Ramen burger craze: yum or yuck?
While a line formed in the West Village on Saturday morning for a cronut, there was another line in Brooklyn, forming for the past three hours in the hot sun of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. They were all there for the Ramen Burger, the newest craze to take over the New York food scene.
Keizo Shimamoto , the creator of the Ramen Burger, was smiling, "I have no idea how this happened," he said. "It's crazy."
Before Shimamoto had sold even a single burger, the press had created the hype, so when he finally showed up at the Brooklyn flea market Smorgasburg last week to sell the 150 burgers he had prepped, the line was over 250 people deep. He's planning to be there on Saturdays; the flea market runs through Nov. 24.
The Ramen Burger is an all-beef patty, sandwiched between two ramen noodle "buns." It's garnished with a secret Shoyu sauce, arugula and green onions. The flavor is a salty-sweet combination, but the texture of the buns is what makes this burger so enticing.
"I experimented with different recipes to get the perfect bun. People think it's crispy because they see it on the grill, but when you bite into it you notice that the noodles are still quite soft." But it doesn't break apart. Why? "That's a secret," says Shimamoto.
Shimamoto is a second-generation American from Los Angeles. Previously employed as a programmer, he quit his job to pursue his passion of ramen, taking him to Tokyo. "They have Ramen Burgers there, but they don't use beef patties, I wanted to bring the two together here in New York."