Okay, we’re just going to say it, what’s the big deal with ramen? We like it fine, we’ve even made a video about it, but how did any soup vault into late-night-arguments and chat-site-flame-wars company of barbecue and pizza and delis? We get that part of what fuels the craze is you-can’t-get-good-here snobbery, but still… it’s soup, it doesn’t have the raging testosterone of these other foods. Anyway, two prominent local voices have squared off to decide the best ramen in town (and bless them for steering clear of the you-can’t-get-good-here business entirely). In this corner, Steve Dolinsky, who last week named his top five. And in this corner, Serious Eats Chicago, who try no fewer than 14 contenders.
And the winner, ironically enough, is the same chef, but not for the same restaurant. Serious Eats praises Slurping Turtle’s Tori ramen— if you can brave the crowds— for “the incomparable broth that set it over the top. Stunningly complex and haunting, it was also never overbearing.” While Dolinsky places Slurping Turtle at the bottom of the top five, finding a reason to prefer Takashi Yagihashi’s original shoyu ramen at Takashi— nostalgia: “Topped with fatty slices of braised pork, a poached egg and marinated bamboo shoots, this is Sunday comfort food that, dare I say, rivals the matzo ball soup of my youth.”