Coreanos

172 Brighton Ave
Boston, MA 02134

Last weekend, Krystal, Katherine, Cathy, and I survived the miserably wet 2016 Boston Half Marathon. I compared it to “taking a two hour long cold shower with clothes on while running,” and I’m sure that anyone else who ran the half felt similarly. Anyways, as a treat to ourselves, we headed over to Allston to fill tummies with some Korean-Mexican food at Coreanos. This “KoMex” trend started over in California, and it’s made its way over to the east coast with interesting menu items like Kimchi Quesadillas.

It’s a small space, and so you order up front at the register, and cross your fingers that there’s space available at the few tables they have for people dining in. Given our hunger, we just ordered a ton of food off the menu and shared it all.

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First up, we tried the Bibimbap with bulgogi beef, a dish consisting of rice, sauteed veggies, and a sunny side-up egg on top. It was definitely the healthiest dish of all the items we ordered, and wasn’t particularly stunning in flavor.

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We also tried the Tteokbokki, which is a bowl of soft rice cakes, vegetables, a hard boiled egg, fried kimmari seaweed roll, and fish cakes, cooked in a sweet red chili sauce. Krystal and Cathy have a strange obsession with tteokbokki, and they approved of this particular version of tteokbokki, using some sort of chewiness-of-rice-cake metric to judge.

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And here we get to the Mexican part of the KoMex cuisine, with our order of Bulgogi Beef Tacos, and Spicy Pork Tacos (they all look the same in the picture, but I swear we ordered two different types of tacos!). I was a huge fan of these tacos that were generously hugged by not one, but two layers of a soft corn tortilla. The Spicy Pork Tacos in particular were my favorite — even though it wasn’t that spicy, the flavorful ground pork filling had a sweet touch that combined incredibly well with the soy ginger slaw topping.

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We got a chance to try the Miso Chicken Kimchi Quesadilla, which was essentially a chicken quesadilla with some kimchi in the middle. It was a bit too greasy and cheesy for my appetite, and I would have appreciated a more distinct Korean twist.

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The Chicken Poppers were a hit among the four of us, and the dish consisted of bite sized fried chicken on a bed of french fries. “The chicken poppers were fried to perfection and the drizzle of sauces created the perfect blend of spicy, creamy, and sweet, all at once,” Katherine explained.

“My initial impression was that Coreanos was a fast food place given the size of the place, that they don’t use real plates, and the amount of food given, so wasn’t really sure what to expect of the food,” Cathy said. “But I liked everything! The fries under the chicken poppers were soggy, and the chicken poppers themselves were really crispy and had a decent amount of chicken without too much grease.”

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The number one favorite at the table was definitely the Coreanos Bowl with Beef, which was a homemade rice bowl with onions, carrots, and beef, pan-fried with assorted sauces and an egg on top. The distinctive Korean palate of savory yet sweet was apparent in this dish, and it made for an all-around delicious treat. “The egg mixed in added a superb creaminess to the fried rice that was bursting in flavor,” Katherine explained.

I would absolutely come back to Coreanos again sometime (though, preferably when it’s not pouring outside). The prices are pretty affordable, and we actually only spent a total of $60 between the four of us for this huge variety of KoMex food.