Savoring BBQ, aromatic soups, mouthwatering desserts and Korean hospitality? that is exactly what you’ll experience if you participate in Explore Gwinnett’s one-of-a-kind Seoul of the South Tour. On June 16, we toured and tasted a variety of Korean foods available in Gwinnett County.
The tour was led by Sarah Park who is a native Korean living in Gwinnett, and quite the experienced foodie. Sarah guided more than 15 people on a trolley that made stops to three different Korean restaurants and one bakery.
The first stop was Jang Su Jang Korean Tofu and BBQ, which translates to “The Meeting Place,” located in Gwinnett Place, which is home to more than 170 restaurants. This eatery is very well-respected by the Atlanta-Korean community and offers authentic Korean style food, which can be compared to traditional Korean home cooking. We were presented with multiple items on their menu, including boiling soups, like the Soondubu Jigae (soft tofu stew), small salads with cucumbers and rich spices, a seafood scallion pancake, which reminded us of a seafood-flavored quiche, and so much more!
As if our bellies weren’t full already, our next stop was Honey Pig. If you like barbeque and are looking to try a different style of BBQ with a side of entertainment, then Honey Pig should be your next foodie adventure. Located in Gwinnett Place, Honey Pig is everything you would imagine a barbeque joint to be with tin walls and rustic décor, but with a twist. This restaurant features open-faced grills in the center of each table where servers bring plates of uncooked meat to prepare in front of you. We enjoyed the live entertainment and indulged in a variety of meats served with kimchi fried rice. This meal was both savory and filling!
Our third-course meal was at a deli-style restaurant, called Manna Korean Snack Restaurant, located in Suwanee. The atmosphere at this eatery was laid back with vibrant green walls, televisions playing Korean-pop music videos and booths, where families sat and enjoyed their lunch. Here we were served an assortment of sushi, like Gimbap, known as seaweed rice rolls, refreshing ice cold noodle soup, steamed dumplings and more. If you’re ever looking for fast, but delicious Korean experience, stop by Manna.
Surprisingly, we saved room for dessert at our very last stop, Café Benne, a popular bakery chain in Korea and Asia. This bakery is a fusion between a Starbucks coffee shop and a local bakery with treats galore. Our first dessert was honey bread, a warm stack of sweet bread drizzled with honey and topped off with cinnamon and whipped cream. It was a dessert so enticing you couldn’t skip it. Other desserts included coffee, citrus drinks and a homemade waffle topped with fruit, chocolate and ice cream. The most interesting item we tried was the Misugaru, a Korean traditional “smoothie” composed of seven to 10 different grain powders. It tasted very nutritious and smooth. Our last, but not least tasteful dessert was the Bingsu, which is similar to a snow cone and one dish could probably satisfy an entire family. The bottom of the dessert featured of shaved condensed milk with toppings like ice cream, chopped fruit, syrup, nuts and even red beans. Café Benne did not disappoint and pleased everyone’s sweet tooth for a month.
Overall, the tour was excellent! Explore Gwinnett did a fantastic job creating the route and including some of Gwinnett’s most authentic restaurants with unique atmospheres and cuisine. Unfortunately, the rest of this year’s tours are sold out, but stay tuned for next year’s schedule!
For more information about Seoul of the South and Explore Gwinnett, visit their website.