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Oct 10, 2013 08:24 PM

How Much Is A Bowl Of Noodles Worth?

And why eat noodles anyway?
Rainy cold Seattle afternoon, what's better?
So I went to 4649 with a friend and had a bowl.
Ramen, no drinks, tax, and $5 tip = $35.
Don't get me wrong, the ramen was nice and the noodles were even imported from Japan! This would be a regular if I had an expense account.
So that gets me to thinking about noodles and the bang for the buck in the various places I like around town.
Canton Wonton House 608 S Weller makes some killer versions of soup in the traditional manner. I've been going there for more than 22 years, since before the old location got ruined in a big storm and when the old man and woman were running the shop. It's been the next generation in the family running things for some time now. Always excellent, always consistent, made by hand, right there. And their large is less than $7.
Or Il Corvo for outa site pasta from the mad creative mind of Mike Easton, made by hand right there for less than $10.
Little Uncle phad thai knocks it down for $8.80 right on the sidewalk!

So Chowheads. Weigh in on this if you please. Great Noodle Places You Love & Why. (Or the Zen version...How much is a bowl of noodles worth? Your Soul?)

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  1. i've not been to 4649, but having lived in japan, these prices seem darn reasonable for decent ramen. are the portions really small or something? otherwise, i need to try this place!

    2 Replies
    1. re: chartreauxx

      Mos def check it out.
      There were some extremely fine slivers of red vegetable on the top of the ramen with the scallions. I asked and the waitron told me the garnish was finely sliced red pepper. It was a beautiful presentation with a traditional wooden spoon. Very nice all around.

      1. re: JayDK

        awesome! thanks for the rec. also, some of your other suggestions have been on my hit list for years - let me know if you'd ever be interested in chowmeeting up. :-)

    2. 'bang for the buck': Always great for the restaurant, lowest food cost, highest profit margin. 'why eat noodles anyway?': Low-carbers like me would say 'DON'T', but...noodles are bland, cheap, need tarting up. And restaurants seem to do a better job tarting them up than most home cooks. Sometimes you need that fix, and you pay for it.

      1. I followed the link (thank you) and the lunch menu indicates that the Ramen choices at 4649 start at $8.50 and top out at $12, with extra toppings available at prices of $1 and $1.50.

        Considering overhead in the Wallingford neighborhood, and the quality of the preparation, the pricing doesn't strike me as either surprising or as a bad bang for the buck at all.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Gizmo56

          Maybe I should have checked my bill!

          1. re: JayDK

            i did notice that too, when i looked at the menu; although, if you ordered the $12 ramen, and added anything like eggs or whatever, lunch for 2 would be right about $35 with tax and tip. (I'm assuming you paid for both of you, otherwise I can't imagine how you hit $35 for one person unless you ate 2-3 menu items!).

          2. re: Gizmo56

            These prices seem reasonable and typical. I would be surprised with $20 per bowl.

          3. Kukui isn't cheap either. If they're either making their own noodles or importing best quality from Japan, it's not surprising.

            1. Even pho in a hole in the wall place is now reaching $7-$8. $10-$12 for ramen, handmade/not-handmade/flown in from Japan, is not too outrageous.

              The expensive ramen places are pretty close to what it is like back in its native lands. You will find nothing in Hong Kong or Guangzhou that tastes anything like Canton Wonton House. So it's not a valid comparison.

              If you think 4649 or Kukai is expensive, Yuzu down in Portland charges more and gives you even smaller portions.

              1 Reply
              1. re: HungWeiLo

                4649 was an expensive price per (good) slurp.
                Good for expense account, not working man.
                Never been to Hong Kong or Guangzhou. No doubt they'd like Canton Wonton House.
                Just as I'm sure some Italians would like Il Corvo.
                Call me cheap. I like good coffee for less than 2 bucks and a good bowl of noodles for less than 10.
                Maybe we should change the post to "GOOD NOODLES - CHEAP"