Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Gomentei ramen, Toyocho (御めん亭)

Several times in the past I've mocked the idea of 'tough housing projects' in eastern Tokyo. I haven't gotten any comments telling me I was wrong (and once in a while I see the monthly crime reports on the local public access channel, and there's nothing there), so I'll continue with that. Unfortunately I've just learned that if you google looking for that topic, all you get is me mocking it, so maybe I imagined it in the first place? I had to go to renew my driver's license today (half day off work, woo hoo, got a 'gold card' since my lack of driving corresponds to a lack of accidents, now I basically never have to renew it). In addition to being near my place, the driver's license center is right on the edge of Projects Central. Seriously, are there any area of Tokyo that have as many projects as the Sunamachi-Ojima corridor, up Yotsume or Meiji Dori?

I thought there was a chain tsukemen place right at the station exit, a Saitamaya or something. There wasn't. All I found between the exit and the license center was this branch of Gomentei, a biggish low-end chain. No, I wrote that without thinking. Now that I've researched, I believe it's actually a single shop that manages with uncanny success to recreate the feeling a of a biggish low-end chain. Which is sad, because single shops and low-end-ness go so well with ramen.

It would be way too easy to make a joke about how the name here is an apology for the quality.

This was a very, very ordinary bowl of noodles. The single slice of pork was a bit of a redeeming factor. I don't feel compelled to tell you anything else. I didn't expect much, and my expectations were amply confirmed.


On the other hand, I really enjoyed the interior because of the overhead music. When I came in, there was a bluegrass gospel number on. Seriously, what-what? After that it went into more straight-ahead late-50's country, which is one of my favorite things. I could barely find a mention on the netz of this song, so I'm glad I preserved it in its entirety for posterior. Right now, here's a little bit of Stonewall Jackson singing a little thing called "The Carpet On the Floor". Stone?

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