Korean-BBQ-Ann-Arbor

Tampa needs more Korean BBQ

For as happy as I am about the Japanese ramen and izakaya food gods shining on us lately in Tampa, there is another food concept that I am not seeing enough of in Tampa: Korean BBQ.

Korean restaurants are sprinkled around Tampa with Sushi Ninja perhaps leading the pack with the biggest menu of authentic Korean dishes (we even have a delicious Korean food truck called Mmm Bap) – but concepts usually lack Korean BBQ grilling. The popularity of Japanese hibachi/teppanyaki steakhouses and all-you-can-eat concepts (see Koizi, Saki, Ginza) suggests that given the right promotion and effort – Korean BBQ could be huge for the Tampa Bay area.

Izziban Sushi in Orlando has made the concept thrive and now has two concepts in Orlando and one down south near Miami. Izziban offers Korean BBQ with the option of a la carte or buffet with as much meat as you want and the addition of classic sushi rolls and appetizers with prices ranging from $20 for lunch/late-night and $30 for dinner.

samgyupsal

Other restaurants in the Orlando area have caught on and are offering their own take on Korean BBQ with some sticking to just pork belly or samgyupsal and other more basic meat choices. The prices are comparable to what it costs for just one dish of Korean food here in Tampa and perhaps an appetizer.

Another case for more Korean BBQ in Tampa is the communal vibe that eating Korean BBQ has. This is representative of Korean culture where often co-workers, family members, or friends will enjoy a meal today and share their food. It makes food part of the bonding process in eating out and makes food more social. This could be big for corporate events, birthday parties, and family get-togethers.

Grills for Korean BBQ are smaller than those used in Japanese steakhouses and provide for more conversation –  you also are usually in charge of cooking your own food in these concepts.

I’m not sure if I even have a preference on how the concept should arrive here in Tampa. All I know is there is a serious lack of options for Korean BBQ in the Tampa Bay area and that it could be a popular concept if someone would invest in bringing it here.

Here is a quick look at Korean BBQ via Eater:

So who wants to be first and help turn Tampa Bay on to the K-BBQ craze?  I’m waiting.

Tampa Bay Blogger Shoutouts

Here’s what I’ve been reading about lately on local Tampa Bay blogs:

Tampa Bay Breakfasts reviews Mama’s Kitchen on North Florida and gives it a 5-pancake rating. As usual, there are plenty of pics of the food and the happy faces there.

Dena Loves Food visits Mama Fu in Clearwater and tries their Pad Thai and Red Thai Curry.

Tampa Bay Food Monster reviews Ally’s New York Pizzeria continuing his pizza reviews he has been featuring as of late.

Inkwatu visits Dairy Inn on MLK, his favorite choice for soft-serve ice cream.

Epicurean Perils of Sweet Polly visits The Laughing Cat in Ybor City and is pleasantly surprised with their food.

Re/Creating Tampa blogs about the Tampa Go Club.

Happy reading🙂

Tampa Bay Blogger Shoutouts

Here’s what I’ve been reading about lately on Tampa Bay blogs:

Dena Loves Food is loving Banh Mi Saigon Cafe in St. Petersburg. I love banh mi! Check out her post for more.

Tampa Bay Bites reviews the new St. Petersburg Taco Bus. Taco Bus has had the buzz all week, opening their new location on Valentines Day. I plan to visit during my next visit to St. Petersburg and see how the St. Pete bus fares against the Tampa bus. Love the fact that authentic Mexican cuisine is spreading around the area. Once Tampa Bay was exposed, everyone was instantly hooked.

Inkwatu visited the Queen of Sheba, an Ethiopian restaurant in Tampa. This restaurant has been on my list for some time, I don’t think I have ever really tasted African food. Queen of Sheba is quite popular online and according to Inkwatu, I have to stop delaying this visit and make my trip there.

Re/Creating Tampa highlights some political blogs in Tampa with useful commentaries.

Tampa Bay Food Monster visited the Florida State Fair recently. I did as well (look for my post soon!). He tries fried pickles and oreos, something I am just not adventurous enough to do. He also had fried butter, red velvet funnel cake, and a Krispy Kreme donut burger. I commend him on his adventurous spirit and willingness to sacrifice a few years of his life for a food adventure.

Zest Florida Foodie reviews Bianchi’s Enoteca on her food blog, adding another restaurant to my to-do list.