Seoul Hot Pot - Cleveland, OH
Sometimes all it takes is googling the obvious to find exactly what you're looking for. That's what I did on my last trip to Cleveland. I wanted hot pot and discovered Seoul Hot Pot located at 3709 Payne Ave. Although they've been in Cleveland for well over 30 years, they closed down for a couple of years, but have since re-opened and are serving up some of the most delicious authentic Korean food I have ever had. I went with a a friend and we both enjoyed all they had to offer.
We started with the seafood pancake, which I had never had before. It's a traditional Korean snack made with green onions. From what I know the seafood mixture can vary, but typically has squid mixed in. It was very delicious with the crispy crust and a nice balance between the fresh green onions and tender seafood. We also had an assortment of the traditional Korean side dishes, also known as banchan. It included kimchee of course, but also had some nice veggies with eggplant and cucumber. I now love Korean seafood pancake and will be back to try it again...and again.
I couldn't resist trying another appetizer, especially since I was with a friend. What better way to try some place new than with another foodie adventurer. The dumplings were equally delicious. They were perfectly fried and went well with the soy dipping sauce that was provided. Another home run!
Now for the piece de resistance, the bibimbap. It's literally a mixed bowl of steamed rice with veggies, meat and a fried egg. I can't resist much that has a fried egg on top -- I probably could eat dirt if there was a fried egg on top. However, I don't have to worry about that because I can have this instead. It was mind-blowing, so good. I got my fix by ordering the bibimbap in a hot pot. The most awesome thing about that is the steamed rice gets this crust on the bottom that you really can't get anywhere else. It adds so much texture to the already awesome crispy veggies, tender beef, and fried egg. You can have a spicy sauce or bean sauce to mix in. Or you can just break that yummy egg yoke all over like I did. Best hot pot ever.
My visit to Seoul Hot Pot will be the first of many. You can order take out and it's close to downtown. The service was awesome. The couple that cooks and serves up this food are the friendliest around. You definitely need to give this place a try if you're in the Cleveland area.