Republic Ramen v. Hana Japanese Eatery: Chow Bella's Ultimate Battle of the Ramen
March Madness might be over, but Chow Bella's Ultimate Battle of the Ramen is just heating up. We pitted two first round winners against each other to see who will proceed to the finals. In this crosstown match, Hana Japanese Eatery takes on Republic Ramen.
In this Corner: Republic Ramen & Noodles
The Setup: Republic Ramen, just south of ASU in Tempe, clearly caters to college kids, but they aren't the only ones who dig the good food at reasonable prices. On this particular trip, we also saw diners ranging from middle-aged professionals with Blackberries to young parents with babies.
Alissa Irei The Tonkotsu Ramen at Republic Ramen and Noodles.
The Good: The tonkotsu broth was flavorful, and the ramen came with a generous helping of pork. In fact, all of the servings at Republic Ramen are huge, while the prices are quite reasonable. Given a moderate appetite, one person could make a single $8 bowl last four meals; at $2 per meal, that's not much more expensive than Cup Noodles, but so much more delicious. If we were penny-pinching college students, we'd probably eat here several times a week.
The Bad: As we previously noted in the first round of our Ultimate Battle, Republic's noodles are somewhat limp and overcooked, and its tough pork lacks flavor.