatsu-Ya Restroom Art

Ramen Tatsu-ya will warm your heart and belly with its delicious ramen that truly is a labor of love to make. If you are uninitiated into the world of ramen, this is the place to get started. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Monday, February 27th

Austin Ramen Scene

Psst! It’s my once-a-year ramen round up and my fifth year contributing to the Austin Food Blogger Alliance City Guide. Back when I started in 2013, I was but a young girl with visions of noodles dancing in my head. Ramen was so new in Austin that I had to create the category in the city guide and certain people thought I was crazy for embracing those cheap dorm room noodles. Now everyone’s a ramen expert. I’m happy that Austinites (and visitors) appreciate our unique scene and it’s grown so much. You can check out the evolution from my previews guides. (20162015, 2014, 2013.) For the first time ever, I’m not listing every single place in that serves ramen in the Austin area. There are just too many places now. So if I didn’t include your favorite, leave me a comment and I’ll it to the list. And while you’re hungry, check out the rest of the guides from my talented food blogger friends. 

2017 Best Places to Eat Austin AFBA City Guide


What’s not to love about ramen? It’s hearty, flavorful, bouncy. It’s not just trending in Austin, but all all over the US. But proudly, Austin’s become notable for its ramen. Enough so that visitors make sure to visit a ramen shop while in town, just like they do with barbecue and tacos. If you haven’t given ramen a try yet, pick a rainy (or sunny) day and hop in line at any of the places listed below. Soon enough you’ll be slurping with the best of them.

If you need more convincing, check out local filmmaker Christian Remde’s Culinary Equation fantastic video all about ramen.

Ramen Tatsu-ya

Ramen Tatsu-ya North 

8557 Research Blvd #126, Austin, TX 78758

Tues-Fri 11-2, 5-10, Sat-Sun 12-3, 5-10

Ramen Tatsu-ya South

1234 South Lamar, Austin, TX 78704

Mon-Sun 11-3, 5-10

Arguably the most famous ramen in Austin,  Ramen Tatsu-ya is a must. Great for first timers, the menu provides a quirky guide on what to order, how to eat, and definitions for all the unfamiliar terms and ingredients. They offer classic toppings and fun flavors bombs, so you can customize every bowl. The masses cheered when their second, larger location opened.

Mi-So-Hot

Check out their website for the full menu which includes highlights like katsu sliders and sweet and sour Brussel’s sprouts.

*Pro-tip: Get there before 5:00 or after 8:45 to avoid the long line. Or just show up whenever and stand in line chatting with fellow ramen-heads, letting the anticipation build. Also, don’t miss the art in the bathrooms of the north location.

Ramen Tatsu-Ya Restroom Art

Kemuri Tatsu-ya

2713 E. 2nd Street, Austin, TX 78702

Ramen Tatsu-ya’s sister restaurant is not strictly a ramen place, but you can get small bowls of Texas ramen (think brisket) alongside a large menu of scrumptious bites. Technically, Kemuri is an izakaya, which is a place for casual drinking, so there’s a fun cocktail menu, too. And all kinds of other fabulous eats.

Daruma Ramen

612B E. 6th St, Austin, TX 78701

M-F 11:30-2, 5:30-10, Sat 11:30-10, Sun 12-9

People happily line up on East 6th to wait for their steaming bowls of noodles. Most notable is the vegan ramen, whose complex broth is steeped with veggies and fruit. Very interesting, and different than what anyone else is doing.

Daruma Ramen vegan bowl

Komé

4917 Airport Blvd, Austin, TX 78751

M-Th 11-2, 5-10, F 11-2, 5-11, Sat 11-3, 5-11, Sun 12-3, 5:30-10

Known for their wide array of fresh and delicious sushi, Komé also makes a kickass ramen available at lunch. Their ramen efforts were so popular that they opened a sister restaurant, the aforementioned Daruma Ramen.

Kome tonkatsu ramen

Mochi

Michi Ramen

6519 N. Lamar, Austin, TX 78752

Tues-Sun 11am-midnight

3005 S. Lamar, D-114B, Austin, TX 78704

Everyday, 11 am-midnight

The ramen groundbreakers of Austin, Michi Ramen was here before anyone else, slinging noodles out of a truck. The menu expanded when they moved to a brick and mortar. Last year they opened their second location on South Lamar, which strictly does take-out. They offer traditional broth thickness options and lots of toppings so you can build your own bowl.

Michi Ramen

*Pro-tip: Leave room for dessert! The mochi, 2 for $3 is shipped frozen from Hawaii and just heavenly.

JINYA Ramen Bar

3210 Esperanza Crossing #130, Austin, TX 78757

Open 7 days, 11 am-10pm

New at The Domain, JINYA’s Austin location is one of many across the US. Notable among the large selection of broth choices is the Cha Cha Cha, a garlicky fish and pork broth served with thick noodles. For a dollar or two a piece, diners can customize their bowls with additional toppings, making for endless choice combinations.

