Tucked away in a neighborhood hides, Two Ten Jack. A Nashville ramen house. located on 1900 Eastland Avenue. On the venture out there you would think you were going the wrong way. Don’t worry you’re not. Upon arriving there, you are greeted with a number of businesses including Jeni’s, Ugly Mug’s Coffee and Tea, etc. Once you pull up you wouldn’t need to search for the place, the red lantern will instantly gravitate you towards the door.
When my boyfriend and I first entered, we went straight to the host, standing at the podium. We stood there for quite some time, He didn’t even flinch with us standing there. The host was a complete Dickwad, no really he was a a huge Dick! (Sorry for the language but he was, moving on…) So, we stepped back and sat down thinking we would just have to wait for seating. Wrong! The host asked us what we were doing, “Are you trying to make the list?” ha. with another couple, just one couple, yes…just one other couple waiting as well. “Yes, we are. table for two, Robinson.” I said. He gave me this look, “Uhh, you know…you can come up here and talk to me.” This other lady, not sure if she was a host or waitress, chuckled. RUDE. extremely rude, considering when we first entered we stood in front of you, even trying to talk to you, but you would not attend us. He asked for our number and we would receive a text message when the table was ready. We chose the first available option, which was not a long wait at all. He said “You two, come with me” two meaning, two people right? No. He meant both parties…He didn’t even mention names….Goodness gracious. and another thing, don’t even bother giving them your number, we did not receive a text at all. Anyways, both parties ended up sharing a long bench style table. We sat down and the host had hot towels waiting for us. As, my boyfriend was trying to get situated, The host asked us, “Would you like a hot towel?” and I answered yes and held my hands up, He completely ignored me and while Rob was taking off his jacket, he raised his voice at him “WOULD YOU LIKE A HOT TOWEL OR NOT?” That was the last straw with this guy, He didn’t even explain what the hot towels were for. RANT OVER.
The waitress on the other hand, was so sweet. She asked us if it was our first time there, and yes, it was. She had no problem explaining the menu and attending us. When you first sit down, there is two different menus, one a drink list which keep in mind, this is a ramen house so no soda, sweet tea present. Available is a nice cold jug of self serve water and glasses. Honestly, I’m glad there isn’t any soda, I think it would kill the flavors of the food. The drink list includes, different wines, beers, sake, and so forth. We looked over it and the list would completely compliment the food. The other menu included a nice selection of different foods such as small plates that you can choose from pork gyoza, j.f.c. (japanese fried chicken), takoyaki, and many more. They even have sashimi and nigiri, if ramen isn’t your thing. salads and noodles, and so much more. The menu isn’t overwhelming at all.
.We came here with a empty stomach so we ordered a couple of appetizers:
The first one was Takoyaki, a hush puppy with octopus inside catered with miso butter. The octopus isn’t overwhelming, it’s like a hidden gem inside a warm fried-well seasoned hush puppy, This isn’t like those hush puppies you order at those seafood fast food chains, this is like no other hush puppy I’ve ever eaten in my life. Topped with some flakes, and forgive me I can’t pin point what they were but they tasted familiar. and green onions. Don’t forget about that miso butter…oh my goodness. Once dipped into that butter, it was like a whole nother dimension of flavor! I truly had a food gasm with this appetizer, it was so good I had to share it! but my boyfriend is allergic to seafood and I was too shy to ask the neighboring couple that sat next to us, so I asked for a box for them to share with my parents. Believe me, not sharing is a complete sin. But what I thought was impressive was-They kept the rhythm and feel of the place even with the plates. The Japanese newspaper sat under the takoyaki catching the little grease. For this appetizer, you would spend $8, not too expensive and it’s well worth it.
Pork Gyoza, a pan fried pork dumpling with country ponzu. Rob was a complete fan of this. It was seasoned with ginger, green onions and other seasonings. Simple and delicate. Gyoza is a usual appetizer when we eat out at a Japanese restaurant, so it was a familiar taste but you can tell it was their pork gyoza. You can order this small plate at $7.
Skirt steak perfection…Skirt Steak Yakitori. served with a sweet and savory sauce and with a side of Shichimi Togarashi, the Japanese chili flakes. is the perfect but yet small appetizer, don’t let the size fool you, This is packed with flavor making you want more. Crispy on the outside but tender and pink in the inside, is considerably the best…The BEST steak or yakitori, I have ever had. This won both of our hearts and wanted more. Once, dipped into the chili flakes, it once again made it more powerful. This was a definite win for us. This sells at $7 a skewer. Our next stop is Ramen, they do not offer taking left overs home, which most ramen houses don’t allow.
Tonkotsu, A thick, creamy pork broth with chashu, menma fermented bamboo, and kikurage. A wood ear mushroom which is a favorite of mine, burnt garlic oil and a soft egg. The bowls are quite small. smaller than the other ramen house I’ve been to, but the flavor is there but not enough to keep me coming back, just for the ramen at least.
Tori Paitan, a chicken broth flavored ramen with rayu , a sauce infused with hot chilies and sesame oil. A nice sized tsukune which is the chicken meatballs, collards, kinoko mushrooms, and lastly a soft egg. It’s slightly spicy but not enough to send you diving for water or milk, but just enough to keep you warm under the icy weather. The added collards weren’t a favorite of mine, but I didn’t mind it too much. Robinson liked this one more, which I favored the other ramen, tonkotsu.
To be completely honest the ramen was so-so for Robinson and I. Even though it is tasty, it didn’t please our stomachs, The real crowd pleaser was the appetizers.
My last part of this review will be the atmosphere.
This ramen house has a urban feel to it, From the time we walked in, to the passing of the beautiful bar, and to the back of where we sat. Which had a movie projector to the back of me. You can somewhat see it in this dope art piece of the Seven Samurais. (playing is studio ghibli’s Ponyo, a favorite film of mine) Not to worry, the movie is actually muted which doesn’t interfere with your surroundings or music they play. They have a hip hop, electro relaxation playlist to keep you entertained. The dim lighting creates a lighten and somewhat romantic feel to you and whomever accompanies you. Besides the awful host we had, The waiters and waitresses make you feel welcomed. Here is my final score of this tucked away, hidden taste-bud adventure:
If you’re interested in going, don’t worry reservations aren’t necessary unless you have a bigger group of 5+. Thank you for reading.