Ramen is big these days. It’s the hot, sexy, new food that everyone wants in on. I grew up not eating pork so a lot of ramen was off limits to me. I’d say that 99% of the ramen I’ve encountered has been made with pork broth. I’d sigh and order up some udon or agadashi tofu while my companions would happily slurp their brothy noodles. Then one day, I heard that there was a well established, well loved ramen place in town that made their ramen with chicken. Located in Porter Square, Sapporo Ramen is, for some strange reason, inside a Lesley College building with a handful of other tiny Japanese restaurants (and one Korean). The line can be long but the friendly staff is hard working and efficient, ladling up bowl after bowl of delicious ramen for a clientele that respects the fact that many other hungry ramen lovers are waiting for a seat. In other words, this is not a linger-over-your-empty-bowl kind of place.
I worried that it would be a compromise. That I still wouldn’t understand the joys of a porky ramen and I would again have to settle for second best. I was wrong. It is so, so good that even my pork eating friends agree that this is some of the best ramen in town. They boil their broth for ages to pull out all the collagen and get their broth rich and creamy. The flavor is incredible.
My favorite is the miso, my Mr. goes for the spicy miso. Out of curiosity, I’ve also tried the vegetarian ramen and was pleasantly surprised at how flavorful and savory it was. Bring your vegetarian friends! They won’t feel left out! The menu is short and the ambiance is… non-existent but that’s fine because they are focused on what they do best. Come for the food and delight in the steamy, comforting joy that comes with every bowl. By the way, the price is great too! It’s gone up a bit over the years but it’s still cheaper than a lot of the flashy new ramen places that have popped up. Sapporo Ramen doesn’t need any of the bells and whistles. With ramen this good, their food speaks for itself. The fact that with all the pork ramen available in Boston, people still queue up for a bowl of Sapporo Ramen is proof of that. Over the past year, I’ve caved and started eating pork broth. I’ve tried several different pork broth ramens and while they were tasty, they just felt too heavy and oily. Sapporo is still rich and wonderful but I don’t that that dense, greasy feeling of regret afterwards.
This photo was from our last trip to Sapporo. I was nearly crying into my bowl. For the first time ever, I polished it off. We told our friendly server how much we love their ramen. We’ve had ramen in LA, NYC, and Japan and Sapporo is still our favorite. We know that there is no replacement for Sapporo. We’ll just have to come back to Boston.
1815 Massachusetts Ave