Yum!🍜#jinyaaustin#asiafood#ramen#fridaynight#ramenbar

A post shared by Yuhan (@_yuhann_) on

Midori Sushi

13435 N Hwy 183, Ste 301, Austin, TX 78750

M-Th 11:30am-9:30pm, F 11:30am-10:30pm, Sat noon-10pm

Twelve bucks will get you a bowl of miso ramen, topped with roasted pork, bean sprouts, and onions. Available at dinner only.

Musashino Sushi Dokoro

3407 Greystone Drive, Austin, TX 78731

Tues-Fri 11am-2, 5:30-10

Should you stray from the sushi menu, there are a variety of ramen bowls available at lunch.

Kanji Ramen

12636 Research Blvd #C101, Austin, TX 78759

Their eponymous signature broth is a tonkotsu version with soy-based seasonings and traditional toppings. Ramen is half-priced on your birthday and they have happy Monday through Thursday 4-6, although it’s unclear what the offering is at that time.

It’s a good day in Austin for some ramen. @kanji_ramen gets 👍👍

A post shared by Kaylin (@kaylin.ray) on

Drunk Fish

10000 Research Blvd #139, Austin, TX 78759

M-Th 11am-8pm, F 11am-9pm, Sat 12pm-9pm

Offering a variety of broths and toppings, this Arboretum hole in the wall is popular with lunchers in a hurry.

Origami Japanese Cuisine and Sushi Bar

1110 N. 35 Frontage Rd, Ste 200B, Round Rock, TX 78681

M-Th 11:30-2, 5-9, F 11:30-2, 5-10, Sat 11:30am-10pm

Miso and shoyu ramen offered at lunch.

Ramen Fukuya

1914 Guadalupe St, Ste A, Austin, TX 78705

M-Th 11 am-10pm, F 11 am-mid, Sat noon-mid, Sun noon-10am

Daily ramen offerings include fukuya (chicken bone broth), tonkotsu, and veggie. Seafood ramen and tsukemen are weekend additions.

Shabu

2700 Anderson Lane, Austin, TX 78757

11am-9:30pm daily

Most people visit Shabu to get hotpot and plain ramen noodles are one of the many options to enjoy with hotpot along with meats, veggies, and various toppings. Non-hotpot ramen options include BBQ Pork Ramen, Ramen Shrimp and Shitake, and Street Ramen which has Spam, beef, and lots of veggies.

Soto

11066 Pecan Park Blvd, Ste 402, Cedar Park, TX 78613

M-Th 11-3, 5-10, F 11-3, 5-11, Sat 11am-11pm, Sun 11-9

The reputable sushi spot has an acceptable ramen offering, too, pleasing customers with a decadent seafood ramen as well as traditional tonkatsu and shoyu.

Sushi Junai

1612 Lavaca St, Austin, TX 78701

Mon-Sat 11am-10pm

Known for all-you-can-eat sushi, they also offer a spicy ramen for $6.95.

Cho Sushi Fusion

4300 N. Quinlan Park Rd, Ste 105, Austin, TX 78732

M-F 11am-2:30pm, 4:30pm-10pm, Sat noon-10pm

2422 620 S, Ste A100, Austin, TX 78738

M-Th 11am-2:30pm, 4:30pm-10pm, F 11am-2:30pm, 4:30pm-11pm, Sat noon-11pm, Sun 4pm-9pm

Simply labeled “Japanese Ramen” the lone offering at Cho features pork, vegetables, and egg in miso broth. $9 at lunch and $12 at dinner.

Tokyo Sushi Japanese Restaurant

3201 Bee Caves Rd, Ste 100, Austin, TX 78746

Mon-Sat 11am-10pm, Sun 4pm-10pm

Ramen offerings come in two flavors, Sapporo and Tokyo, with choices of chicken, beef, shrimp, crispy pork or seafood.

Whole Foods at The Domain

11920 Domain Drive, Austin, TX 78758

8 am-10 pm daily

Of the fabulous amenities this store boasts, the ramen bar is one of the best. The Texas ramen gives shoppers a taste of Japanese ramen with a twist…barbecue! Casual and easy, it’s a treat to have this spot for a quick slurp while you do your shopping.

O’Daku

2501 W. Parmer Lane #500, Austin, TX 78727

M-F 11-10, Sat 11:30-10:30

Ramen comes in three sizes in chicken, beef, and seafood, and “regular” as choices.

Banzai Sushi and Grill

3914 N. Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78756

M-Sat 11am-9:30 pm, Sun noon-9pm

No-frills ramen with choice of pork, beef, shrimp, tofu, or meatball. Every bowl comes topped with veggies and a hard boiled egg.

Xian Sushi and Noodle

1801 E 51st St, Ste C370, Austin, TX 78723

13201 Ranch Rd 620, Ste U208, Austin, TX 78717

M-Sat 11:30-3, 5-10, Sun 12-p

Known for their exceptional hand-pulled noodles, Xian (pronounced SHE-ann) offers one ramen in their roster, shoyu. The Ranch Road location is fairly new, proving that the demand for noodles in Austin cannot be stopped.

Yanagi

4404 W. William Canon Drive, Ste B, Austin, TX 78749

M-Th 11-2:30, 4-9:30, F 11-2:30, 4-10:30, Sat 12-10

The two ramen options—Ramen and Spicy Ramen—have a miso broth and are topped with pork, onion, green onion, zucchini, and boiled egg.

