Atlanta Georgia and surrounding cities are booming with huge growth of Korean-American population. An estimated 50,000 Korean-Americans make their home in Georgia and the largest population residing in Duluth GA. KoreanBeacon a Korean news media network ranked Atlanta 5th of Top Korean American Cities which is why some of the best Korean BBQ is in Georgia. Who knew?
My hubby and I made a New Year resolution together to not just say to our friends “lets get together soon” and never follow-up but instead to actually schedule time with our friends that we don’t get to see often. Our dear friends Linda and Spencer were up to the challenge last weekend. Since Linda is Korean and Jim and I love BBQ how could we not plan a night out for a Korean BBQ experience?
Linda chose 678 BBQ Restaurant in Duluth, GA for our dinning experience. I was the only one in our group that had not been to authentic Korean BBQ so this was all very exciting for me!
There is only one downside to Korean BBQ so I’d like to address that right away. Waiting for a table. These places are busy and dinner is a process with no reservations available unless you have a VERY large group. So plan to wait and wait. We waited just over an hour for a table but we actually ended up at the BEST table in the house so we were pleased and hungry which is also required to thoroughly enjoy the meal. While you wait you will enjoy some Korean pop-culture via music videos. Large TVs and images are projected in the waiting area to give you the full Korean experience.
Once seated at our fantastic table we already had several small bowls of yummy goodness. Pickled veggies, tofu, crisp lettuce, bamboo shoots to name a few. The staff began quickly reading our pit. Korean BBQ is actually just that, a bbq pit nestled right into your table. The “PitMaster” heats the charcoal in the back then once the coals are white hot places them into a bowl that he brings to you and then drops into your table.
Around the pit is a moat for other yummy goodness like raw scrambled eggs and spicy kimchi pickled cabbage. The moat heats up from the pit and cooks the eggs and kimchi to perfection.
We started with the pork belly which I didn’t take a picture of since we couldn’t wait to eat it all up! These were some of the most prime slices of pork belly and were placed raw onto the pit then turned by our server until we were ready to pull off with our chopsticks. You take what you want once its done to your liking such as pull off quickly if you like your steak raw or wait a little longer for med or well-done temperatures.
The second course was ribeye steaks (pictured above) which was chopped into small pieces as cooked so we could all enjoy a taste. The process begins with pulling off your selected meats onto your plate then you add spices, veggies, tofu until you get the desired taste you like. You might also decide to make a lettuce wrap with it all, its entirely up to you to freestyle your meal.
We also enjoyed a few beers Hikes and some soju bombs. Soju is light and sweet grain alcohol which has a very smooth finish. I highly recommend you enjoy them both!
We took our experience slow which you should do too and just enjoy the night. After dinner Linda and Spencer suggested we run next door for a quick coffee and desert. Tree Story Bakery and Cafe’ has some of the most delicious looking and tasting treats I’ve ever seen.
We all enjoyed a small treat, cake, or pastry and a smooth cup of coffee to finish off our full Korean experience. The bakery was full of families, friends, and young couples all enjoying the sugary delights. What a perfect way to finish the evening especially since its a haul to Duluth from our houses but worth every mile of gas!
If you’ve never had Korean BBQ and pastries then I highly recommend that you start making plans now. Linda suggested that next time we try HoneyPig BBQ restaurant and maybe we might even belt-out a few tunes at a Karaoke club. During your next visit to the US and Georgia you should remember to plan a night to visit Duluth for a true authentic Korean experience and just go Hog Wild!