Laura had an evening meeting, so I was on my own for dinner. You know what that means – time to explore the local cuisine. In this case, it was hardly local in origin. I decided to try the Korean BBQ place just off of Woodruff Road. No catchy name here – just “Tasty Korean Barbecue.”
It would be very easy to overlook this place. On the corner is a Red Robin gas station and quickie shop, and it’s easy to think this is is all part of the same establishment. The restaurant is small with utilitarian furnishings. There are bits of Asian decor on the walls.
I got there at about 8:00 pm, a bit later than I normally dine. There was one large table with eight Koreans, and another with four. I took that as a very good sign. Two other tables were occupied besides my own.
I’ve never felt more ill-prepared for dining. I’ve not had Korean food before, and the names of the dishes weren’t any that I recognized. Therefore, I’m a bit uncomfortable commenting on the overall menu. There were several types of bulgogi, and several dishes based on different types of kimchi. Prices ran from $8 – $14 for dinner items, and $8 – $10 for lunch box specials. There were several 2-person BBQ specials that hovered around $20.
Given my ignorance of the cuisine, probably the best thing I could do is just post a link to the menu online.
I ordered the chicken bulgogi. First to arrive were the kimchi sides that accompanied the dish. There were six sides – the traditional cabbage kimchi, rutabaga, cucumber, bean sprouts, and squid, and one side of potato salad.
Of these, I liked the rutabaga best. The cabbage, which the waiter had really talked up, tasted bitter to me. The potato salad was bland. The cucumber, squid, and bean sprouts fell somewhere in between.
Soon the main dish arrived. It was sizzling in a pan, similar to the way fajitas arrive. For awhile it was difficult to eat because it was so hot. There was a bit of spice, but not overpowering. This also came with a side of rice. Of course, the only utensils available were chop sticks and one spoon.
Things started off fairly well. The flavors were unique and interesting. However, there was a cumulative effect, and by the end of the meal it was tasting more bitter than I first thought.
Service was friendly and efficient. The waiter was kind enough to educate me on what I had ordered.
This is certainly a different option for cuisine in Greenville, and as far as I can tell, the only Korean option. It doesn’t taste like any of the other Asian food I’ve tried in town. I still haven’t decided if I like it or not. I’d like to give it one more try with a different dish. However, if they are promoting the cabbage kimchi as the most popular, I am a bit worried, as that was my least favorite. I’ll see what the other options are.