Tuesday, February 23rd

Where to Get Ramen in Austin

2016 AFBA City Guide

Once again it’s time for my annual ramen contribution to the Austin Food Blogger Alliance’s City Guide. Each year the ramen scene gets a little bit bigger. You can see my from my previous guides how things have changed. (2015, 2014, 2013.) If I didn’t include your favorite place, leave me a comment and tell me what I missed! And while you’re hungry, check out the rest of the guides from my talented food blogger friends. 


 

What’s not to love about ramen? It’s hearty, flavorful, bouncy. It’s not just trending in Austin, but all all over the US. But proudly, Austin’s become notable for its ramen. Enough so that visitors make sure to visit a ramen shop while in town, just like they do with barbecue and tacos. If you haven’t given ramen a try yet, pick a rainy day and hop in line at any of the places listed below. Soon enough you’ll be slurping with the best of them.

If you need more convincing, check out local filmmaker Christian Remde’s Culinary Equation fantastic video all about ramen.

Banzai Sushi and Grill

3914 N. Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78756

M-Sat 11am-9:30 pm, Sun noon-9pm

No-frills ramen with choice of pork, beef, shrimp, tofu, or meatball. Every bowl comes topped with veggies and a hard boiled egg.

Cho Sushi Fusion

4300 N. Quinlan Park Rd, Ste 105, Austin, TX 78732

M-F 11am-2:30pm, 4:30pm-10pm, Sat noon-10pm

2422 620 S, Ste A100, Austin, TX 78738

M-Th 11am-2:30pm, 4:30pm-10pm, F 11am-2:30pm, 4:30pm-11pm, Sat noon-11pm, Sun 4pm-9pm

Simply labeled “Japanese Ramen” the lone offering at Cho features pork, vegetables, and egg in miso broth. $9 at lunch and $12 at dinner.

Daruma Ramen

612B E. 6th St, Austin, TX 78701

M-F 11:30-2, 5:30-10, Sat 11:30-10, Sun 12-9

People happily line up on East 6th to wait for their steaming bowls of noodles. Most notable is the vegan ramen, whose complex broth is steeped with veggies and fruit. Very interesting, and different than what anyone else is doing.

Daruma Ramen vegan bowl

Drunk Fish

10000 Research Blvd #139, Austin, TX 78759

M-Th 11am-8pm, F 11am-9pm, Sat 12pm-9pm

Offering a variety of broths and toppings, this Arboretum hole in the wall is popular with lunchers in a hurry.

Komé

4917 Airport Blvd, Austin, TX 78751

M-Th 11-2, 5-10, F 11-2, 5-11, Sat 11-3, 5-11, Sun 12-3, 5:30-10

Known for their wide array of fresh and delicious sushi, Komé also makes a kickass ramen available at lunch. Their ramen efforts were so popular that they opened a sister restaurant, the aforementioned Daruma Ramen.

Kome tonkatsu ramen

Michi Ramen

6519 N. Lamar, Austin, TX 78752

Tues-Sun 11am-midnight

3005 S. Lamar, D-114B, Austin, TX 78704

Everyday, 11 am-midnight

The ramen groundbreakers of Austin, Michi Ramen was here before anyone else, slinging noodles out of a truck. The menu expanded when they moved to a brick and mortar. Last year they opened their second location on South Lamar, which strictly does take-out. They offer traditional broth thickness options and lots of toppings so you can build your own bowl.

Michi Ramen

*Pro-tip: Leave room for dessert! The mochi, 2 for $3 is shipped frozen from Hawaii and just heavenly.

Mochi

Midori Sushi

13435 N Hwy 183, Ste 301, Austin, TX 78750

M-Th 11:30am-9:30pm, F 11:30am-10:30pm, Sat noon-10pm

Twelve bucks will get you a bowl of miso ramen, topped with roasted pork, bean sprouts, and onions. Available at dinner only.

Musashino Sushi Dokoro

3407 Greystone Drive, Austin, TX 78731

Tues-Fri 11am-2, 5:30-10

Should you stray from the sushi menu, there are a variety of ramen bowls available at lunch.

O’Daku

2501 W. Parmer Lane #500, Austin, TX 78727

M-F 11-10, Sat 11:30-10:30

Ramen comes in three sizes in chicken, beef, and seafood, and “regular” as choices.

Origami Japanese Cuisine and Sushi Bar

1110 N. 35 Frontage Rd, Ste 200B, Round Rock, TX 78681

M-Th 11:30-2, 5-9, F 11:30-2, 5-10, Sat 11:30am-10pm

Miso and shoyu ramen offered at lunch.

Ramen Fukuya

1914 Guadalupe St, Ste A, Austin, TX 78705

M-Th 11 am-10pm, F 11 am-mid, Sat noon-mid, Sun noon-10am

Daily ramen offerings include fukuya (chicken bone broth), tonkotsu, and veggie. Seafood ramen and tsukemen are weekend additions.

