While in Atlanta I met our friends Angie and Travis. After being bitten by their adorable dog Barney, I convinced them to shelve their BBQ chicken dinner plans, and instead venture onto Buford Highway. Travis suggested a shady Korean BBQ joint they visited about a year ago and drank way too much soju. It sounded perfect to me, and we headed up GA S.R. 13 during early rush hour traffic towards Doraville.
Dong Neh Bang Neh is located barely outside the perimeter on a side road in a rundown strip mall. The building also housed a Pentecostal church, something called Quick Quick, and a thumping Korean night club. The driveway snaked steeply down the side of the building towards the rear. The restaurant appeared to have an identity crisis as both Kimchi House and Dong Neh Bang Neh were written on the signage.
Waiting for their other friends to arrive we ordered a kimchi-pajeon (kimchi pancake). The flour batter was doused with kimchi and topped with slivers of green onions. Our waitress brought it to the table and then sliced it into eight evenly sized pieces.
Travis and Angie’s friend, Gene Lee who used to write restaurant reviews for the AJC, and his wife arrived. While deciding what to order we chatted about food blogging, the Atlanta restaurant scene, and the evolution of Korean BBQ.
For our meal all six of us opted for the all you can eat Korean BBQ with chadolbaki (beef brisket) and samgyeopsal (pork belly) for $14.95. Our waitress lit two small burners on the table and placed an inclined skillet on top of each. The design allowed for fat to run down the skillet and into a small container at the base.
As the flattops began to heat up our waitress returned with a variety of banchan (appetizers/side dishes) in a variety of small bowls. They included kimchi, daikon, bean sprouts, radishes with jalapenos, gaeranjim (steamed egg casserole), and a small kimchi pancake. Two sauces were also placed on the table. I sampled all of the sides and my favorite was the steamed egg casserole.
Our waitress next returned with two large plates of raw un-marinated beef brisket. She placed several pieces on the flattop and turned them with a pair of chopsticks, and placed several pieces on our plates. After the demonstration we were on our own for the remainder of the beef platter and everyone cooked their own portions. The beef was sliced thin, fairly lean, and cooked fast.
Once we had our fill of beef brisket a platter of un-marinated pork belly was brought to the table. We repeated the process filling up on the second meat, and after asking for one refill all six of us were stuffed. Of the two meats I tried I preferred the beef brisket at it was more flavorful and better complimented by the various side dishes.
Several more tables of diners entered the restaurant as we paid and departed. In the parking lot Angie remarked the likelihood of us suffering meat sweats later that night was high.
Dinner at Dong Neh Bang Neh was delicious and a good introduction to Korean BBQ. Service was very attentive and the restaurant was clean. Dong Neh Bang Neh is located at 3042 Oakcliffe Road, Suite 104, Doraville, GA. The restaurant can be contacted by telephone at (770) 458-1552.
Sweet Tea & Bourbon’s Rating: