Korean Barbecue

There were a couple of Korean-American students at my St. Anselm’s Abbey School Barbecue Club presentation (https://johntannersbbqblog.wordpress.com/2016/02/25/st-anselms-abbey-school-washington-dc/ ), and the subject of Korean Barbecue naturally arose.  To be clear, Korean Barbecue actually is meat grilled at your table. It can be tasty and festive, but it is not what we in the US think of as barbecue.  It would make for a long evening if you wanted some pork butt or beef brisket.  Korean Barbecue is fine but it is not the same as BBQ.

To further complicate things, at the Heirloom Market Barbecue in Atlanta, Korean-Americans make American barbecue, and apparently do it very well.  http://www.atlantamagazine.com/barbecue/1-heirloom-market-bbq/.  I hope to check it when I’m in Atlanta.  The thought of kimchee instead of slaw on a barbecue sandwich is intriguing.   Not necessarily attractive, but intriguing.  At any rate, I’m a big fan of the American Melting Pot.

Of course, Korean Barbecue can mislead.  I often Google “best barbecue [name of city]” when I am traveling.   Actually, I also often Google “best restaurant in [name of city]” and “best seafood…” or “best Cuban restaurants …” or “best oyster bars…,” depending on the city.   I prefer to rely on local sources, but a four star rating based on 100 or more Yelp reviews usually is pretty safe (Trip Advisor reviews tend to be more generous) but you have to pay attention to the reviews themselves. A “best barbecue” may be based on their happy hour “Spuds and Suds” special, or their Nacho Night karaoke — or it may be a Korean Barbecue places.

There may be similar confusion in Korea when diners there are faced with American barbecue.   Below is a link to a video of Koreans introduced to American barbecue at a restaurant somewhere in Korea. I suspect that this is not a representative cross-section of the Korean population.



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