If there’s one thing that Korea isn’t lacking, it’s barbecue restaurants. In fact, it seems like there are entire streets downtown dedicated to barbecue. Choosing between all those restaurants can be daunting, but if you want a waygook-tested, waygook-approved barbecue place, check out this hidden gem.
Sangin is in the south-west part of Daegu. It’s 10 stops away from Banwoldang on the red line, but it’s almost like a mini-downtown. There are plenty of places to shop or to eat. Among these restaurants, there is a fantastic barbecue place that is well known to the foreign community in the area. The sign outside the restaurant says it is called, “돼지양념구이집,” but foreigners simply call it “red pork” after a favorite item on the menu.
돼지양념구이 is a family-run barbecue restaurant. Often, the father prepares the food in the back room, and his son helps run the grills at the tables, but the real face of the restaurant is the mother. She is a very sociable woman who is always very pleased to have foreigners visit her restaurant. Although she doesn’t speak very much English, she always tries to engage in conversation. The foreigners have all lovingly dubbed her “ the Red Pork Lady,” since they do not know her real name.
As previously mentioned, a popular dish amongst the foreigners who frequent the restaurant is red pork. It is pork marinated in a semi-spicy sauce, and it is delicious! You can choose to eat the pork on its own, but the Koreans have their own way of eating barbecue. You may have seen this before. Korean barbecue restaurants usually provide a basket of lettuce leaves to customers. Those leaves are meant to be used as wraps. When the meat is done grilling, put a few pieces into the leaves, add a little bit of rice, some doenjang (fermented soy bean paste), and maybe a glove of garlic (also provided as banchan), and roll it all together. It’s a much more authentic Korean barbecue experience when you eat that way, and it’s super tasty!
Like most barbecue places, you order by the plate, and the portions are quite generous. You are not obligated to order the same number of plates as there are people in your party. Red pork costs about 8,000 won per plate. The meal comes with bottomless banchan (side dishes), including a spicy salad and cut up vegetables. In addition to red pork, the restaurant has a variety of inexpensive soups. Please note: If you want rice, you must order your side of rice in addition to the meat. Rice is only 1,000 won extra though.
The restaurant is a short walk away from Sangin station on the red line. Go out exit 4. Walk straight, and take your second right. You’ll see a Daegu Bank across the street on your left at the point where you need to turn right. Google maps refers to this street as, “월곡로53길” if you are looking for it on your phone or computer. This alley has tons of restaurants on it, including other barbecue place. Continue walking down the street until you see a yellow sign on your left with green and red lettering. The signs says, “돼지양념구이.” Enjoy your meal!