Atlanta Foodie Events

EVENT: Explore Gwinnett’s Korean Food Tour, #SeoulOfTheSouth, Duluth

Great invitation!
Great invitation!

One of the things that excites me, is to venture out of my comfort zone. Of course, have a guide always helps. This is especially true when being presented the opportunity to participate on this invitation-only Korean Food Tour by Explore Gwinnett called Seoul of the South. Not only did we have our excellent guides Sarah and Michael Kim, we had some other people along provided an insight into the way Koreans serve, eat, and enjoy Korean food.

We were told that within Atlanta’s population of a little over five million, just 100,000 are Korean-Americans. 30,000 live in the Duluth/Suwanee area they like to call Korea Town. Whether you notice the signs in Korean along Pleasant Hill Road or on Highway 120, you cannot help but notice the strong Korean influence on this area. As with any culture, food is deeply ingrained within one’s society and this is something that Korean-Americans love to share with you.

We got started by meeting at the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce and boarding the trolley. Once onboard, I met people that I had previously known by Twitter handle only. It was really, really cool meeting people with whom you’re familiar with only through social media and then you finally get to meet them in person and put a face with the name. Among our company was the esteemed Ligaya Figueras, Senior Food and Dining Editor with the AJC, numerous foodie bloggers, and members of the press from the Korean community.

Photo Credit: Explore Gwinnett
Photo Credit: Explore Gwinnett

Harue Food & Cafe
Our first stop was Haure that has the tagline “Legend of Toppokki”. Toppokki is like a Korean style pasta/dumpling that’s made from rice and covered in a spicy/sweet red chili sauce. Toppokki is about the size of your pinky finger and is a popular street food in Korea. One thing I really liked about Harue was that the seating was divided out into small cubicles, making for a very intimate dining atmosphere. Living up to the #SeoulOfTheSouth hashtag, Harue serves a lot of things fried. Fried chicken, fried potatoes, Korean BBQ wings, squid, and that I could neither understand or pronounce but ate none the less. Much to my surprise though, the thing I thought was really cool were the pickled radish. I could eat them all day long. It was all very good and my predisposition that I probably wasn’t going to enjoy this afternoon was nipped in the bud at Harue.

Photo Credit: Explore Gwinnett
Photo Credit: Explore Gwinnett

The Stone Grill
Our next stop was in the H Mart shopping center on Pleasant Hill Road, which is a massive development containing a wide variety of Korean-owned businesses. The H Mart is like a Korean Walmart, complete with groceries, housewares, and so much more.

When you sit down, there is a tray that contains some carrots and cucumber sticks along with four sauces. For the most part, they had quite a kick, so be careful. Next we were served a bowl of fluffy eggs, that was almost like a quiche. They are very light and quite tasty. The interesting this is that they have a fishy taste because of the fish oil base used in the preparation, but this just adds to the flavor. Then we were served pork, chicken, and beef. This was all delicious but I really enjoyed my conversation with Michael Park over the meal where we really got a chance for some interesting discussions about the Korean community within Gwinnett, and especially the Duluth and Suwanee areas.

Photo Credit: Explore Gwinnett
Photo Credit: Explore Gwinnett

Tree Story Café & Bakery
We walked past the H Mart to our next destination, a Korean café and bakery called Tree Story. While we walked, I had a great dialogue with H.B. Cho, a journalist from the Korean community. This place has a vibe like a Starbucks or a Panera Bread. Lots of stuff going on and people walking about. A fantastic spread was setup for us and foodies were diving into all sorts of pastries and other items. I was saving room though, because I knew what was coming next.

Photo Credit: Explore Gwinnett
Photo Credit: Explore Gwinnett

Breakers Korean BBQ & Grill
Our hosts had forewarned us that the most food is served at Breakers and it did not disappoint. What was especially wonderful though was the table conversation I was able to enjoy with Sung Ku Hung, of News & Post a popular Korean community newspaper. Ligaya Figueras, Senior Food and Dining Editor with the AJC; Toby Bloomberg of Diva Foodies; and Malika Bowling of Atlanta Restaurant Blog. It was truly an honor for me to share a table with such esteemed journalists.

I would be remiss if I did not mention Jessica Whittingslow of Explore Gwinnett who coordinated this event. It sounds simple to cart a bunch of people around and feed them, but we all appreciated how much time, work, and effort goes into making an event like this a success and she, along with the entire team at Explore Gwinnett did a wonderful job. Guten appetit!

Periscope Videos

The Stone Grill(1)

The Stone Grill(2)

Back on the trolley

Breakers Korean BBQ & Grill

360° Pics

360 view taken with a Ricoh Theta S Camera – Get yours today at Amazon!

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Boarding the trolley

Welcome to #seoulofthesouth Korean food tour with #exploregwinnett #theta360 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

The Stone Grill

#seoulofthesouth Korean food tour with #exploregwinnett at The Stone Grill in #Duluth #theta360 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

Tree Story Café and Bakery

#seoulofthesouth Korean food tour with #exploregwinnett at Tree Story Cafe in #Duluth #theta360 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

Breakers Korean BBQ & Grill

#seoulofthesouth Korean food tour with #exploregwinnett at Breakers Korean BBQ in #Duluth #theta360 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

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5 Comments

  1. April 8, 2016 at 9:09 am

    Awesome video from Atlanta Restaurant Blog’s Malika Bowling – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ik0P1wuxRsg

  2. Matt
    April 10, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    Next time, maybe you guys can review Iron Age?
    Used to be one of my fav Korean AYCE BBQ places ever but lately, they’ve fallin’ off the mark. Be interesting to see how you guys rate them.
    Another new fav is Oh!My SamgyupSal. Absolutely, delicious Korean BBQ!! My new fav spot.

  3. April 10, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    This really wasn’t a review. We’ll have to come back for that. It was a lot of fun and thank you for those recommendations!

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