|Korean Barbecue At Shin Chon Garden|
Barbecue with Korean experts. Barbecue on a double-date with newbies. Barbecue with a table of parents and kids who alternate between eating and walking around the table.
Shin Chon Garden in Ellicott City has provided many different nights of fun, and they all come from the grills built into most tables. I already posted the 2012 step-by-step instructions so that any table of four can order and enjoy pork belly or beef (the thin-cut bulgogi or the rib-meat kalbi). You'll get the table filled with panchan, the free side dishes of vegetable, pickle and other dishes that make Korean barbecue such a riot of flavors.
|Panchan - the small side dishes|
The big tables make for fun evenings. It's social to share the dishes, to serve each other meat as it cooks, to compare notes on new panchan. We have had terrific times eating, talking and having either a Korean beer or unfiltered wine called makkoli.
The best part is that you control everything. Shin Chon lays all this food out on your table, and you decide what you want to eat. Sample everything. Make the lettuce rolls with rice, shredded greens, meat and spicy sauce. Pair up the dishes that you enjoy. Pass on the handful that aren't your favorites.
That control is why I think Korean barbecue is so welcoming to new people. Meat, vegetables, pickles and rice are such American standards that I think most people can find ways to eat themselves happy at Shin Chon. Then when you're experienced, you can try variations like the noodle dish chapchae or regal your vegan friends with vegetarian bi bim bop. I enjoy many other Korean restaurants on Rte 40, but Shin Chon has called us back again and again.
This is part of a Worth Repeating series highlighting dishes and places that you should hear about even though they aren't new. I'm suggesting sandwiches, Chinese, ground chuck and other items that have been HowChow favorites for years.
Seriously, there is no restaurant in Howard County that we enjoy more than Shin Chon. Meals are surprisingly reasonable when you realize that we rarely order appetizers or dessert. The price for the barbecue includes all the panchan, and we have long social meals where we leave stuffed but not weighted down. It's a bit of lean meat and a ton of vegetables. If you're thinking about Korean, definitely check out the recent step-by-step post about Lighthouse Garden or scan all the posts about Korean food.