Ramen proves to be best

Uncle ramen is a Denver must-have
Photo: Bobby Jones

It is damn near impossible to find what makes the Denver food culture pop in one restaurant. But, Uncle, located on 2215 West 32nd Avenue deep in the Highlands, is the pinnacle of Denver culinary experiences, period. Every aspect of this restaurant showcases the finest that Denver has to offer. A city on the rise is immeasurably dynamic, inexplicably proverse, and remarkably unique; yet, Uncle seems to emulate this culture perfectly.

Every bowl of ramen served epitomizes the deep-rooted Japanese culture of food while at the same time the peak of the up-and-coming Denver foodie culture.

A bowl of ramen is more than just a soup: it is an explosion of local meats, spices, and vegetables combined to make a satisfactory dish. Consider the magic of the chili pork bowl of ramen. Within this bowl lies a cornucopia of knowledge related to food. In the broth is white shoyu, a staple of Japanese traditional meals, yet the spicy chili pork from which the dish is named is straight out of American Southwestern cuisine. Kimchi is drowned in the yolk of American-grown chickens. The East-West dichotomy manifests itself through the very nature of the ingredients selected.

But the intertwining of cultures continues throughout the restaurant itself. Bamboo covered furniture and sleek, modern stainless steel fills the restaurant. The cleanliness and pomp and circumstance of the restaurant remind patrons of the city they find themselves surrounded by.

The kitchen is entirely visible to customers. This practice is grounded in the Japanese culinary tradition wherein chefs are commonly seen working directly in front their guests. This dichotomy summarizes the charm of Denver. New people flooding the previous worldviews of the city are causing dramatic shifts in perspective. Influxes of people from around the country’s cultural epicenters on the East and West coasts (and Texas, so many Texans) are forcing Coloradans to reevaluate that which is important to their own cultural outlook.

All of this reflection manifests itself from a simple bowl of ramen. This bowl only scratches the surface of what this restaurant has to offer the people of Denver. Appetizers like the crab buns and Colorado wagyu beef all offer even more opportunities for cultural exploration and reflection. All that these food items ask is that every patron be willing to have a radically new and enlightening experience with their meal.

And so, read this food review as a cry for the great people of this city to give an open-minded chance to culinary change. Be willing to see culture through a lens of intense reflection, which cause shifting dynamics, and the ramen will reveal itself to be more than just a bowl of soup.

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