We Tried a New, Nearby Ramen Restaurant

"Black Tonkotsu Ramen" Cedar Park, 2019
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.2, 1/35 sec, ISO800
“Black Tonkotsu Ramen” Cedar Park, 2019

こんばんは。How’s it going?

Tonight the boys and I went to a newly opened ramen restaurant that’s located near our house. EurAsia Ramen offers several different types of ramen, poké bowls, and sushi rolls. By looking at the website, I suspected that the restaurant wasn’t Japanese-owned so I wasn’t expecting a typical Japanese ramen experience, but I’m open-minded and willing to give a new restaurant a chance.

I decided on the Signature EurAsia Black Tonkotsu Ramen, while Koa got the Miso Ramen, and Bay tried the California Poké. The portions were a little on the small size for the price. I’d expect to pay about US $8.00 for the amount we received, but it wasn’t too unreasonable.

On to the important part, which is taste. I rate the ramen I had a 5 out of 10. It wasn’t bad, but not great. The flavor of the broth was a little bland, and the noodles were very thin. The noodles in Koa’s Miso ramen were thicker and eggier… not sure why. There was a good amount of charsiu pork in the bowl, which was nice, however, it had a generic “hammy” taste, almost like a spiral ham you might eat at Easter or Thanksgiving.

Meanwhile, Bay’s poké bowl was unimpressive, with the main ingredient “snow crab mix” being just a lot of surimi. Not great.

Of course, I want local restauranteurs to succeed, and I think EurAsia Ramen might do ok because the dishes are “good enough” for those who may not be as particular about ramen as I am, but I don’t think I’ll be back. There are simply better ramen offerings in Austin, such as Ramen Tatsu-Ya and Daruma Ramen.

またね~

"Poké Bowl" Cedar Park, 2019
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.2, 1/25 sec, ISO800
“Poké Bowl” Cedar Park, 2019

Trying a New Restaurant: BurgerIM

"Duo BurgerIM" Cedar Park, 2019
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/125 sec, ISO2500
“Duo BurgerIM” Cedar Park, 2019

Tonight my family and I tried a new burger restaurant that opened near our house. It’s called BurgerIM, and the special thing about this chain is twofold. First, their burgers are sliders, which means they are smaller than normal, perhaps half the size of a normal burger. Secondly, you can choose from several different types of meats and topping combinations. This is really what I found interesting at BurgerIM. For instance, there’s Wagyu beef, Marguez beef, dry-aged beef, lamb, etc. The website also lists fish, but I don’t think they have added it to the local menu just yet because this location is so new.

"BurgerIM" Cedar Park, 2019
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/125 sec, ISO1600
“BurgerIM” Cedar Park, 2019

I got the Wagyu beef and the Marguez beef, and both were tasty, but the Wagyu was definitely better. I also tried the dry-aged which was yummy as well. Next time, I’ll go for the lamb and something else since there are so many choices to try!

Besides the patty, you can choose from several topping combinations, including a traditional American style, a “California” style with avocado, of course, a spicy style, etc. I thought the variety was pretty good and varied. We also tried the fries and onion rings. The fries were the coin-shaped style and yummy, while the onion rings were nothing special, but not disappointing.

"Trio BurgerIM" Cedar Park, 2019
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/125 sec, ISO4000
“Trio BurgerIM” Cedar Park, 2019

While the food is good, the prices are a bit on the high side for burgers, but probably typical for gourmet burgers. It was $6.99 for the two slider option and $9.99 for three slider option. Add another $3 for fries and a drink (or $3 for a side of fries), and the bill adds up quickly. Also, for the Wagyu beef and a couple of the topping combos, an additional $0.79 is added. When the cashier rang it all up and I saw the total, I was honestly a little shocked. I suppose it was because the restaurant looks like a fast-food place so I was expecting fast-food prices.

Once I got past the sticker shock, I enjoyed the food (and they have beer on tap!) and spending time trying a new restaurant with the family. I also have to add that although these were sliders, two of them left me with a surprisingly full stomach.

"BurgerIM" Cedar Park, 2019
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/125 sec, ISO2500
“BurgerIM” Cedar Park, 2019

We have plenty of burger options near our house, ranging from the higher-end Hopdoddy to the wallet-friendly In N Out, and BurgerIM fits in right below Hopdoddy. It’s nice to have another option rather than a third McDonalds or Wendy’s.

"Wagyu BurgerIM" Cedar Park, 2019
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/125 sec, ISO2500
“Wagyu BurgerIM” Cedar Park, 2019

I hope you had a nice day!

またね~

Hot Dry Noodles in Houston

"Hot Dry Noodles" Houston, 2019
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4, 1/125 sec, ISO800
“Hot Dry Noodles” Houston, 2019

こんばんは。How’s it going?

When I visited China in September, we spent a couple days in the city of Wuhan (武汉). I learned later that one of the food specialties of the city is Hot Dry Noodles (热干面), but since we had already left the city when I learned of them, I was a bit sad. A missed opportunity for sure.

Fast forward to a couple months later and someone I work with (native Chinese) mentioned that she found a place in Houston that served Hot Dry Noodles, and that they were awesome. I bookmarked the restaurant and made a note to try it the next time I travel to Houston. And happily, that day was today!

I had to pick up Koa and a couple of his friends from a band camp in Baytown this afternoon so I went a couple hours early which would give me enough time to visit Jing 5, which is in Houston’s Chinatown area off Bellaire Boulevard.

When I ordered the Hot Dry Noodles, I was asked if I wanted it mild or spicy and of course, I said spicy! The noodles were very good, with the pickled vegetables adding some nice tang and crunch. I’d rate the spiciness level only a 4, which was a little disappointing, but maybe the cook went easy on me. 😆

The “dry” part of the noodles comes from the fact that they are thick but with very low moisture. I’m not sure how to describe it. They were very soft but resisted soaking up any moisture such as the oily broth at the bottom of the bowl, so it was a strange experience.

I’d rate the dish a 6.5 out of 10, which might seem low, but I’ve heard that Hot Dry Noodles are a bit of an acquired taste. I bet the next time I try them, I’ll rate them higher. Actually, thinking about them now, I’m sort of craving Hot Dry Noodles again!

"Jing 5" Houston, 2019
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4, 1/125 sec, ISO800
“Jing 5” Houston, 2019

Along with the Hot Dry Noodles, I ordered Salted Duck Neck. It’s also a special dish, and one that I’ve never eaten before so, why not? They were actually pretty good, but nothing out of the ordinary (other than being neck). They just tasted like duck meat, which is a good thing.

"Duck Neck" Houston, 2019
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/125 sec, ISO1600
“Duck Neck” Houston, 2019

If you are in Houston and want to try the signature Wuhan Hot Dry Noodles, make sure to stop by Jing 5.

I hope you had a nice day!

またね~