Perfect For: Cheap Eats Dining Solo First/Early in the Game Dates

The first thing you’ll think when you walk into Ganso is “Wait, I thought I was in Brooklyn. How did I end up at Momofuku Noodle Bar?” Then you’ll start eating, and you’ll think “Ok, got it. I’m definitely not at Noodle Bar.” While the decor at Ganso is a near-perfect imitation of the all-wood, open kitchen Momofuku restaurants, the food is most definitely not. There are some very good things on this menu (specifically the spicy miso ramen and the pork buns) but on the whole, most of the dishes tend closer to good than great. The service is hit-or-miss, or as we like to call it, “Brooklyn.” One waitress we had was so stressed out and rushed that she almost gave our table a collective panic attack. No, we’re not ready to order, we haven’t even taken off our coats yet. The next time we came, our waitress was so calm and soothing that I almost asked her to read me bedtime stories. Maybe she should start leading meditation sessions at staff meetings.

If you find yourself shopping for a new cell phone that fell off the back of a truck or knockoff perfume at Fulton Mall, Ganso is a good place to stop in for a quick, cheap meal. But there’s no need to make a ramen pilgrimage here since you can probably find a bowl just as good somewhere in your neighborhood. And that’s why we live in New York City.

Food Rundown

Ganso Ramen

A soy sauce-based pork ramen. The ajitama egg and the pork belly are the best part. The noodles and the broth are good, not great. As a total package, this soup doesn’t quite compare to the best ramen in New York. But unless you take weekend trips to Tokyo you won’t be disappointed.

Spicy Miso Ramen

This broth has the perfect amount of spice and the pork belly, as in all Ganso ramen, is meltingly tender. If you can handle a bit of heat, this is the one we’d recommend.

Stamina Ramen

Fancy chicken noodle soup. It’s fine, but we’d take either of their pork-based ramen options over it any day.

Buta Kimchi Buns

Pork belly with jalapeno kimchi and spicy mayo, and a slice of cucumber for texture. I thought I was over pork buns until I had these. A definite order.

Baby Back Ribs

These aren’t going to replace the ribs at your favorite BBQ place, but they’re pretty tender and have a nice sweet sauce.

Crispy Gyoza

Solid dumplings held together by a deliciously crispy pan-fried shell. The best part is watching the chefs making these by hand through the window that separates the bar from the kitchen.

Ganso Spring Rolls

They’re not breaking any new ground here. I’d double up on the pork buns before ordering these.

Rio's Wings

This chef picked the wrong dish to name after himself. They did a good job frying these wings, but the sauce they’re covered in is so sweet that it would have been better on pancakes. Mmmm spicy pancakes...

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