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Taste the Ramen Burger at its Bay Area debut

12/05/2013 12:20 PM

12/05/2013 12:22 PM

At long last, the Ramen Burger will grace Northern California with its presence.

Yes, the Ramen Burger. We’re talking the most recent food hybrid to cause a national frenzy, a la the great Cronut craze of 2013. Since summer, hipsters and foodies have been waiting in long, long lines to taste Keizo Shimamoto’s creation at the regular Smorgasburg food festival in Williamsburg, New York.

Now, anyone willing to drive to San Jose has a shot at tasting one of 700 burgers. The Ramen Burger team — though not Shimamoto himself — will be at Mitsuwa Marketplace on Dec. 14 at 11 a.m. Each burger goes for $8, and there’s no per-person limit. So if you’re feeling kind, you can bring some home to family members who refused to wait in line with you.

What is a Ramen Burger? It’s pretty much what it sounds like: a burger surrounded by two buns made of ramen noodles.

And it tastes sort of how you’d expect, like if you made ramen — maybe tsukemen, the dipping style if we’re being specific — with hamburger meat tossed in. The textural sensation is the winner here, with the chewy noodles sealed and lightly toasted for handholding capabilities, yet still able to fall apart in your mouth. Shoyu, scallions and arugula round off the flavors.

In September, Shimamoto brought the Ramen Burger to Los Angeles — the first time it appeared outside New York. Now, he’s envisioning a bit of a national tour. That initial visit to the City of Angels drew 1,000 folks who wanted dibs on 500 Ramen Burgers. Shimamoto made Los Angeles that first stop so his mother could try his creation.

The family connection continues. San Jose became the next destination because Shimamoto’s brother Stan lives there - and he clearly needs to taste the Ramen Burger, too.

Read more about the Ramen Burger and Shimamoto on his blog, and check Facebook to see where it’ll pop up next.

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