When I first met Henry, like, on our first date, we got into a long winded conversation about food over crappy burgers. (like really crappy burgers) But he started the conversation by asking me what my favorite food is. And seriously, how can anyone have ONE favorite food? That’s crazy. So I answered him saying I couldn’t pick one and decided to name my favorite dish from every cuisine… that I have had so far. Indian. Japanese. Chinese. Peruvian. Puerto Rican. Italian. Thai. Vietnamese. Mediteranean. Venezuelan…. whew. I was getting exhausted. Don’t worry though, I didn’t dominate the conversation. He was chiming in too and shared some of my favorites.
Then came the question.
Have you ever had Korean Food?
Nope. Don’t even know what constitutes as Korean Food.
He took such delight in that. Midway through our craptastic hamburgers he said “I’d really like to see you again. Wanna get some Korean food tomorrow?”
And after about a million first dates, i finally got a second – and we went for Korean Food. I fell in love INSTANTLY with Korean Food (in love with Henry much later).
And nowadays if Henry beats me to the question “what should we have for dinner?” I say Korean. If I could have Korean once a week, i totally would whereas Henry likes Korean once a month- he created a monster!
We planned in advance for Korean food and its been a good month and a half since I’ve had Korean (oh good Lord!) and when i told my co-worker i was having Korean for dinner (we also chat for hours about food!) he looked at me knowing how much I love KOREAN FOOD and said go to PICNIC GARDEN.
Dude, what is Picnic Garden?
All you can eat Korean.
*running to Google for address* *phoned Henry who said HELL YES!*
It was raining. Parking sucked! But we made it. I looked online for Picnic Garden and found a blog with an extensive review on the place and even some Yelp comments– It looked good. My goodness. I can barely contain myself at the thought of unlimited Kalbi!

The place is kind of small and ALWAYS crowded. The smell of the place when you first enter hits you hard. Imagine a small establishment with about 30 tables and each table is cooking meat and veggies… at each table… yeah.
In the center of the restaurant there is a long buffet table with all the korean fixings; ban chan: Kimchi, dandelion greens, red pepper paste, rice, fresh garlic and jalapenos, lettuce, potato pancakes, scallion pancakes, etc. and Raw meat Galore! I know what you are thinking- i thought the same thing. RAW MEAT? Sitting out? Buffet style? hell no! but the thing is that a tray of raw meat (especially kalbi) is snatched up every 10 mins or so because the pigs are piggin out and cooking it at their table.

Right smack in the middle of our table was the grill. That shit gets hot! A waiter came over and gave me a clean grill and took my drink order. He lit the grill and told me to enjoy my meal. Henry and I took turns getting food. When i first sat down, my eyes watered from the heat of the grill. I went first and grabbed a plate of kalbi, jap chae (clear noodles), and spicy pork. Henry got the lettuce (for wrapping), rice, garlic, LOTS of red pepper paste and I did the cooking(naturally). Every so often a staffer comes with a fresh grill and changes it for you so you dont get charred meat. They even come and slice up the meat to help it cook faster.

Yummy yummy jap chae.

A shitton of Kalbi (korean short ribs)

Action shot.
You know, I really wish I had more photos but I gotta be honest- I was in my food face first. I said screw this guys, Im eating! LOL. An hour passed us by and we seriously over did it. We started out strong but ended shortly after and was just tasting stuff afterwards. We left holding out bellies and walking slowly. One more bite and we both would have lost it!
And before you go bananas on me for being a greedy hog lemme ‘splain.
One. this was an enormous amount of eats for a FRACTION of the price. At our usual spot we spend $60 on an order of short ribs, a side of jap chae and two drinks. Picnic Garden charges $25 a head… HELLO! we ate way more than what we normally eat for less! thats a bargain.
Two. Its been too long since I last had Korean.
Three. Korean food is said to be healthy for you because they are big on fresh foods and foods that aid digestion. so we were just stuffing our stomachs with foods that would digest well (bien provecho)
However, as much as I love this place it did have its draw backs.
the grill. Sitting in front of a grill will make you stink. You will smell like the restaurant. everything. your hair, your skin, your clothes… go with the crappiest clothes you got and if you can get away with it- leave the coat in the car!
your breath. it will smell after you brush your teeth the night of and the morning after. Omg. Our breath smelled like death – even after I brushed 4 times and used my super dooper scope for bad breath. Be prepared to stay home.
the toots. Bien provecho alright.
waaay too much temptation. All you can eat is seriously glutenous. What were thinking?
We’ll go back on a special occasion after a 3 day fast and on a Friday so as not to often with our gross breath and stinky butts. (maybe even at lunchtime since its $18!)
I still love Korean Food and even though I smelled like Korean BBQ I still enjoyed every part of my experience. Henry and I felt that while we got to GORGE on kalbi, the quality is always better when its not mass produced. So back to our regular spot we will go (where I dont have to do the cooking!) and when the craving is unbearable we shall gorge at picnic garden.
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