I used to stop in to Sapporo about once every few weeks, always on a weekday just after or before the main lunch rush (11:30ish or 1ish). Always a table available and never a wait.
At some point this year their popularity exploded to the point where I almost never see an open seat no matter when I walk by (I use that area as a cut through). I rarely will wait in line for a restaurant or bar, so the other day when I walked by at 2pm and a single open seat was just opening up I decided to give it a whirl.
I don't know if my memory is fonder than reality or if reality has declined over the last several months but I was disappointed. The broth seemed about the same, and the fixin's seemed about the same but the texture of the noodles seemed very off to me. Am I just imagining this or has there been a general loss of quality during their popularity boom?
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