It's a bit of an understatement to say that Johnny Noodle King/Green Dot/Huron Room co-owner Jacques Driscoll had a rough week. Early Tuesday morning, someone broke into Noodle King. Around 24 hours later, a thief (or thieves) hit the Huron Room with a smash and grab.
And yet, near the week's end, we found Driscoll upbeat when we caught up with him for a quick phone call. Why? At that moment, he had just left the Third Man Pressing Plant with 500 copies of the new Johnny Noodle King record.
More accurately, it's a 45 with a couple of fun Noodle King-themed cuts created by Passalacqua's Brent Blaksmith along with Fabian Halabou and Scott Masson. The lyrics for "Slurp Song" are as silly as you would hope for a hip-hop song about the excellence of Noodle King's bowls:
"And for that lockjaw,
I got that hot broth,
My tom yum recipe, baby,
it'll knock your socks off."
And the chorus:
"I don't know where you been eatin'
he's a Noodle King (Noodle who?)
I don't know where you been eatin'
he's a Noodle King (Noodle what?)"
Driscoll is planning a record release party next Sunday that he says will likely include food, beer, and sake. Stay tuned to Noodle King's social media for updates on that, and in the meantime you can listen to the song here:
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And the new record (which has an instrumental on the B side) comes as the Noodle King crew prepares for a month-long residency at venerable, 10-seat Ramen Lab in Manhattan.
It hosts the some of the world's best ramen chefs during month-long pop ups and was established by Sun Noodle, a 36-year-old company considered among the best noodle makers. The latter provides custom noodles for Noodle King, among many others around the world, and several Noodle King chefs will take turns at the shop showcasing the Shoyu, Southwest, and Smoked Butter Noodle bowls.
"It's pretty cool. People seem excited to go check it out, and Ramen Lab doesn't offer it to everybody, so we’re honored to be able to do it," Driscoll tells MT.
Also pretty cool is the news that chef Samantha Rafo is the recipient of the Michigan Restaurant Association's Heart of House Award, which recognizes "exemplary performance and exceptional service" by a chef.
So, while a couple break ins are a giant bummer, it turns out there's a lot of reasons for smiles in Detroit's noodle-land.
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