My 21st wasn’t all Vegas with a couple too many shots and a blurry night, so it was pretty low key in terms of partying it up, but in terms of eating, I definitely went all out. My friend treated me out for a birthday meal at Manimal Smokehouse, a BBQ restaurant I had been dying to check out.
One of my friends worked at Manimal when it was known as Wildfire in its former days at Hongdae. She told me how the owner, Jeff, had the smokers shipped all the way from Texas. From the early AM, he would get movin’ to feed the smoker with oak wood. The end product of 12-15 hours of hard work and dedication? Some amazing south in your mouth. The oak wood scent permeates the whole room that after sitting through for an hour or two, I stepped outside smelling like smoke.
We ordered the brisket and a quarter rack pork square rib. Honestly, words cannot suffice how amazing this was. I constantly put my fork down to simply savor every single bite, rolling my eyes and “OMG”-ing on repeat. Talk about overreaction, but I’m not apologetic for being a passionate foodie. One downside is that they don’t serve any sides so you need to order separately. Make sure to get the cheddar corn bread along with your BBQ, it’s a must must must!
After killing our BBQ, our server recommended the “Bananimal” to us. Everything you could possibly make out of bananas is served in this bowl. They definitely saved the best for the last as I hit the creamy banana pudding awaiting me from the bottom. If you’re a banana lover, you’ll definitely go bananas for this one.
And to end the 21st birthday bash, I went to Rocky Mountain Tavern with my friends for some Tuesday wing night action. Rocky Mountain is a Canadian pub and they sell wings for only 40 cents every Tuesday night. Definitely worth going for a good night out with your friends. (If you come out of Itaewon Stn. #3, keep walking straight and after you pass Soft Tree, look for a small sign that says Rocky Mountain Tavern with a Canadian maple leaf sign).
LOCATION: 455-33 Itaewon, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
Coming out of Itaewon Stn. Exit #1, make a U-turn and walk straight passing KFC, VANS shoe store, and as you hit the end of the road where you meet a small hill, go up and you will see Manimal to your right, which is above Yona Yona Burger.
If you know where Coreanos is at Itaewon, it is right across Coreanos on the second floor.
STORE HOURS: 5:30 PM- 10:30PM (They don’t take any reservations, so I suggest you get there at the opening time.)