Ramen Tatsu-ya

Ramen Tatsu-ya North 

8557 Research Blvd #126, Austin, TX 78758

Tues-Fri 11-2, 5-10, Sat-Sun 12-3, 5-10

Ramen Tatsu-ya South

1234 South Lamar, Austin, TX 78704

Mon-Sun 11-3, 5-10

Arguably the most famous ramen in Austin,  Ramen Tatsu-ya is a must. Great for first timers, the menu provides a quirky guide on what to order, how to eat, and definitions for all the unfamiliar terms and ingredients. They offer classic toppings and fun flavors bombs, so you can customize every bowl. The masses cheered when their second, larger location opened.

Mi-So-Hot

Check out their website for the full menu which includes highlights like katsu sliders and sweet and sour Brussel’s sprouts.

*Pro-tip: Get there before 5:00 or after 8:45 to avoid the long line. Or just show up whenever and stand in line chatting with fellow ramen-heads, letting the anticipation build. Also, don’t miss the art in the bathrooms of the north location.

Ramen Tatsu-Ya Restroom Art

Shabu

2700 Anderson Lane, Austin, TX 78757

11am-9:30pm daily

Most people visit Shabu to get hotpot and plain ramen noodles are one of the many options to enjoy with hotpot along with meats, veggies, and various toppings. Non-hotpot ramen options include BBQ Pork Ramen, Ramen Shrimp and Shitake, and Street Ramen which has Spam, beef, and lots of veggies.

Soto

11066 Pecan Park Blvd, Ste 402, Cedar Park, TX 78613

M-Th 11-3, 5-10, F 11-3, 5-11, Sat 11am-11pm, Sun 11-9

The reputable sushi spot has an acceptable ramen offering, too, pleasing customers with a decadent seafood ramen as well as traditional tonkatsu and shoyu.

Sushi Junai

1612 Lavaca St, Austin, TX 78701

Mon-Sat 11am-10pm

Known for all-you-can-eat sushi, they also offer a spicy ramen for $6.95.

Tokyo Sushi Japanese Restaurant

3201 Bee Caves Rd, Ste 100, Austin, TX 78746

Mon-Sat 11am-10pm, Sun 4pm-10pm

Ramen offerings come in two flavors, Sapporo and Tokyo, with choices of chicken, beef, shrimp, crispy pork or seafood.

Whole Foods at The Domain

11920 Domain Drive, Austin, TX 78758

8 am-10 pm daily

Of the fabulous amenities this store boasts, the ramen bar is one of the best. The Texas ramen gives shoppers a taste of Japanese ramen with a twist…barbecue! Casual and easy, it’s a treat to have this spot for a quick slurp while you do your shopping.

Xian Sushi and Noodle

1801 E 51st St, Ste C370, Austin, TX 78723

13201 Ranch Rd 620, Ste U208, Austin, TX 78717

M-Sat 11:30-3, 5-10, Sun 12-p

Known for their exceptional hand-pulled noodles, Xian (pronounced SHE-ann) offers one ramen in their roster, shoyu. The Ranch Road location is fairly new, proving that the demand for noodles in Austin cannot be stopped.

Yanagi

4404 W. William Canon Drive, Ste B, Austin, TX 78749

M-Th 11-2:30, 4-9:30, F 11-2:30, 4-10:30, Sat 12-10

The two ramen options—Ramen and Spicy Ramen—have a miso broth and are topped with pork, onion, green onion, zucchini, and boiled egg.

Monday, February 16th

2015 Guide to Ramen in Austin

Austin Food Blogger Alliance 2015 City Guide

For the past few years I’ve written an annual guide to ramen in the city. What started as a small task has since become a more sizable undertaking, as the city’s demand for slurpable noodles grows at light speed. The more noodles we have, the more we want them! This list focuses on the restaurants that make ramen their main focus, but also includes restaurants that serve ramen alongside other items. As always, if I didn’t include your favorite place, leave me a comment and tell me what I missed!  

There’s no stopping the ramen trend in Austin! The city can’t get enough of the hearty steaming bowls of rich broth and bouncy alkaline noodles. Those initiated into the ramen scene (and it is very much a scene, baby) are addicted to the umami, the toppings and the slurping. The uninitiated just need to give it a try.

If you need more convincing, check out local filmmaker Christian Remde’s Culinary Equation fantastic video all about ramen.

Ramen Tatsu-ya

Ramen Tatsu-ya North 

8557 Research Blvd #126, Austin, TX 78758

Tues-Fri 11-2, 5-10, Sat-Sun 12-3, 5-10

Ramen Tatsu-ya South

1234 South Lamar, Austin, TX 78704

Mon-Sun 11-3, 5-10

Arguably the most famous ramen in Austin,  Ramen Tatsu-ya is a must do. Great for first timers, the menu provides a quirky guide on what to order, how to eat, and definitions for all the unfamiliar terms and ingredients. They offer classic toppings and fun flavors bombs, so you can customize every bowl.

With a following this strong, Ramen Tatsu-ya opened a second location this year. Their new South Lamar location serves a couple purposes: 1) It brought some much-needed ramen to South Austin and 2) The line is essentially split in half making it more accessible for all of us. The new location is larger than the first and has a gorgeous chic feel.

