The Tenth Adventure: Mitsuwa

Aaaand we’re back! First off, we hope that everyone had a great time over Thanksgiving enjoying a good meal with family and friends. We both went to New Jersey to stay with our good friend Matt and his family for the holiday. Thanksgiving morning, someone came up with the bright idea of going to the Mitsuwa Marketplace in Edgewater. We all figured that a hot bowl of noodles would be the perfect way to warm up on a cold day and prepare our stomachs for the work they were about to do. Eight brave souls ventured to the banks of the Hudson River to seek out ramen on Thanksgiving. All returned satisfied and with full bellies.

Mitsuwa is a cool place because it has lots of other amenities besides fresh bowls of ramen. There is a large supermarket that sells all sorts of Asian food items, fresh produce, and meats. Numerous other stalls and windows sell other types of food, from entrees to snacks to desserts and office supplies. You can definitely get lost in it for a few hours if you’re not careful. The other cool thing is that the food court has a large glass façade that faces Manhattan, so you can enjoy a terrific view of the New York City skyline while you eat.

There is only one place to get ramen in Mitsuwa – a small window called Santoka staffed by a cashier and another person passing out trays of food as soon as they come out of the kitchen. We were somewhat shocked to see the line snaking around a corner of the marketplace on Thanksgiving Day, but you should never underestimate peoples’ commitment to doing whatever it takes to get delicious ramen, even on a holiday (case in point – our group being there). They have several different types of ramen to choose from – salt, shoyu, miso, etc. and you are free to order extra toppings like mushrooms, egg, and pork. You can also order your ramen in three different sizes: small, medium and large, which is a nice option that I have not encountered at other ramen places. Our group ended up getting an assortment of the different types of broth, though we all settled on mediums so as not to spoil our appetites for dinner. All the ramen was really tasty. My salt ramen had flavorful, savory broth that was thick and creamy without being overwhelming. The sliced pork, scallions, wood ear mushrooms and small bit of ume that came in the bowl were all delicious too, and definitely enhanced the ramen while complementing each other nicely. Marion’s miso was also delectable, with a rich broth that contained a sweet, biting miso flavor. We also got to try our friend and fellow adventurer Chris’s shoyu ramen, which had a salty, stick to your mouth goodness, but was otherwise a bit too oily for our liking. Overall, I was very impressed with the quality of the ramen that we tried – the three different broths were all distinct, yet all had a similar “deepness” that is difficult yet necessary to obtain when making good ramen. The toppings were fresh, flavorful and dished out in the right proportions in the bowls. The only critique that our group seemed to have was that the noodles had a distinctive “instant” quality to them, but since they almost certainly come from a large-scale noodle producer that should not be a surprise. It definitely did not stop most of our group from finishing our bowls, and also does not seem to be enough to keep away the crowds.

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Shoyu Ramen

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Salt Ramen

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Miso Ramen

It is hard to properly rate Mitsuwa Marketplace among the other places we’ve visited simply because the wide variety of services available sets it apart from the rest of them. If we are going to rate the ramen only, then I would give it three and a half stars out of five. The broths and toppings are all delicious, the fact that you can get different sizes is a plus, and it is fast and efficient – even with the long line on Thanksgiving, we were able to get our food pretty quickly. The ramen is also extremely affordable, with a medium bowl costing a mere nine dollars, which is about as good a deal as you will find for something that will fill you up. The only thing that might give people pause is how greasy the ramen is – this is definitely not for anyone trying to cut calories. However, taking into account the other services and amenities that Mitsuwa provides boosts its rating up a bit. We will give them an additional half star, which brings the final rating up to four out of five.

We would like to take this post to give a shout out to everyone who has been supporting us thus far. Thanks to our friends and families for checking the site out and spreading the word. Thanks to the Thanksgiving Day ramen adventurers: Matt, Tom, Chris, Ben, Meredith, and Gary for making the outing a special one. While ten updates may not seem like a lot, it’s definitely something, and hopefully it’s the start of a something bigger for A Ramen Quest. Thanks again for stopping by and reading.

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Meredith, Ben, and Chris – missing from picture are Tom and Gary

P.S. If you have a place you think we should visit, please feel free to leave it in the comments section!

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