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A little bit of Seoul

BY BEN VERHILLE | NOVEMBER 07, 2013 5:00 AM

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I don’t know how often you go to the Old Capitol mall, but if you do, you’ve probably noticed the buzz in the food-court area. There’s a massive gathering of students waiting for something, and it’s Seoul Grill.

I haven’t been here one time without seeing a ridiculous line coming out the door and then some, but I have a craving for some Korean food. So, I decided to head to the least likely place for some quality cultural cuisine, the mall.

I arrived 20 minutes before the grill opened at 11:30 a.m., and I still wasn’t first in line. It seems that this is a favorite of our international students, but that doesn’t exclude locals from seeing what all the fuss is about.

On the day I went, the line went down after the initial rush, only to pick up again once class was dismissed. This place has waves of people crowding around.

As classical music played in the background, with walls painted plain beige, it seems that the cultural specialty is found mostly in the food.

The menu is broken down into a few sections: barbecue, rice plates, noodle plates, and ramen plates.
I was brought here for the Korean barbecue, but I will be back for some of the rice dishes.

I was originally a little concerned with the quasi-high pricing, but their plates are massive.

I ordered the Bulkoki, charbroiled sliced beef in authentic Korean sauce. And beefy this plate was.
Served with hot miso soup, this is the only part of the plate you can eat with a utensil.

The beef itself is spiced gently and cooked with onions, mushrooms, and carrots. The flavor is just amazing, better than I was expecting. I don’t know how, but this grill turns visitors into frequents.

The entrée is served with a mini-plate of additional ingredients — don’t miss these. The red spicy side has a very fun bite that excites your tongue and quickly recedes.

The fresh veggie side is a texture enhancer that only further complements the delicious beef. A fresh bite, not much flavor aside from that, but it’s always good to get the greens in.

The potatoes with corn threw me off a little, but a little soy sauce definitely helped the taste.

After a small amount of time making sure I understood the flavors, I threw them all together and mixed them up. My meal looked more like a shipwreck than a Korean specialty plate but definitely worth it. The symphony of foreign flavors satisfies even the simpler palates.

And it was one of those symphonies that lasts way too long. I couldn’t even finish my plate. The servings are huge, probably the only thing bigger than the flavor. Or the line.

My only confusion about this place is, Why is it only open for three and a half hours a day? I could easily replace my current weekend take-out with Seoul Grill.


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