Mi-So-Hot

Check out their website for the full menu which includes highlights like katsu sliders and sweet and sour Brussel’s sprouts.

*Pro-tip: Get there before 5:00 or after 8:45 to avoid the long line. Or just show up whenever and stand in line chatting with fellow ramen-heads, letting the anticipation build. Also, don’t miss the art in the bathrooms of the north location.

Ramen Tatsu-Ya Restroom Art

Whole Foods at The Domain

11920 Domain Drive, Austin, TX 78758

8 am-10 pm daily

Of the fabulous amenities this store boasts, the ramen bar is one of the most best. The Texas ramen gives shoppers a taste of Japanese ramen with a twist. Barbecue! Casual and easy, it’s a treat to have this spot for a quick slurp while you do your shopping.

Michi Ramen

6519 N. Lamar, Austin, TX 78752

Tues-Sun 11am-midnight

3005 S. Lamar, Austin, TX 78704

The ramen groundbreakers of Austin, Michi Ramen was here before anyone else, slinging noodles out of a truck. Eventually they moved to a brick and mortar and very soon, their second location on South Lamar will open. They offer traditional broth thickness options and lots of toppings so you can build your own bowl. Bonus, takeout is encouraged and you can order online.

Michi Ramen

*Pro-tip: Leave room for dessert! The mochi, 2 for $3 is shipped frozen from Hawaii and just heavenly.

Mochi

Drunk Fish

10000 Research Blvd #139, Austin, TX 78759

M-Th 11am-8pm, F 11am-9pm, Sat 12pm-9pm

Offering a variety of broths and toppings, this Arboretum hole in the wall is popular with lunchers in a hurry.

Komé

4917 Airport Blvd, Austin, TX 78751

M-Th 11-2, 5-10, F 11-2, 5-11, Sat 11-3, 5-11, Sun 12-3, 5:30-10

Known for their wide array of fresh and delicious sushi, Komé also makes a kickass ramen available at lunch. Their ramen efforts were so popular that they opened a sister restaurant (see below, Daruma Ramen) dedicated to ramen.

Kome tonkatsu ramen

Daruma Ramen

612B E. 6th St, Austin, TX 78701

M-F 11:30-2, 5:30-10, Sat 11:30-10, Sun 12-9

Daruma is the only ramen available downtown and people happily line up on East 6th to wait for their steaming bowls of noodles. Most notable is the vegan ramen, whose complex broth is steeped with veggies and fruit. Very interesting, and different than what anyone else is doing.

Daruma Ramen vegan bowl

Soto

11066 Pecan Park Blvd, Ste 402, Cedar Park, TX 78613

M-Th 11-3, 5-10, F 11-3, 5-11, Sat 11am-11pm, Sun 11-9

The reputable sushi spot has an acceptable ramen offering, too, pleasing customers with a decadent seafood ramen as well as traditional tonkatsu and shoyu.

East Side King at Hole in the Wall

2538 Guadalupe St, Austin, TX 78705

M-F 11am-midnight, Sat 2pm-midnight

Paul Qui’s ramen offerings are inventive and fun. Especially delicious is the Chicken Tortilla Ramen, a perfect fusing of Japan and Austin.

Chicken Tortilla Ramen

More

Musashino Sushi Dokoro

3407 Greystone Drive, Austin, TX 78731

Tues-Fri 11am-2, 5:30-10

Should you stray from the sushi menu, there are a variety of ramen bowls available at lunch.

Xian Sushi and Noodle

1801 E 51st St, Ste C370, Austin, TX 78723

13201 Ranch Rd 620, Ste U208, Austin, TX 78717

M-Sat 11:30-3, 5-10, Sun 12-p

Known for their exceptional hand-pulled noodles, Xian (pronounced SHE-ann) offers one ramen in their roster, shoyu. The Ranch Road location is fairly new, proving that the demand for noodles in Austin cannot be stopped.

Yanagi

4404 W. William Canon Drive, Ste B, Austin, TX 78749

M-Th 11-2:30, 4-9:30, F 11-2:30, 4-10:30, Sat 12-10

The two ramen options—Ramen and Spicy Ramen—have a miso broth and are topped with pork, onion, green onion, zucchini, and boiled egg.

Ryu of Japan

11101 Burnet Rd, Ste B100, Austin, TX 78758

M-Th 11:30-3, 5:30-9:30, F-Sat 11:30-3, 5:30-10:30

Ramen items on the menu include miso, shoyu, and cold ramen, described as having pork, egg, vegetable and special sauce.

Shabu

2700 Anderson Lane, Austin, TX 78757

11am-9:30pm daily

Most people visit Shabu to get hotpot and plain ramen noodles are one of the many options to enjoy with hotpot along with meats, veggies, and various toppings. Non-hotpot ramen options include BBQ Pork Ramen, Ramen Shrimp and Shitake, and Street Ramen which has Spam, beef, and lots of veggies.

