Thursday, March 27, 2008

Waiting for Noodles

I love noodles. I also hate waiting in line. So when it comes to noodles, would I bother waiting in line?


Spaghetti cacio e pepe. I'd been hearing rave reviews of this dish from friends for weeks, and one Saturday night, I was lucky enough be invited to dinner with them at SPQR. The restaurant opens at 5:30. We arrived at 5:45, thereby missing the first seating. The wait: two hours. To the restaurant's credit, our table was ready in just that, two hours. The downside was waiting around for two hours. Happily, after all the cute shops nearby had closed, there was as lovely restaurant with a cozy bar just down the street where we had some frites and drinks to hold us over until the pasta course. Was the spaghetti good? It was. The peccorino and pepper combination was spicy in a taste bud dancing sort of way and the homemade noodles were perfectly al dente. Would I wait two hours again? Probably not.

Santa Ramen
This ramen spot has no shortage of customers. I'd been to their old shop several years ago, before I loved non-instant ramen. I remember waiting in the cold, staring at the handful of customers lucky enough to secure tables and willing them to eat quickly. At the time, I wasn't super impressed with their noodles. I decided it was time to give Santa another try since my ramen affinity is much higher nowadays. Our first surprise - that the shop had relocated from its minuscule shop to a 70ish seat restaurant. We got there 30 minutes before opening time. There were 15 people ahead of us in line. It was sort of cold. We waited in line. The restaurant wins points of efficiency; the server took our orders before we even got a table and our food arrived soon after we were seated. Were the noodles amazing? They were good. Chewy and generous in a bowl of steaming broth, but not something I'd wait for again.

Apparently, as much as I love noodles, I dislike waiting in line even more.


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