4

100 Favorite Dishes 2012: No. 77, Tonkotsu at Cafe Kubo's

^
Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

This year leading up to our annual Best of Houston® issue, we're counting down our 100 favorite dishes in Houston. This list comprises our favorite dishes from the last year, dishes that are essential to Houston's cultural landscape and/or dishes that any visitor (or resident) should try at least once.

The tonkotsu ramen at Cafe Kubo's has an instantly calming scent: thick, nutty and full of the promise of satisfaction to come at the bottom of the bowl. Dip your spoon into the milky broth and use your chopsticks to retrieve messy tangles of dark, fawn-colored noodles, tender slices of pork and the single half of a hardboiled egg. There's nothing fancy about the ramen here, and that's just the way it should be.

While the noodles aren't handmade, they are cooked to a perfect al dente, swimming cheerfully in a creamy, husky broth that testifies to its piggy origins: Tonkatsu ramen is made by slowly boiling pork fat, pork bones and pork collagen for hours at a time. Think of it as the Japanese version of pho with its deep, rich, resonant taste.

In other cities, ramen is venerated much the same way as Houston treats its pho. While Houston isn't terribly behind the curve -- after all, SF Weekly's Jonathan Kaufmann reported in October 2010 that San Francisco, that melting pot of all things Asian, was just jumping on the ramen bandwagon -- it's still difficult to find a bowl of ramen here, let alone a good bowl of ramen. But at least we have some pretty good stuff at Cafe Kubo's for now.

The list so far:

No. 100: Chili cheese mac at Jus' Mac No. 99: Texas turkey sandwich at Spec's No. 98: Custard at Petite Sweets No. 97: Caprichos mixtos at Taqueria Monterrey Chiquito No. 96: Pineapple-wasabi burger at Lankford Grocery No. 95: Farmer's MKT Pizza at Phoenicia's MKT Bar No. 94: Potatoes at Money Cat Brunch No. 93: Breakfast tacos at Sunrise Taquito No. 92: Hot dog at Tacos D.F. No. 91: Avocado gelato at Frozen Cafe No. 90: Chicken sandwich at JerryBuilt Homegrown Burgers No. 89: Beer-battered asparagus at Hearsay No. 88: Honey Badger omelet at Kraftsmen Cafe No. 87: Pastelitos de carne at El Jalapeño No. 86: Pancakes at Union Kitchen No. 85: Wild boar and crab pizza at Boheme No. 84: Breakfast croissant at BB Donuts No. 83: Pretzel at Anvil Bar & Refuge No. 82: Short rib sandwich at Shepherd Park Draught House No. 81: Grilled shrimp po-boy at Pappadeaux No. 80: Dahi puri at Shiv Sagar No. 79: Aporreado at Los Corrales No. 78: Oxtail francobolli at Aldo's Cucina Italiana


Follow Eating Our Words on Facebook and on Twitter @EatingOurWords

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.