O’Daku

2501 W. Parmer Lane #500, Austin, TX 78727

M-F 11-10, Sat 11:30-10:30

Ramen comes in three sizes in chicken, beef, and seafood, and “regular” as choices.

Friday, August 8th

What I Learned About Blogging

Grumpy Cat birthday

Happy Birthday, blog! It was three years ago today that my first post went up. Today’s post is my 500th and it feels like a good time for reflection.

I started blogging because I needed an outlet for writing when I was working a job that bored the crap out of me, the only job I’ve ever had that didn’t require me to write. I needed something challenging and fun, an expression of creativity that was all my own. And it’s served me well although there was a big learning curve. A few things I’ve learned along the way:

Just because you’re putting something on the internet doesn’t mean people are reading it. All the time I hear from people who want to start their own blogs. And the reservations are always the same: fear of making mistakes. But you know what? When you first start writing, no one knows about it. There’s no audience. There’s time to get comfortable before you decide to alert anyone to your presence online. And then, forever, you have to point people in the direction of your blog to get them to read it. (And then, forever, you’ll still make mistakes. And you fix them. No biggie.)

Blogging is WORK. Yes, it’s creative. And it’s fun. But it’s demanding, time-consuming and is like having constant homework. One can choose to do the work or not. Personally, I believe that if you’ve developed a readership then you owe it to them (and yourself) to stay active. I don’t believe in “writer’s block.” But I think that lack of motivation is very real and can be a tough hurdle. And like any hurdle cleared, we are better for overcoming difficulties and getting the job done anyway when we just don’t want to.

It’s not easy to make money off your blog. Think it’s going to be an extra source of income? For some it is, but for many of us it costs so much money and time that it never evens out. There’s also an integrity issue. Could my blog be making more money? Yes. If I took even 10% of the opportunities I was offered this place would be so crapped up I wouldn’t want to put my name on it. And if one is simply looking to make money, then that’s okay. It’s all in the intent. I figured out pretty quickly that this gig was better suited to me as a hobby. My financial goals are pretty low and easy to reach, paying for my hosting and some other blogging incidentals.

People are nice. When you put something out there you open yourself up to criticism. It’s bound to happen. But for the most part, people are pretty cool and will be supportive of any endeavors that we put our hearts into. I’ve had some hurtful comments on my blog that left me reeling. But when I compare those negative comments to the favorable ones, I realize what a small fraction the bad is.

The best part of blogging is the community. Bloggers, no matter what they write about, have something in common: The desire to put something out there and the determination to do so. That is something so fundamentally appealing to me, the idea that people will pour themselves into a passion project and really work at it. I’m drawn to people with a strong work ethic and an inclination for creative expression. People who are a little brave, a little driven, and maybe a little crazy. So many of my friends are bloggers and it’s enriched my life in a way that I never imagined.

Willy Wonka Meme

So how has Mad Betty done in three years? Pretty well, I guess. It’s opened a lot of doors for me professionally and personally. It’s not the world’s biggest blog or even Austin’s biggest blog. And it never will be. But I have a group of loyal readers that I’m grateful for and it’s made me a more disciplined in the way I approach both work and my hobbies.

Some Facts

My top ten most regularly visited posts, excepting TV recaps, which do pretty well:

1. Cheap Eats in Austin

2. Uchiko Social Hour

3. Why You Should Go to Uchi for Social Hour

4. First Look: Radio Coffee & Beer

5. Dang Banh Mi

6. Shishito Peppers

7. The Highs & Lows of Popovers

8. Standard Process Cleanse

9. Ramen Tatsu-ya

10. Kin & Comfort

My post with the most pins is Szechuan House. My most controversial post is Why I Forgive Lance Armstrong. Random old post that I love: Cool Yule, Fool, because I love the photos of my Christmas ornaments.

Some goals for the future

-Put more thought and effort into my social media. I have an embarrassingly low number of Facebook fans because I’m too proud to ask anyone to “like me.” I can’t make myself care about Facebook too much, but this page has caused me to lose out on a few cool opportunities.

-Redesign. Sometime next year I’d like to correct a few things I was too uneducated to ask for in my initial design. Better social sharing icons, more editing capabilities, and most importantly, a responsive theme.

-This is the hardest one for me, but I’d like to use this platform to show more vulnerability and maybe grow a thicker skin. My favorite blogs to read are deeply personal and authentic. It’d be nice to go there…just once in a while.

Anyway, it’s been a great three years. Thank you for reading, from the bottom of my heart.

Monday, March 3rd

Ramen in Austin

This is an updated version of the 2013 AFBA City Guide to Ramen. Leave me a comment and share your favorite dishes with readers. What’s hot (and spicy!) for 2014? 

There’s no stopping the ramen trend in Austin! The city can’t get enough of the hearty steaming bowls of rich broth and bouncy alkaline noodles. Those initiated into the ramen scene (and it is very much a scene, baby) are addicted to the umami, the toppings and the slurping. The uninitiated just need to give it a try.

If you need more convincing, check out local filmmaker Christian Remde’s Culinary Equation fantastic video all about ramen.

