I’ve often said that Korean food is a bit of a mystery to me. It’s definitely not for a lack of desire to understand and sample the goods, that much I know. It, from what I can gather, has more to do with the disproportionate number of restaurants and Korean cuisine never being on the mind. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever heard friends or family say, “I sure do feel like Korean food tonight”. So this usually leaves me to experiment on my own, which is how I ended up at Korean BBQ House.
A few readers had mentioned that I should try this little shop. Located in Mill Woods, Korean BBQ House is tucked neatly inside a strip mall just a hop and skip from the Grey Nuns Hospital. Not much to look at outside, the theme continues inside where you find a basic interior with pink, blue and gray hues.
Arriving for a late lunch, I mentioned to the young server I was going to have a quick peek at the menu and then order takeout. The standard Korean items dominate a good portion of the menu, with a selection of more traditional dishes left to bat clean up at the end of the menu. Because I was eating by myself I hemmed and hawed for a bit. Should I order a combo platter, which would let me sample some of the BBQ, or make it easy and go for bibimbap. In the end I decided to wing it, and stepped up to order, Sundaeguk. Situated under the traditional soup and stew menu, I knew it was a shot in the dark. Giving me a quick look of, “are you sure”, I proudly confirmed my order and wondered; what did I get myself into?
It was going to be about a 15 mintue wait, so I took a seat and watched a few more customers arrive. With the restaurant occupying a small footprint, I was able to hear every table’s order. Bulgogi, Bulgogi, Bulgogi. Maybe I should have gone BBQ. The young man who was serving, was also cleaning tables, helping to assemble plates, and running the register. Striking up a conversation, I asked about their range of banchan. He informed me they only serve three; kimchi, daikon radish, and bean sprouts. Asking about garlic stems and other delicious options, he said they have tried different items, but there has never enough demand. The things people are missing out on! Soon enough my order was wrapped up and I was on my way.
Arriving home, I unwrapped the package and found three containers of banchan, a big portion of rice, and a steaming container of soup. I poured the container into a large bowl and discovered what looked to be sausage. And not just any type of sausage, this was dark…like blood sausage. A quick google search confirmed my thoughts. Holy Moly. I struck gold with the most random order. I love blood sausage, and didn’t even know about the Korean version.
The soup was great. There was amazing depth to the broth which also contained; cabbage, bean sprouts, green onions, slices of fatty pork, bits of intestine and a heavy hand of what I think was mustard seeds (?). Dear me, this was nasty in all the right ways. The spicy factor was there as well, quickly requiring the napkin-to-forehead maneuver only a few minutes in. The banchan was good, can’t really go wrong there. The rice was average at best, being quite gluey and clumpy. For $12 bucks, this is a pretty hardy meal, and one I’m glad I ordered.
Thanks to everyone for the recommendation, this meal has me believing that Korean BBQ House is one of Mill Woods little gems. Now if only I can remember to suggest this little spot, the next time people are going out.