Above, Toro Ramen and Poke Barn's yakisoba — a delicious blend of Japanese fried noodles, assorted veggies, scrambled eggs and scallion. You get your choice of pork, chicken or tofu. Daily Record photos by Nick Castillo
Foodie Friday: Toro Ramen and Poke Barn
During cold times such as these nothing beats a warm bowl of soup, err, in this case ramen.
Toro Ramen and Poke Barn provides delicious ramen options for those looking to beat the cold. Prior to this week’s winter storm, we visited this San Marcos eatery conveniently located next to Texas State University.
Toro offers a wide selection of Japanese dishes, as well as poke — a native Hawaiian dish. Enter this local spot and you're greeted with a bright atmosphere with walls colored in red, orange, blue and light blue.
Toro describes itself as a “food lover's paradise in San Marcos, exactly at the back of the (Texas State University) in a wonderful atmosphere (with) attentive staff and outstanding specials,” on its Facebook page.
What to get:
During our visit to Toro Ramen and Poke Barn my dining companion chose the spicy tonkotsu ramen, which the restaurant lists as its specialty, Hakata-style spicy ramen with pork broth cooked to perfection for roughly 12-17 hours. This meal comes with straight noodles, pork chashu, boiled egg, scallions, black mushroom, red ginger and dry seaweed. This ramen featured a deliciously spicy broth, the noodles were nice and the pork was tender.
Toro has several other ramen options, including tonkotsu ramen, similar to the spicy version just subtract the heat. The menu also includes the Shoyu ramen, which comes with a soy-based broth, served with curly noodles, pork chashu, boiled egg, scallions, black mushroom, red ginger and dry seaweed. There’s also the chicken rich ramen, creamy veggie ramen, miso vegan and ramen.
While my dining partner sampled Toro’s ramen, I went with the eateries’ yakisoba. It was a great blend of Japanese fried noodles, assorted veggies, scrambled eggs and scallions. You get your choice of pork, chicken or tofu. I went with the pork option. This was a fantastic selection. The pork was well seasoned and the noodles, veggies, scallions and scrambled eggs made for a well-balanced meal.
The menu also includes butayaki men, a dry ramen with shredded pork chashu, sunny side up egg, scallions and pickles served with either pork or chicken. Or consider Toro’s fried rice — mild spicy fried rice, scrambled egg, scallions, pickles and a selection of either pork, chicken or tofu.
Toro has multiple poke options. Poke A or Poke B which comes with two or three proteins, respectively. The poke base includes a spring mix, marinated raw fish and rice topped with edamame, masago seaweed salad, imitation crab, scallions and red ginger. The protein options consist of either yellowtail, tuna, salmon, spicy tuna or tofu.
To see Toro’s full menu visit: https://tororamenpokebarn.com/
If you go:
Toro Ramen and Poke Barn is located 700 N. LBJ Drive Ste. 114
Normal hours consist of lunch between 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and dinner hours between 5-9:30 a.m. Toro is open on Sunday for lunch at 12-3 p.m. and reopens for dinner from 5-9:30 p.m.