Ramen Tatsu-ya

A great option for first-timers,  Ramen Tatsu-ya provides a quirky guide on what to order, how to eat, and definitions for all the unfamiliar terms and ingredients. They offer classic toppings and fun flavors bombs, so you can customize every bowl.

Mi-So-Hot

In addition to the spectacular ramen, they have delicious appetizers and sides including katsu sliders and the world’s greatest Brussel’s sprouts.

Katsu Sliders

Brussels sprouts

Check out their website for the full menu. Hours are Tuesday-Sunday, 5-10. Lunch is served Tuesday-Friday 11-2 and Saturday-Sunday 12-3.

Location: 8557 Research Blvd, Ste. 126, Austin, TX 78758

*Pro-tip: Get there before 5:00 or after 8:45 to avoid the long line. Or just show up whenever and stand in line chatting with fellow ramen-heads, letting the anticipation build. Also, check out the cool bathrooms.

Ramen Tatsu-Ya Restroom Art

The Dojo

9070 Research Blvd.,#305, Austin, TX 78757

Ramen is but one subject in a textbook of food. The ramen is served in different sizes and uses paitan, a light, milky chicken broth.

Whole Foods the The Domain

11920 Domain Drive, Austin, TX 78758

Austin’s newest Whole Foods boasts a number of fabulous amenities, a ramen bar being one of the most popular. The Texas ramen gives shoppers a taste of Japanese ramen with a twist. Barbecue!

Michi Ramen

The ramen groundbreakers of Austin, Michi Ramen started in a truck, took a break, and reopened in brick and mortar. They are the only game in town to offer a choice of broth thickness like old-school traditional places in Japan. The noodles are slightly thicker than other places and the broth tastes like love.

Michi Ramen

Included in the large selection of sides and add-ons is a barbecue-lovers delight, Chashu Don, burnt ends, bonito flakes and green onions over steamed rice.

Chashu Don

Michi is the most comfortable establishment to sit and enjoy ramen, with plentiful tables and a cozy waiting area.

Check out their website for the full menu. Hours are Tuesday-Sunday, 11-2, 5-9.

Location: 6519 N. Lamar, Austin, TX 78752

*Pro-tip: Leave room for dessert! The mochi, 2 for $3 is shipped frozen from Hawaii and just heavenly.

Mochi

Drunk Fish

10000 Research Blvd #139, Austin, TX 78759

Offering a variety of broths and toppings, this Arboretum hole in the wall is popular with lunchers in a hurry.

Komé

Known for their wide array of fresh and delicious sushi, Komé also makes a kickass ramen. Their efforts will only improve when their ramen-only location, Daruma Ramen, opens on East 6th. Being the most southern ramen-ya will surely earn them an instant following.

Kome tonkatsu ramen

Check out their website for the full menu. Hours are Monday-Friday 11-2, 5-10 and Sat-Sun 12-3, 5:30-10

Location: 4917 Airport Blvd, Austin, TX 78751

*Pro-tip: Ramen is only available during lunch hours.

Daruma Ramen

612B E. 6th St, Austin, TX 78701

Sister restaurant to Komé, Daruma is fully dedicated to ramen. The tiny 6th Street shop brings in big crowds for its vegan ramen. The complex broth is steeped with veggies and fruit. Very interesting, and different than what anyone else is doing.

Daruma Ramen vegan bowl

Soto

11066 Pecan Park Blvd, Ste 402, Cedar Park, TX 78613

The reputable sushi spot has an acceptable ramen offering, too, pleasing customers with a decadent seafood ramen as well as traditional tonkatsu and shoyu.

East Side King at Hole in the Wall

2538 Guadalupe St, Austin, TX 78705

Paul Qui’s ramen offerings are inventive and fun. Especially delicious is the Chicken Tortilla Ramen, a perfect fusing of Japan and Austin. Recent experimentation resulted in a bacon beer ramen that the combines everyone’s favorite two loves.

Chicken Tortilla Ramen

Check out their website for the full menu. Hours are Monday-Friday 11am-Midnight, Saturday 4pm-midnight

More

Chi’Lantro offers occasional ramen specials, delighting post-bar snackers with their Korean fusion ramen. Check the website for locations and hours of ramen offerings.

Banzai Sushi and Grill has nontraditional ramen offerings like meatball and tofu. Hours are Mon-Sat, 11am-9:30pm, Sun 12-9.

Location: 3914 N. Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78756

Should you stray from the sushi menu at Musashino Sushi Dokoro you can order from a variety of ramen flavors during lunch hours only.

Hours are Tues-Fri 11:30-2, 5:30-10, Fri-Sat 5:30-10:30

Location: 3407 Greystone Dr., Austin, TX 78731

Monday, November 18th

Wine and Swine

Austin Food and Wine Alliance throws the best fundraisers. The local foodies come out in full force to drink wine and craft beer, and nosh on delights from Austin’s favorite chefs. This year’s Wine and Swine was the third one and was held on the scenic grounds that Jester King calls home.

Attendees spent three hours mingling and grazing on small plates of intricate, thoughtful dishes. The lively tunes of Ghosts Along the Brazos filled the smoky air and captured the spirit of the day. Well done, Austin Food and Wine Alliance. See you next year for more wine, more swine, and more fun.

