The Ramen Truck

dieselboi
The Ramen Truck

The Ramen Truck

CLOSED

Location: SE 33rd and Hawthorne – north of Hawthorne behind the store
Hours: Tues-Sat, 12-7pm

The Story:

Most everyone I know has a story about ramen from college or even younger years. “I put myself through grad school eating ramen…” But ramen is more than the packaged 10 for $1 kind you find at WinCo and The Ramen Truck opened to prove that.

While ramen is used as a catch-all term for this wonderful bowl of noodles, broth and other goodies, in Japan, there are more than 20 different regional styles. Everyone starts with the same base, but adds magic in the kitchen to create their signature dish. Some have clear soupy broths made from pork or fowl, while others are creamy without a visible broth what-so-ever. Of the main types of ramen – shoyu, miso, shio and tonkotsu, The Ramen Truck focuses on tonkotsu with a pork broth simmered for twelve hours, noodles, green onions, nori (seaweed,) and chashu (sliced braised pork.) Such a simple dish, but with mad awesome flavor.

Ramen from The Ramen Truck

Ramen from The Ramen Truck

I’m a child of ramen. I was even introduced to eating raw ramen noodles right out of the package with peanut butter atop. Not bad, but not good. Having recently read a new publication – Lucky Peach, I had to seek out and try some of this ramen that doesn’t come from a package with secret packets of salty death. I ventured down to The Ramen Truck and ordered up a bowl. There was a young Japanese couple with their baby in tow sitting nearby slurping at their noodles. Seeing that, I was convinced I had come to the right place. The ramen is served piping hot. Not boiling, but I needed to let it cool a bit. I mixed everything together with the chopsticks as I understand there is seasoning on the bottom you need to blend in. That first slurp of noodles was surprising. The broth had a creaminess to it I had never experienced before as if there was an extra bit of pork fat layered in. Not a cloyingness like lard, just a different textural and flavorful bit that enhanced the entire dish. While initially surprised, I came to crave that taste at every bite and slurp, taking in every drop until I tilted the bowl to drink it up. Everything in that bowl was wonderful – the homemade noodles, the pork, the egg and the broth. A soup I could eat every day.

Now that I’ve been introduced to real ramen, I seek it out everywhere. With such a rich history of the dish and so many styles, I want to see what else Portland has to offer. The Ramen Truck has set the bar pretty high. Check them out and enjoy some of their tonkotsu style ramen and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

Note on ordering- 1) broth 2) size 3) add ons

Broth:

  • White: homemade pork broth simmered for 12 hours
  • Garlic: pork broth with blackened garlic

Sizes: small, $5; large, $7

  • both sizes come with homemade ramen noodles, green onions, nori and chashu

Add-ons:

  • hard boiled egg – $1
  • corn, extra green onions, nori, or kimchee – 50c
  • extra chashu – $1

other:

  • Hiyashi-Chuuka: cold ramen salad with fresh vegetables, ham, hard boiled egg and sesame sauce – $7 (can be made vegetarian without ham)

Hours: Tues-Sat, 12-7pm
Website: The Ramen Truck
Facebook: The Ramen Truck

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Comments

  1. pdxfoodwoman says:

    The hours on the truck say Tues-Sat 12-7, I’m pretty sure they’re closed on Sundays.

  2. dieselboi says:

    Pdxfoodwoman, you’re right. I have fixed the hours. The hours I posted were emailed to me by them. They obviously changed them along the way. Thanks for pointing it out.

  3. Never doubt the power of this blog.

    Upon reading about this truck, I planned my late afternoon around getting there to pick-up dinner on the way home from work.
    Arriving at the truck about 6:10 pm, the proprietor sighed and informed me that he’d had to close early as he’d been totally “slammed” and had sold-out early.
    When I asked if it was a result of the FoodCartsPortland blog, he simply replied affirmatively. He said that the onslaught of customers had been, at times, stressful. I then reminded him that too many customers was a good kind of stress!
    I assured him that I’d return on another day, and I was looking forward to his Ramen.

  4. Having been foiled on Tuesday evening, I headed back to The Ramen Truck today (Wednesday) about 4:30 pm. Luck was with me!

    The Truck staffer indicated that he’d (again) sold-out earlier in the day, but had been able to restock (yes!).

    I had the “regular” bowl with garlic broth, pork, nori, plus extra green onions. Since my request was for my ramen to “go,” the staffer offered to package the broth and noodles separately, thereby avoiding the chance of the noodles getting soggy on my trek homeward.

    Upon reaching home, I combined everything, and the result was very good…especially on this cold, rainy night! I was especially impressed by the depth and character of the broth. This was no typical broth, but one that had special nuances.

    I WILL return to The Ramen Truck. Again, thanks to FoodCartsPortland for the notice and the “tip of the e-spoon” in letting us Pdx Cartivores know about this endeavor!

  5. “Secret packets of salty death.”

    I love it!

    My dad used to make me ramen when I was a kid. Total comfort food!! I found “real” ramen in Vancouver, BC and glad to see Portland is catching on.

    Great blog!

  6. I just moved the this neighborhood and thought I would try this cart….no longer there :-( Are they out of business or moved to another location? Any other ramen suggestions?

  7. I think they are done. I chatted with their neighboring truck (Cheese and Crack … very good, by the way) and William says that Ramen Truck got sold and someone else will be re-opening the truck. It’s all painted black too. I’m sad that I never got to try their ramen!

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