Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Honey Pig/Gooldaegee

Rating: Great!
Genre: Korean BBQ
Neighborhood: Annandale, VA

When it comes to Korean BBQ, Honey Pig or Gooldaegee is probably the most popular in the DC area to get it. Located in the heart of Annandale, or what I like to call Korea Town, Honey Pig is hustling at all hours of the day, seven days a week. If you ever find yourself walking out of a bar at 2AM with the late night munchies, Honey Pig is the place to go for that! I actually think that this place may be more busy at 3AM versus lunch at noon or dinner at 7PM. I can't understand why, but nothing is better than meaty goodness after a night of drinking.

If you to Honey Pig during the night, after struggling to find a parking spot, the first thing you'll notice while walking towards the door (besides the ridiculous amount of people waiting outside for their table) is hard core Korean pop music and/or hip hop blasting through the speakers. It may seem like you're heading into some hip Asian club rather than a Korean restaurant. An aroma of sesame oil and pork hits your nose as you walk in. The inside is filled with metal tables installed with gas grills and the crowd is mostly all young people drinking beer and soju. A different yet fun ambiance.

By the time you get a table, they immediately serve you with a salad and an assortment of pan chan. I looove the salad that they serve you here- its only got leafy greens and onions, but whatever sort of vinagrette dressing they use with it compliments it perfectly. The pan chan is good too and they're pretty good at refilling it. Their menu is a list of different types of meats you can order. Typically you pick your number of orders based off of how many people you have at your table, so if you were dining with four people, you pick four orders on the menu. The meats I typically order are the spicy pork bellies (a must!), jumuluk, kalbi, pork rib and the squid; they also got non BBQ items- popular choices are the steamed egg and spicy tofu soup.

All the meats are juicy and delicious. I love the sesame oil dipping sauce they provide- one is salty and the other is sweet. I enjoy dipping my meats in both to get that sweet and salty kick. You'll also get plenty of kimchi and garlic to cook on your grill as well, though I like eating my garlic raw. Your meat orders come out in shifts and they come out depending on the type of grill that particular meat needs to be cooked on. The squid order I typically get is one of the meat assortment orders that also comes with chicken I believe. The neat thing about the assortment orders is you can ask for them to fry it with rice and vegetables, creating a nice crispy rice dish.

As awesome as this all is, there is a down side to Honey Pig. The waitresses speak little English so I typically tend to just point to items on the menu when ordering. If you've never been to Honey Pig before, and you don't have a Korean speaker in your group, you might just have difficulty ordering. This isn't really the downside part I was talking about. It might be the fact that these waitresses work at three in the morning serving drunk, loud people with even louder music, but the service leaves plenty to be desired. I haven't had all bad service experiences here, but way too many for them to be isolated instances. Its pretty hard to get their attention when you need something, and I tend to need plenty refills on my water and sesame oil. I found it best just to go and grab the water pitcher myself off of the server's cart and do it myself.

Besides the spotty service, I always enjoy my time listening to Korean pop music mixed in with Jay-Z on top of stuffing my face with juicy, meaty goodness. This is definitely a social restaurant so bring your friends here! Take advantage of all the extras you can get like the pan chan and crispy rice thing (which they usually will never mention they can do unless you've got a Korean in your group). Try not to be too upset if you get sucky service and just try to enjoy yourself. Going to Honey Pig should be a fun, social experience like going to a sports bar. A new location has opened in Centreville and apparently its got good service for the time being cause it hasn't gained quite as much traction yet, so try going there if you want a more tame, attentive experience!

7220 Columbia Pike
Ste C

Annandale, VA 22003

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