The Seoul of the South
For many of you who are fans for Korean cuisine or watch dramas and movies, you have most certainly seen budaejjigae. Loosely translated as "Army stew," this dish's roots come from the period around the Korean War in the 1950s. The country devastated by war and famine had only rice and kimchi, but supplemented by canned goods such as baked beans and SPAM from the United States Armed Forces, the population was able to create a savory, spicy stew that kept people fed and nourished.
Today, budaejjigae is a widely popular dish that can be enjoyed any time of the day by young and old alike. Bally Budaejjigae recently opened in the Assi Plaza on Old Peachtree Road, and is run by a fun-loving family. The interior boasts a simple design with tables and private booths laid out across the modest space. The menu is simple focusing on three sizes of hot pots depending on the size of your party. For those not wanting spice, there is a mild chicken stew option that if similarly offered family style.
The sides are simple, yet perfectly match the main course. Bally's Budaejjigae is a simmering cauldron of kimchi, beans, sliced sausage, SPAM, rice cakes, and bean sprouts. You can ask for less or more spice when you place your order, and you are also free to select ramen or udon noodles that provide more substance to the dish. All of this food comes with steamed rice, and if there is still space in your stomach, Bally's friendly staff will make fried rice for you at the end of your meal.
The overall experience was terrific and the food was delicious. We thought that we had ordered too large a portion, but in the end had no problem finishing everything that was served. Bally's is a great spot for gathering with friends or family, and if they are not too busy be sure to ask the family who runs the restaurant lots of questions. We enjoyed meeting them as much as the food.