Unctuous broth, home-made noodles, and lots of savory little bits of goodness.
I had a meeting in Somerville today and headed afterwards to the much-ballyhooed backbar (no caps is how they spell it). I went quickly, for I hear that they often sell out of a particular dish, for which I am on the hunt.
Behind an unmarked door, and through a long, dark hallway reminiscent of a Twilight Zone segment, you finally arrive to see this, an innocuous door with an illuminated logo:
You open the door, and there you enter an oasis, away from the outside urban sprawl of convenience stores and bric-a-brac shops.
You pull up to the bar, grab a seat, and say the magic words: “Ramen, please.” And, after some polite banter with the bartender and the chef near you who is eating and drinking on his day off from Coppa, in a few minutes, you receive this:
You hear from the bartender that it’s a tonkatsu-style pork broth, that has been cooking all night long at a low simmer, so much so that the pork bones have released their marrow. You hear about the hand-made noodles.
But, soon, you’re not hearing much as you focus on the meal. The noodles are chewy, the nori is extra crisp, and the pork is fall-apart-in-your-mouth perfection. The broth is rich with tons of umami, and, salty, but not overly so. You poke the soft-boiled egg and the brilliant-orange yolk oozes out, coloring the broth and coating your noodles with a velvety, almost sexy, sheen. You eat in silence. Speaking would be apostasy.
It’s soothing, it’s filling, and it is perfection in a bowl. Never before have you used the word “beautiful” to describe a bowl of noodle soup. But, that’s what this is. The sight, smell and taste all ball up together into a heavy hit of dopamine. You’re absolutely and resolutely hooked.
Then, it ends.
You wipe your mouth, you pay the bill, and you wish you could stay for another bowl, and perhaps, a cocktail or two. This is a place to which you want to take a date to impress or a spouse to cherish.
That’s backbar, and that’s backbar’s ramen.