The Seoul of the South
Don Soo Baek
As the cooler weather approaches, my mind often drifts to homestyle comfort food, and there is nothing more comforting on a cool, fall day than a nice bowl of steaming soup with rice and kimchi.
Don Soo Baek is the kind of place that my father really loves. It specializes in traditional Korean dishes with an emphasis on hearty soups and stews. Note, this is not a vegetarian friendly place as the soups are a bone and meat based broth loaded with various cuts of meat and delicacies such as blood sausage. There are a few seafood options, but even these dishes are for more adventurous eaters as they are very spicy and contain squid or octopus.
The popular pork bone broth soup with large slices of pork and blood sausage is especially good and when paired with pickled leeks, it's one of the best representations of regional cuisines from southeast Korea.
Another popular item is their mandu (dumplings) which come either pan fried or steamed. Both are absolutely delicious, and I highly recommend the steamed variety since the style is more of a large steamed bun stuffed with meat and veggies. These steamed buns are huge and come in an order of four. The pan fried variety is flat and a little more classic and reminiscent of the pot stickers that we all know and love.
The side dishes are limited to cabbage and radish kimchi, but both varieties are made well and perfectly accompany the entrees.
Don Soo Baek is in the same center as Honey Pig. It may be a little difficult to spot as the signage is only in Korean. The same may be said for the menu. The items can be difficult to understand, but the service is great, and the staff are friendly and always willing to assist you. The interior is pretty classic for a Korean restaurant. No frills, but a clean and inviting environment that always lets me know that I'm in for a really good meal.