Broken Spoon (Franklin, NH)

As I mentioned in my review of Funkalicious a few months back, I’ve got a lot of admiration for folks that, despite the extremely difficult and unusual business climate of the Covid-19 pandemic, have managed to rally and open new restaurants. A few months back, I started seeing some Facebook ads for a new Asian Fusion place in Franklin, NH. Franklin’s a bit of my normal path; while I’m often heading over to either Franconia Notch or the Conway area, I usually end up heading through Bristol and New Hampton instead of Franklin as a I cut over to I-93. But in late February, we decided to get out of the house a hit and explore, with two related goals: exploring the Winnepesaukee River Trail” and finally checking out Broken Spoon on Main Street in Franklin.

Broken Spoon is the work of Chef Miriam Kovacs, a veteran of over a dozen years of kitchen work across the US, who recently moved to Franklin with her husband, eventually relocating her business, Broken Spoon, with her. She had originally founded Broken Spoon in Asbury Park, NJ as a pop-up (eagle-eyed diners may notice to several of Broken Spoons websites still mention NJ in various places), and started making over the space in late Summer 2020. That being the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, Broken Spoon has been a lean operation: the dining room is still sparse, the operation still being entirely a takeout operation for the time being. But Broken Spoon adds something that we don’t have a lot of in the area: Asian fusion food. Elsewhere in my travels, the ramen bowl is getting to be quite common, but it’s still a rarity in central NH, so when I first saw mention of it, I had to come and give it a try.

The menu at Broken Spoon varies on a weekly basis, generally with a rotating selection of ramen bowls, steamed buns, chilled noodles, and skewers. I was craving ramen, and on this visit they had four different variation: the classic “Intro”, a “Hearty” vegetarian version, a simpler “Bully” with just broth, noodles, and scallion, and a “Deca” with shrimp. I thought that the “Intro” would be a good way to gauge the quality, so Carol and I ordered that to share. Since it’s all takeout at the moment, they keep things fresh by serving everything deconstructed, with separate containers for the noodles and toppings and the broth (to keep everything from breaking down). Since we’re not local, we opted for some al fresco dining on a nearby bench, and while it was a bit of a juggle to assemble and eat from a bench, this was an enjoyable ramen bowl: good toothy noodles, a fairly rich broth, a nice collection of mushrooms, scallions, and seaweed, and a very nicely done beet-pickled egg. We both rather enjoyed this.

For one side dish, we got their chilled noodles, in this case, the “XX Spicy Nutty” with spicy peanut sauce and black sesame. Back around the beginning of the millennium, I remember when chilled noodles in peanut sauce was one of the trendy dishes, with just about every Asian place having a variation (I particularly liked the version from the long-departed Five Spice Cafe in Burlington, VT), and it’s a dish that’s harder than it looks: you have to balance the peanut and oil ingredients just right to coat the noodles while not leaving them either chalky from the peanut butter or greasy from the oil. Broken Spoon’s version was quite pleasing, and would make a great snack if I was passing through and wanted a quick semi-healthy snack.


But the stars of the meal were the bao. Of the day’s offerings, there were chicken satay, pork belly, and shrimp offerings, and we went for the pork belly “Boca Buns”. Served up with sesame slaw, sliced apple, and spicy mayo, these hit on all levels: the pork belly was nicely crisped. The bun itself nicely pillowy, the slaw crunchy, and the apple adding both crunch and sweetness. I’d happily get these again, or try one of the other many special bao they keep posting on their Facebook and Instagram.

I’ve always thought Franklin was a cute little town, but didn’t have much reason to stop by; Broken Spoon, and the nearby fairly new Vulgar Brewing, offer a lot of opportunity for some culinary exploration; I’m looking forward to another visit as we come into the nicer Spring weather.

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