Miso: This version uses the same base broth as all the ramen but with the addition of miso paste, which is made from fermented rice, barley, soybeans and kojikin. If you like miso soup, you'll love this version of ramen.
Curry: Here's a nontraditional version cooked up at Main Street Noodle in which the broth is infused with curry. While you might not find this one in Japan, you'll find it delicious.
Main Street Noodle also offers its version of pho and a soup with Korean kimchee.
“All the work is done the day before,” he said. “The broth is the soul of ramen, and it has to be done at least a day in advance to extract the flavors from the bones.”
After morning prep of other ingredients, all that has to be done is parcooking the noodles, which Chen said they import from Japan. He explained it isn't cost-effective to make the noodles from scratch daily.
“Our ramen is authentic,” he said. “But the biggest difference is that in Japan, the noodle is the king, and in this country people are more interested in the meat and the other ingredients we add.”
On the table, diners will find sriracha, hoisin and chili oil. Chen advises you don't dump the sauces into your soup. The Asian soup spoons offer ample space to dot them with condiments before dipping them into the broth.
“That way you don't change the whole flavor of the soup,” Chen said.
Appetizers include Takoyaki, which are bits of octopus mixed with a creamy batter, deep fried and served with shredded nori and a creamy sauce.
The gyoza contain chicken and pork and are served pan-fried with soy-based dipping sauce. The Croquette isn't at all Asian, but is tasty nonetheless. It's a mix of mashed potatoes and vegetables batter-fried and served with a mayonnaise-based dipping sauce.
If you go
Main Street Noodle is tucked into a kitschy space in an antique building in Stillwater's venerable downtown, between 6th and 7th streets. It offers sidewalk dining and service with plenty of smiles. Chen says only an international crisis can keep soup bowls from arriving more than five minutes after the order hits the kitchen.
If you drive up to Stillwater for the day, Main Street Noodle makes a great place to stop by for lunch, but it also is open for dinner. It's quick, affordable and guaranteed to warm your soul.
The restaurant is open from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5 to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and stays open until 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.