Monday, June 30, 2014

Genius Hour and Ramen at Backbar in Somerville (Boston, MA)

4-6pm at Backbar in Somerville's Union Square is dubbed the Genius Hour. I just found out that happy hours as I knew it in LA is illegal in Boston, as in they're not allowed to discount alcohol. What Boston bars/restaurants do instead is discount food or have special food items during "happy hour". Backbar's Genius Hour, then, is the only 2 hours of each day when you can get their lauded Genius Ramen.

It's a great time to chill at the bar, as well, though. It's calm and quiet, the sunlight passes through the skylight.

The ramen's broth changes from season to season. In the winter you might find a rich tonkotsu (pork) broth. At the end of spring when I went, they had a chicken dashi broth, finished off with tare ($14).

The noodles were squid ink noodles, which add a lot of flavor to the lighter broth. There's a creamy poached egg, and an awesome thick, fatty pork belly along with bamboo shoots, sesame seeds, and seaweed. It's a great bowl of ramen and a unique one at that. My one problem, though, was that the noodles were sticking together. I separated most of them in the broth, but if it didn't have this problem, the ramen would've been even better.

I wasn't just there for the ramen, but to try out their cocktails.

They have a rotating milk punch - the clarified milk punch (like the English Milk Punch at Faith and Flower), not the creamy kind. That day they had the English Garden Milk Punch made with gin, Pimm's, cucumber, strawberry, pea syrup, and citrus. I might've missed an ingredient there ...
It was actually a bit more bitter than I had expected or would've liked, but I still enjoyed it.

I asked the bartender what his current favorite was and he pointed me to the Fat Duck ($12). The Fat Duck is a duck fat infused mezcal with lime, honey, and salt and pepper on lime garnish.
Fat Duck
Excellent. Granted, as far as simple drinks go, mezcal, lime, and honey would be perfect for me. The duck fat infusion just takes it to the next level by adding to the mouthfeel.

While Boston doesn't have as many ramen joints as LA, I was happy with the creative ramen here (even if it isn't cheap) and I have to say, there's no place in LA where I can get my ramen along with some excellent cocktails. Looks like I'll be going back to Backbar.

7 Sanborn Ct
Somerville, MA 02143
(617) 718-0249
Backbar on Urbanspoon


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