Food Truck: Korilla BBQ
Sighting: 47th and Park
Our next stop is Korea or specifically the Korilla BBQ truck on 47th and Park.
Korilla has been a staple of the New York food truck scene since it opened in 2010. This is one of those trucks where any time of the day it’s there, there’ll be a line.
The day I went there was already a line forming at 11:45 AM, and it’s a testament to this truck that there were a bunch of trucks already open up and down the street, but people were dutifully waiting.
They try to keep the line moving so they post instructions on the truck, but as with many of these trucks you’ll draw the ire of everyone behind you if you spend too much time trying to figure out what’s going on. Here’s the ordering process:
1) First, you can get either a rice bowl or a burrito. The main difference here is basically whether you want to eat with a fork or with your hands.
2) Next you choose your rice. You can get white, glutinous (sticky) rice, or you can splurge for a dollar more and get bacon kimchi fried rice (hint: splurge)
3) Next you choose your protein. If you want the quintessential korean experience go for the bulgogi (ribeye), which is excellent—it’s marinated and cooked to perfection with a slightly sweet and savory flavor.
4) The next steps are where people tend to get a little tripped up. You can choose cheese or salsa as a topping. Then, you choose different pickled vegetables, including kimchi, pickled cucumbers, daikon radish, and slaw. I find here it’s easiest just to say “the works” and let them decide what to give you—you’ll get a taste of everything and then you’ll be able to be more selective in the future (or in my case, just ask for the works each time).
5) Finally you’ll pick a sauce. Korilla Sauce is sort of your typical mayo-ketchup Russian dressing-type sauce. To the other extreme, the k’illa is really, really spicy (I just downed a whole can of Diet Mountain Dew after eating a couple bites, and I’m usually someone who tolerates spicy pretty well).
I got the bulgogi and fried rice with the works and a combination of korilla and k’illa sauce. Here’s what it looked like.
Pretty, huh? It tasted amazing as well. It was like going to a Korean BBQ place, but instead of getting your meal in a thousand small bowls they just jump everything together.
The portion size is just right, but I had the feeling they skimped a little on the beef. Still, the mix of sweet and savory and salty with the beef, veggies, and rice made for an incredible combination.
4.5 out of 5 stars. Wonderful meal, but the long line, difficulty in ordering, and small portion of the beef made me dock them half a point.
Price I paid:
Tricks for fast ordering: memorize the menu and be prepared to rattle off your choice under 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 quickly. This is not a line you want to hold up.
What to order if you’re a newbie: Rice bowl with bacon kimchi fried rice, bulgogi or pork, and “the works”. Don’t choose the k’illa sauce if you can’t take the heat.
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