June 28, 2005 1:35 AM | By Adam Roberts | 2 Comments

Foodplace Revisited: Back to Sapporo & R.U.B.

One thing that should make you raise an eyebrow at my food reviews is that, unlike the critic for the Times (and most reputable papers), I only visit a place once before I do a write-up. This gives you a nice instant capture of a dining establishment at a specific moment in time in a specific moment in my life but it doesn't in any way represent a fair comprehensive examination of a restaurant's quality. For that you have the professionals. With me, you get what you pay for. And you pay nothing!

I went to Sapporo in midtown a few months ago and liked it. I went back because I was in the theater district (this is the night I saw The Glass Menagerie) and I was craving noodles. I looked in my Sietsema guide (the time before I used the Leff guide) and remembered Sapporo. There I went and I heeded Sietsema's advice for summer months: "Come during the summer and get the piece de resistance: hiyashi chuka, a bowl of cold noodles in a slightly sweet broth, topped with ham, chicken, egg, fish cake, green onion, shredded ginger, cucumber, and corn." Here it be!


Isn't that beautiful? I devoured it. It was cool and refreshing and had all these great flavors and textures: almost like a Japanese version of the chef's salad. This gave Sapporo some serious mileage: the last time I said it paled next to Momofuku. This shakes things up a bit. Perhaps a Food War is in order?

The real place that benefited from a return was R.U.B. Last time I was there, I couldn't believe how expensive it was for so little. Three people paid $70 for what amounted to just a few ribs each. This time I ordered the pulled pork sandwich:


I sat at the bar and this really cool female bartender suggested I get it on a bun "because it doesn't fall apart." I ordered a lemonade too and all in all this lunch meal cost $13. Not cheap, but not $70. And the pulled pork was really delicious: they heaped it on (you can see in the pic, there's a lot of pulled pork on that bun.) Now if I'm craving rib-like experience I have a happy option on 23rd street.

Wow---so you see, returning to a place more than once has its benefits. My credibility as a food critic has been raised. Who wants to subsidize a return to Per Se?


Wow those cold noodles look delish. Is the orange stuff in the back salmon or some kind of vegetable?

I'd love to know what the broth was made of...or what it tasted like. Looks like a great dish to try and remake at home. Thanks for the head's up.

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