Smoked garlic chicken ramen served Sundays and late-night at Hog & Hominy.
Smoked garlic chicken broth, a chicken wing, duck sausage, crispy pig ears, pickled shitake, daikon, noodles, nori and a softly poached egg. That's how our server at Hog & Hominy described the restaurant's new ramen, and I ordered a bowl immediately with little regard to the rest of the menu.
I'd never eaten pig ears or chicken wings in ramen before, but the ingredients promised a cozy antidote to the cold weather outside. When the aromatic bowl of ramen arrived at our table, I ate the chicken wing first, admired the bowl's color combinations and then mixed in the egg. Its thick yellow yolk blended seamlessly into the broth. I felt a little like a chemist.
Much of Hog & Hominy's menu is deconstructed, and the ramen holds true. Traditional Japanese ramen often begins with kombu and dashi and is more broth than noodles. Eggs are hard poached or hard boiled and cut in half. Hog & Hominy's southern spin is heavy on the noodles (and that's fine by me), and the ramen's pickled vegetables brighten up a complex and smokey broth.
The chicken ramen is the restaurant's standard selection, but variations cycle in on the days ramen is served: late-night on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and all-day Sunday.
Dubbed “Sunday Funday,” the Sunday menu also includes other special dishes well worth trying. The Italian Toast ($12) is a sublime interpretation of traditional French toast made with brioche and served with compressed fruit, sliced almonds and amaretto syrup. Benton bacon comes alongside.
The restaurant's beef and cheddar hotdog ($8) served with yellow mustard on a pretzel bun also is delicious as is the Sunshine State pizza ($14) made with tomato sauce, arugula pesto, Benton bacon and ricotta salata.
Hog & Hominy, 707 W. Brookhaven Circle (901-207-7396)