Broadway Bites: Seoul Lee Korean Barbecue

The Seoul Lee stand at Broadway Bites

Highlights: Extensive menu with many interesting Korean BBQ options

Lowlights: There was no rice in the burrito. This was a wrap masquerading as a burrito.

When I first heard there was a new Korean BBQ Burrito place that was slinging bulgogi at Broadway Bites, I knew that I would have to try it out ASAP. I have always been huge fans of Korilla BBQ burritos, but in the back of my head I always wondered if it was Korilla I loved, or just a Korean BBQ burrito in general. I had never tried one other than Korilla’s version.

Seoul Lee Korean BBQ brings an alternative to the Korean BBQ burrito space. I was eager to try it out and see how it stacked up.

Food: 3/5

I ordered to bulgogi beef burrito from this pop-up restaurant. Seoul Lee also offers Korean Tacos, Bibimbap, Sandwiches, and Chicken Wings. But we were here for one thing – the burrito. You could also get chicken, pork, or shrimp, but I went with the beef burrito. Instantly I was hit with the aroma of sizzling beef as I waited for my food. The smell only got me more excited for the meal; it was intoxicating. You didn’t get to choose any toppings or sauces or anything after ordering. You get what they put on it.

Seoul Lee’s Burrito, with open edges.

When I got the burrito my first thought was that it was pretty skinny for a burrito. And after my first bite I knew why – there was no rice in this burrito. In my experience, burritos have rice, always. Without rice, it is a wrap. The rice is essentially what makes a meat and tortilla dish a burrito. This was a wrap advertised as a burrito. Bad start, Seoul Lee. The meat was pretty good, seasoned well but a bit dry. The sauce was minimal. There were so many bites without sauce.  A main reason for this was that they didn’t fully wrap the burrito. It was open on each end, so sauce would ooze out with each bite. By the end of the meal, my dish was covered in escaped sauce.

The flavors were similar to Korilla sauce but not as bold. There were a few pieces of kimchi included in the wrap, but nothing else in the way of add-ins. The kimchi settled on one side of the wrap while the meat settled on the other side. There were several bites that were just tortilla and meat. Those were some pretty dry bites that required a long swig of seltzer afterward.

It was enough food that I was pretty filled at the end of the meal. But all told, I was disappointed with this meal. Maybe I hyped it up too much pre-lunch, but there was just too much wrong here to give it anything more than an average grade.

Price: 3/5

The bulgogi beef burrito cost $10, while the chicken and pork options both cost $9. For tacos, it is $3 per for each type of meat. I’m unsure why the beef is marked up a dollar for burritos but not for tacos. You can get a superior burrito with more meat and add-ins, as well as rice, for a buck or two less elsewhere.

The extensive Seoul Lee menu

Meals tend to be a bit more expensive at outdoor markets, and $10 isn’t outrageous, but when street food competitors have a superior product at a cheaper price it is tough to assign a good score here.

Service: 4/5

The line was manageable, especially for these markets which tend to get crowded. The setup here, and at Broadway Bites in general, is much better than at Madison Square Eats. There is more room to move around. I wish you were given more options for your burrito, like various sauces and whatnot.

Presentation: 4/5

I actually really liked the look and feel of the tent. It drew me in almost as much as the aromas wafting from the kitchen. The burrito itself was pretty standard, not wrapped in foil or anything just between two boxes.


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