CONTRIBUTED BY KELLY GARCIA
Somehow last year, bopping around Facebook, I found out about this Korean dude named Linus who makes barbecue. Real BBQ, by which I mean American barbecue! Smokey, melt-in-your-mouth meat the way they do it down south barbecue. Here in Seoul. What?!
He was doing it renegade style, I don’t even know if that’s the right word for it, but ya know, he’d be brandishing his barbecue skills in pop-up restaurants around town, posting the dates on his Facebook page. Every time I’d see a new date, I’d get so daggum excited! But they’d be at bars usually, and I’m a mom with babysitter problems … and I NEVER got the BBQ. Tear! 😦
He opened up a restaurant!
And even though we’d just spent a month in North Carolina stuffing our faces with barbecue pretty much every other day, I dragged my husband and two ragamuffins out to eat at his joint, Linus’ BBQ, literally the week we got back. I’d heard it was already bumping’ with customers after only about a month of being open (I guess the pop-up hype worked!) so we got there early and sat at one of the picnic tables on the deck. Wafts of smokey meat goodness floated through the air.
“It’s legit,” said my husband.
By 6:15 pretty much every table was full. Wow!
The menu was delivered to our table stamped into two pieces of wood. The options were simple, which I appreciate: pulled pork sandwich, a brisket sandwich, two sizes of pork/beef brisket BBQ plates, typical barbecue sides like potato salad, “skinny-ass fries”, coleslaw, and baked beans (alas, no hush puppies or mac ‘n cheese). Appetizers including deep fried rib and fried pickles. Beer, tea, a handful of cocktails. (Linus, are you out there? Lemonade would be awesome to have for the kids. Hint, hint!)
For our family of two grown-ups and two picky kids, we got the BBQ plate for two, fried pickles, an IPA and “Lynchburg Lemonade”.
Hey, wanna see the food through the lens of my crap camera? Well, you are in luck!
Verdict. Yum. I’m usually a pulled pork girl, but my husband and I agreed, the brisket was the star of the show here. I mean, just look at it. You don’t even have to taste it to tell that it’s gonna melt in your mouth. The seasoning. Perfect. The pork was good as well although not served piping hot. There were two sauces, which I’m assuming were fresh made right before, cause the bottles they came in were still warm. Both hot, red, sweetish. Honestly, I forget the flavor, I should’ve taken notes or something. Not vinegar based though.
I loved the buttered slider buns with the platter and building the meat, coleslaw, into a mini sandwich. North Carolina usually does hush puppies, a slice of white bread or cornbread with the barbecue, so this was new to me and I liked it. The skinny fries were yum and the beans acceptable although not my fave side. All told though, I totally wish we’d gotten the bigger platter!
Now in full disclosure, I’ll admit there were a couple of hiccups that occurred between the time we sat down and the time we got our food: We had to wait about 15-20 min to get our drinks because the waitress forgot to place the order. We were later told by the waitress that the oil in the kitchen fryer wasn’t hot enough yet (we got there when it opened) so expect a wait. And we were brought the wrong appetizer. But the place is still pretty much brand spankin’ new, and gotten so popular so quickly, it’s kind of to be expected in my book. I’m sure they’ll work the kinks out soon enough if they haven’t already.
Anyway, after scarfing all our grub down, we paid up and my husband got my kids cotton candy for dessert. It’s free there and self serve. How cool is that? Love that little touch!
I’m so rooting for Linus’ BBQ to make it. I’m impressed with the food this dude puts out and impressed with the passion he puts into it. So if you love you some “cue” half as much as he does, get behind this guy and his restaurant. We want this place to stay!
CLOSED MONDAY, Open Tuesday through Sunday 12-3 and 6-10. (Saturday and Sunday until 10-ish!…)
***Make reservations on a weekend or get there right when it opens, or chances are you’ll have quite a long wait!***
Coming from USAG Yongsan, walk straight on Itaewon Street till you hit McDonald’s. Turn into your first entrance after McDonald’s and go downstairs into the underground shopping area. Walk straight down the hall till you pop outside to Linus’ place.
ADDRESS: 서울시 용산구 이태원동 56-20 지하상가
Yongsan-gu, Itaewon-dong 56-20 B1
Seoul, South Korea
FACEBOOK PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/LinusBbq