Amazing Japanese Comfort Food and Sake Brewery in The Poconos!
If you told me 15 years ago that the Water Gap Diner would be serving Ramen and brewing their own sake in the future, I'd have laughed. I'm glad I didn't know what was coming, it would have taken away from the shock of it all. Sango Kura is something I needed, without knowing how badly I wanted it. Traveling two hours for quality ramen is a thing of the past. Getting a plate of hot, delicious noodles locally is a reality now. Did I mention they brew their own Sake?!
My buddy Jake accompanied me for this trip as he was a seasoned veteran of the Water Gap Japanese delights, and I needed some guidance...and a night hanging out with a great friend. He is also a Sake drinker, which helped as well. I typically am not much of a sake guy myself, but I was intrigued looking at this menu. They had a sake that was aged in Bourbon barrels. Bourbon...is something I do. A lot. This tasted nothing like any Sake I've ever had before, in a very good way. I ended up having 3 glasses. I nearly bought a bottle to take home, and will definitely be doing so in the near future. (Future Edit: I've had this sake two more times since, it's that good)
For an appetizer (on Jake's suggestion) I went with the "Tako Yaki". These were basically just a ball of octopus that had been battered and had some sauces and some bonito flakes on it. I am always weary when ordering octopus dishes out...any duration too long and you've got yourself a goodyear appetizer. These were excellent. Soft and the octopus was a bit firm with great flavor. The sauces played well off of this and the bonito flakes were a fun dancing addition to the dish. Would absolutely order these again.
For the entrée, now that I've talked about ramen 15 times...I didn't get ramen (my buddy did though and it's pictured above). The "Yaki Meshi" just caught too much of my attention for me to ignore my urges. This fried rice dish (enough rice to feed 3 people honestly) had cabbage, mushrooms, pork, and a fried egg. I ordered it extra spicy and it was just spicy enough to make me happy, but nothing overbearing at all. Another dish I'd certainly re-visit, but I do believe next time in I must try the ramen. Of course the time after that I'll need to try the Yaki Soba. Seems as though I have a lot of trips planned out for the future already!
Sango Kura, Delaware Water Gap, PA, zero doubt about it - Didn't Suck!
**Another future edit: I have returned since with my close friend Tara and my girlfriend and have now tried the Yaki Soba and the Tonkatsu Ramen. Keep your eyes peeled for an updated post about those!
Please check out our video from Sango Kura on TikTok here!