Review: Del Seoul - Korean Street BBQ

by Megg

I hear that out on the west coast, Korean tacos are a big deal.  Here in Chi-town, you don’t hear so much about them.  For one thing, I had only heard of them in a story about the Kogi BBQ food truck out in California.  In Chicago, the food truck issue is a complicated one (and one that’s thankfully being discussed a lot lately).  They’re not exactly illegal, but the food can’t be made in the truck; food must be made in a licensed kitchen, and then it can be sold from the truck.  So basically, the food truck culture is not at all what it’s become in most major American urban areas.
Long story short, I’d heard of Korean tacos, thought they sounded great, but hadn’t come across them yet.  Then a few months ago, I heard that a Korean street food place would be opening up in Chicago.  I couldn’t wait!  Finally, about a month ago, Del Seoul opened its doors, and I headed over there to check it out.

Last week, I met up with my sister and her friend to see what Del Seoul had to offer.  The place was definitely busy, but we still were able to grab a table.  As we waited in line, deciding what to order, one thing was for sure: we were going to get us some of those Kimchi & Pork Belly Fries.
The serving was huge (so our decision to get just one for the table was a wise one).  Everyone loved them, hands down.  Crispy fries piled high with pork belly, kimchi, cheese, onions, sour cream… I mean, really, what’s not to love?  The best part was, although these definitely fit into the “greasy junk food” category, they had layers of spicy, salty, savory flavor, and even some color to them!  You can’t say that about just any junk food (and yes, I’ll justify these fries any way I can).  If you’re lucky enough to check this place out, please don’t forget the kimchi fries!!
We also got their Seoul-style pork dumplings, complete with a sake-soy dipping sauce.  These were classically delicious, though sadly I didn’t get any photos.  And then, of course, the tacos.  We tried three of the four varieties: Kalbi (grilled beef short ribs), Spicy BBQ Pork, and Sesame-Chili Shrimp.  All of them were bursting with spicy-sweet flavor; a perfect blend of classic Korean flavors and good ol’ Mexican tacos.  I think the kalbi was my favorite, but the sesame-chili shrimp were a close second.  By now it all seems like a blur of tasty food, and favorites seem almost irrelevant.  Point is, I love this place.  I will certainly be returning.  Very soon.
Another great thing about this place is the prices.  The tacos are only about $2.50 a piece, and while those fries were seven bucks, they fed the whole table.  It’s nice to have a great, filling dinner and still have enough money to buy a drink at a concert afterwards.  (By the way, the concert I went to was one of my favorite bands, Clinic, playing at the new and very cool Lincoln Hall.)
So if you’re in Chicago, and if you like Korean food (and/or tacos!), I highly recommend Del Seoul.  And maybe, just maybe, if Chicago starts allowing food trucks soon, we’ll see them cruising the streets!  Hey, a girl can dream, can’t she? ^_^
Del Seoul is located at 2568 N. Clark Street in Chicago, Illinois.
  • Bentobird

    Wow, how fun! Thanks for this tour of a unique and flavorful street food treats, as always your photos leap off the screen and seem ever so close to edible reality, Megg :D!

  • Megg

    Thanks Jenn, you are too nice!!

  • ping

    oh gosh! this combination reminds me of the kimchi noodles thingy I just tried. Weird but nice! Delicious pics!

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