Restaurant: Goro Ramen
Fun fact: I’ve never tried those dry ramen noodles that so many kids subsisted on in college. I only ever saw chicken or beef flavors, which, as a vegetarian, I naturally steered clear of. I also worked at a salad/wrap fast casual restaurant about 25-30 hours a week, so I had more than enough discounted food to keep me going. Ramen was just never a thing for me.
So when a couple ramen restaurants opened in OKC after I’d graduated, I had absolutely no preconceived notions of the Japanese staple. My first feelings toward ramen were those of warmth and comfort, succulence and serious flavor. This was far from the powdered, dry packets my classmates used to eat.
Gorō Ramen in OKC’s Plaza District is my go-to. Their vegan Yasai ramen is buttery rich and great on its own, but I think it's made even better with the addition of a house-made garlic chili bomb. The Yasai ramen comes with grilled tofu, a roasted tomato, mushrooms, fried shallots and negi (green onions). I like to add ajitama, or a soft-boiled egg, to mine as well (no longer vegan, but that’s ok with me).
Gorō even gives you the option to add kaedama, or an extra side of noodles, but I can’t imagine how anyone could finish all the noodles that come in a bowl in the first place! The broth and toppings are my favorite part; personally, I could do with less noodles, but I do realize that’s the main part of ramen. I have no problem slurping down all that delicious broth.
The restaurant also offers a few other vegetarian options, including a tofu steamed bun, wakame (seafood) salad, sautéed shiitakes and the most incredible Brussels sprouts salad I’ve ever had. It’s a good size for sharing and will start your meal off on the perfect foot. The ingredients sound a bit random, but it all works—fried Brussels sprouts, beets, miso vinaigrette, pickled Fresno peppers, mint and fried shallots combine to create a delectable appetizer that will leave both veggies and non-veggies satisfied. It’s not filling enough for a meal, but I’m seriously tempted to go to Gorō and order two of these babies and call it a day.
Goro Ramen. 1634 N. Blackwelder Ave., #102, OKC. @gororamen