by Ashley Heil
It's a long way from Seoul to Wonju, but worth the journey. We had heard in previous reviews how good the chicken and the ribs are at Sweet Oak, so we knew we had to order both. The ribs at Sweet Oak (49,000 won, make sure to pre-order!) surpassed all expectations. The ribs had a delectable charred outer layer and the slow-cooked meat was tender enough to pull apart with your fingers. The smoky flavors of the meat, balanced with the fattiness, caused momentary silence during the first bite as me and my friends failed to think of adjectives. All of us thoroughly enjoyed the ribs. The ribs were served with 3 sides, and a mouthwatering batch of dry rub fries. We also ordered a platter (29,000 won) of wood-fired grilled chicken (we got it spicy piri piri style), and smoked pulled pork, which included another 3 sides and fries. It had the perfect amount of spiciness, was juicy, and had great flavor. The chicken definitely did not disappoint. The smoked pulled pork was also tasty, but seemed comparable to the pulled pork we've had at other barbecue restaurants in Itaewon (Manimal and Linus). It was good, but not the star of the show. The sides were good, but also comparable to other BBQ places. However, I thoroughly enjoyed the fries more than expected, and I kept eating the french fries long after I was full. Also available at Sweet Oak to wash everything down is a nice selection of Hand and Malt beers, as well as other alcoholic beverages. Although Sweet Oak is not in Seoul, and takes a bit of planning and sitting on a bus/train to get there, it is for sure worth it. If you're a barbecue or meat lover, make your way out to Sweet Oak as soon as you can!
Take the bus (1.5 hours) from express bus terminal (tickets 7,000 each way for general or 10,000 for excellent) to Wonju.
OR take a train (about 1 hour) from Cheongnyangni Station.
Take a taxi to Sweet Oak (원주시 봉바위길 76-2 )
It's near 솔샘초등학교.
by Ashley Heil
Linus' Bama Style BBQ is the best BBQ I've had in Seoul, and maybe, ever. Tucked away in a back street of Itaewon, when I first saw this restaurant I thought, "oh, it's just going to be another overpriced American BBQ restaurant with small portion sizes". But after seeing it mentioned as possibly the best American Southern BBQ restaurant in all of East Asia, I had to check it out for myself.
Being as active as my boyfriend and I are, as we walked in, we were a little skeptical about how the meal would turn out, and if we would even end up full after our whole meal without having to spend a fortune. Now we've had some good BBQ in Seoul, including Austin's BBQ in Hongdae, and Manimal in Itaewon, but were were never completely blown away. Austin's BBQ was good, as well as Manimal, but the portions were so small and expensive at Manimal we were disappointed there. So we didn't know what to expect going into Linus'.
Michael and I got the "For Twos" platter (27,000), and split a side of Fried Okra with our friend (4000 won). My friend ordered the brisket sandwich (16000 won). The For Two's platter comes with your choice of 3 sides, a mound of pulled pork, and a mound of brisket. For sides we chose the potato salad, cole slaw, and the pork n' beans. When we received our food, we immediately started to dig in. The pulled pork is probably the best pulled pork I have ever had in my life. It was so tender and juicy, and melted in your mouth when you ate it. It didn't even need any bbq sauce or the slider buns that come with it, but those were delicious too. The brisket was amazing as well, but being a pork fan, it was the pulled pork that really blew me away. All of the sides were amazing as well, especially the potato salad. The fried okra was awesome, and for only 4,000 its a great side to split between a few friends. I wish I could have tried the mac n'cheese as well, because I'm sure its amazing. My friend loved his brisket sandwich, and I've heard its a must try at Linus'. Although Linus is more expensive than your typical cheap Korean meal out, this time, it was clearly worth it. We left full and extremely satisfied and happy. Linus' Bama style BBQ is definitely the place to visit if you want to satisfy your craving for some southern BBQ.
Noksapyeong, line 6, go out of exit 3. Keep walking a little bit then cross the road to the left (towards Itaewon). Turn right after you've crossed the road. Turn left on the first little road, and walk down a little bit. Then, you'll see the little ally way that leads to the entrance of Linus' BBQ.
Take exit 4 of Itaewon Station on Line 6. From the exit, continue on foot for about 350 meters until you see the McDonald’s on your left hand side.Immediately to the left of the McDonald’s is a door with a staircase leading downstairs. Follow these stairs down and continue through the small corridor past the custom tailor shop. When you emerge on the other side, you will see the restaurant on your right.
We're just a couple addicted to great food. We love Anthony Bourdain!