Ramen Burgers aren’t new. I first ate the menu item – where bread buns are replaced by two ramen buns – at chef Joseph Elevado’s Andrea’s in Encore Las Vegas six years ago. It was sort of a goofy and trendy idea, but I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.
So it was a little surprising to find ramen burgers on the menu at the downtown Nudo Ramen House (818 W. Sprague Ave., there’s also a North Side location at 9602 N. Newport Highway) a few weeks ago. My immediate thought: “Are ramen burgers still a thing?”
I mean, why not … people eat burgers all the time without bread buns, right? It was time to try my second ramen burger in six years, so I ordered the Crispy Chicken Ramen Burger with arugula, American cheese, spicy mayo and tonkatsu sauce served on a ramen bun with a side of edamame in downtown Spokane.
The verdict: The second tasting of a ramen burger was even better than the first. It helps if you already like ramen, which I do, and if you don’t like hamburger buns, which I typically don’t (same with hot dogs, but that’s another story). The ramen bun held together pretty well, and the overall chicken burger was full of flavor. (BTW, my server said that the ramen burgers are fairly popular with customers.)
And give me a side of edamame over French fries any day. To complete the meal, I also ordered the Crisp Salt and Basil Chicken and a pineapple cider (the flavors of cider rotate). It was a lot of food for one person, so I had leftover chicken – which was happily devoured later – and I’ve never met a cider flavor that I didn’t like at least a little bit.
The other ramen burger on the menu is the American Cheese Ramen Burger with a fresh Kobe beef patty, arugula and tonkatsu sauce served on a ramen bun with a side of edamame. I’d return to Nudo for it – in fact, I have a feeling that I would like the American cheese version more than the crispy chicken iteration.
In a season when pumpkin flavor is all things food – and I’m fully onboard with all things pumpkin-flavored – fall is truly here for me, however, when the cooler weather says it’s time for hot and nourishing bowls of ramen (and pho).
Add an occasional ramen burger to the list for a little autumn comfort food for the soul.
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