Wine and Swine

Ghosts Along the Brazos

Aaron Franklin

Rib

Chiai Matsumoto

Ramen Tatsu-ya

Swift's Attic

Wine

Epicerie

Wine and Swine

Wine and Swine

Whole hog

Sunday, September 8th

Press

Mad Betty gets around.

pimp

When in Austin

In.gredients

Friends of Fabio Viviani

Taste Trekkers Podcast

5 Year Project

Meet a BASHHer

 

 

Friday, April 19th

Find Dining in Austin

Podcast

Wow! Two posts in a row where Mad Betty is featured on podcasts. This was recorded several months ago, but ramen is hotter than ever in Austin so it went up at a good time.

Enjoy the Find Dining podcast, which is a national show featuring food news in various cities. My interview was over the phone and I discussed Ramen Tatsu-ya which was only open for about three months at the time. Since then the ramen scene has exploded and I was able to write a whole City Guide post on the trend. And already my guide is out of date since Daruma Ramen opened a few weeks ago. Quite the topical bowl of noodles!

So please enjoy the Find Dining show on Mystery Meet. And check out some other cities while you are there!

Tuesday, February 19th

Austin Gives Good Ramen

afb_city_guide_2013_logo

There’s no stopping the ramen trend in Austin! The city can’t get enough of the hearty steaming bowls of rich broth and bouncy alkaline noodles. Those initiated into the ramen scene (and it is very much a scene, baby) are addicted to the umami, the toppings and the slurping. The uninitiated just need to give it a try.

If you need more convincing, check out local filmmaker Christian Remde’s Culinary Equation fantastic video all about ramen.

Ramen Tatsu-ya

A great option for first-timers,  Ramen Tatsu-ya provides a quirky guide on what to order, how to eat, and definitions for all the unfamiliar terms and ingredients. They offer classic toppings and fun flavors bombs, so you can customize every bowl.

Mi-So-Hot

In addition to the spectacular ramen, they have delicious appetizers and sides including katsu sliders and the world’s greatest Brussel’s sprouts.

Katsu Sliders

Brussels sprouts

Check out their website for the full menu. Hours are Tuesday-Sunday, 5-10.

Location: 8557 Research Blvd, Ste. 126, Austin, TX 78758

*Pro-tip: Get there before 5:00 or after 8:45 to avoid the long line. Or just show up whenever and stand in line chatting with fellow ramen-heads, letting the anticipation build. Also, check out the cool bathrooms.

Ramen Tatsu-Ya Restroom Art

Michi Ramen

The ramen groundbreakers of Austin, Michi Ramen started in a truck, took a break, and reopened in brick and mortar. They are the only game in town to offer a choice of broth thickness like old-school traditional places in Japan. The noodles are slightly thicker than other places and the broth tastes like love.

Michi Ramen

Included in the large selection of sides and add-ons is a barbecue-lovers delight, Chashu Don, burnt ends, bonito flakes and green onions over steamed rice.

Chashu Don

Michi is the most comfortable establishment to sit and enjoy ramen, with plentiful tables and a cozy waiting area.

Check out their website for the full menu. Hours are Tuesday-Sunday, 11-2, 5-9.

Location: 6519 N. Lamar, Austin, TX 78752

*Pro-tip: Leave room for dessert! The mochi, 2 for $3 is shipped frozen from Hawaii and just heavenly.

Mochi

Komé

Known for their wide array of fresh and delicious sushi, Komé also makes a kickass ramen. Their efforts will only improve when their ramen-only location, Daruma Ramen, opens on East 6th. Being the most southern ramen-ya will surely earn them an instant following.

Kome tonkatsu ramen

Check out their website for the full menu. Hours are Monday-Friday 11-2, 5-10 and Sat-Sun 12-3, 5:30-10

Location: 4917 Airport Blvd, Austin, TX 78751

*Pro-tip: Ramen is only available during lunch hours.

More Ramen!

When Paul Qui announced his intentions to make ramen, our collective ears perked up. His offerings at East Side King at Hole in the Wall are inventive and fun. Especially delicious is the Chicken Tortilla Ramen, a perfect fusing of Japan and Austin. Recent experimentation resulted in a bacon beer ramen that the combines everyone’s favorite two loves.

Chicken Tortilla Ramen

Check out their website for the full menu. Hours are Monday-Friday 11am-Midnight, Saturday 4pm-midnight

Location: 2538 Guadalupe St, Austin, TX 78705

Chi’Lantro offers occasional ramen specials, delighting post-bar snackers with their Korean fusion ramen. Check the website for locations and hours of ramen offerings.

Banzai Sushi and Grill has nontraditional ramen offerings like meatball and tofu. Hours are Mon-Sat, 11am-9:30pm, Sun 12-9.

Location: 3914 N. Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78756

Should you stray from the sushi menu at Musashino Sushi Dokoro you can order from a variety of ramen flavors during lunch hours only.

Hours are Tues-Fri 11:30-2, 5:30-10, Fri-Sat 5:30-10:30

Location: 3407 Greystone Dr., Austin, TX 78731