What’s good, Lengthy Seaside? Quick meals meets Korean delicacies at KBQ in North Lengthy Seaside | leisure
What’s Good, Moncton ?, Writer Linda Domingo explores the food and drink scene in Moncton.
KBQ’s home on Artesia Boulevard.
Americans are finally realizing how great Korean food is. Thanks in large part to chefs like David Chang, Edward Lee and Roy Choi from LA, Kimchee, Bulgogi and soon also tofu, who put their time in the spotlight.
At the same time, these chefs announce recipes that have been handed down over generations, it seems impossible to bastardise the classics. Choi, who became famous after introducing the Korean taco to the world, is celebrated for mixing Mexican and Korean flavors, not to mention using the Kogi Food Trucks (which frequently stop in Moncton make) into the masses.
So it goes without saying that KBQ – the most humble of the few Korean restaurants in our city – gives Korean cuisine its own twist.
Meat is grilled to order at KBQ.
The North Moncton store (1009 E. Artesia Blvd.) is less of a restaurant than a fast food place. Think Flame Broiler (which happened to be founded by a Korean) or a Hawaiian lunch dish meet high-quality Korean barbecue. And the best part about it? It is located in a former Wienerschnitzel.
The exterior of the building is red and white with pale yellow trim, and the inside is almost shockingly clean. There are only a few tables inside and out as most of the guests take their food out. The menu is simple: bowls or plates (the larger option is plates) with rice, vegetables, macaroni salad and orange slices. Customers choose their protein from a selection of galbi (short ribs of beef), bulgogi (thinly sliced rib eye), flavorful pork, and chicken. In the evenings, KBQ sells Korean tacos.
Galbi, bulgogi, spicy pork, and chicken are marinated in what’s called KBQ sauce, but it’s really a traditional Korean marinade made from soy sauce, sugar, garlic, pepper, green onion, and some other magical ingredients that create the familiar sweetness you get in your hair and clothes over the grill and smoke.
A mixed plate of galbi and spicy pork.
I’ve compared KBQ to fast food, but the meat is grilled to order which is what makes this place so special. Greet the staff at the checkout or grill with an “Annyeong-Haseyo” (a Korean greeting that translates as “How are you?”) And make a selection. The best of the proteins is the flavorful pork – quite hot for the uninitiated, but probably mild for the trained tongues. The bulgogi melt in your mouth and the galbi is so good that there is no meat on the bones after you finish them.
Each plate comes with a small cup of kimchee and additional sauces. The kimchee, a side of fermented cabbage flavored with red chilli pepper, is an acquired flavor that is difficult to satisfy once acquired. You won’t need the sauces. The meat on its own is flavorful, a feast of traditional flavor that lacks nothing to prepare in a quick, casual setting.