12.092 Spare Rib Platter


7 (Wed) April 2021

Spare Rib Platter


at Linus’ BBQ

-Itaewon, Yongsan, Seoul, Republic of Korea-

with HSK

Linus’ (Bama Style) BBQ is an American restaurant.  Founded 2012.  Specializes in ribs, brisket, and pulled pork, cooked slow-and-low in the tradition of the American South (i.e., Alabama).  Currently ranked 24 of 26,547 restaurants in Seoul on TripAdvisor (see Linus’ Bama Style BBQ).

I’ve been meaning to try the place since the beginning, often touted as one of the first, one of the best for authentic barbecue in Korea.  Just never got the chance.

While years of success has allowed them to expand and refine, the business was hit hard by the pandemic, now on the brink of closure.  Friends and family have set up a fund at gofundme (see #Save Linus BBQ from COVID Shutdown).

I was surprised by the slickness of the menu.  I would expect a BBQ joint to keep it simple, like a handwritten sheet of paper on a clipboard.

We ordered the Sparerib Platter, which came with spareribs + brisket + pulled pork + buns + sides.

Cole Slaw (3.0) + Beans (3.0) + Fries (3.5): beautifully crispy and well-seasoned
Buns (4.0): perfectly grilled, perfectly crispy/squishy + perfectly seasoned, a bit sweet per se but matched perfectly with sweetness of the meats.
Spare Ribs (3.0): the glaze was very balanced in smokiness, spiciness, sweetness.
Alas, I found the meat to be a bit dense, far from “fall-off-the-bone” tender, almost like ham.
Brisket (3.0): started off amazingly tender and juicy and flavorful, but became gradually less so as the meat cooled off
Pulled Pork (2.5): kinda dry, kinda bland, but not bad when loaded into a pair of buns and topped with cole slaw and hot sauce.

Overall, both us agreed, the food was solid, though not quite amazing.  Both of us have had better, in the States.  By default, however, it was the best American-style BBQ that we’ve had in Korea.

I truly hope that the restaurant makes it through.  If it does, I promise to pay a return visit by the end of the year.

The main drag of Itaewon would ordinarily be lined with vendors hawking souvenirs and knock-offs, swarming with tourists, expats, and off-duty military – now, not a single vendor in sight, and most buildings are empty and dark.
On the upside, adult shops!

(See also FOODS)

(See also PLACES)

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