The Hungry Wanderers

Eating and exploring our way through the world

Korean BBQ at Il Mee Buffet

Posted by Amanda @ The Hungry Wanderers on October 8, 2009

This past Sunday I headed to Northern Virginia for work while the Husband headed to Pittsburgh (posts about his trip to come this weekend!).  Shortly after I arrived, I met up with a good friend I haven’t seen in a few years and we headed straight to what might become a tradition for us: Korean BBQ! The first time I tried Korean BBQ was with him at Il Mee Buffet for his birthday a few years back and loved it and he basically doesn’t get out to it as much as he’d like.  So we were both happy to be going back 🙂  Il Mee Buffet is located in Annandale, VA (for those of you in the area).

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There are no menus as the whole restaurant is a buffet.  As soon as you walk in, you’re greeted with a giant square buffet.  One side has sushi, one has all sorts of asian foods (korean, japanese, and chinese), one side has fruit and rice, while the last side as raw meat (more details below).

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At each table, there is a korean bbq grill and many tables (perhaps the larger ones) have vents over them.

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Correction! There is one menu 🙂 The alcohol menu is plastered on the dividers between tables.  Although kinda blurry, the menu has all sorts of foreign beverages – many of which I have not yet tried…

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My friend decided to get a bottle of Soju for us to split.  It’s very similar to vodka, but much milder.  (For example, I think I had 4 shots of this during dinner and there was not even a little buzz 🙂 )

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For our first course, we hit up the sushi side of the buffet.  There were all kinds and I don’t recall them being labeled.  I just chose what looked good and they were all a hit!

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Next up was the meats! Similar to a Mongolian BBQ type restaurant (if you haven’t been to one, you’re missing out!) there were multiple options for meat.  We chose two types of beef and some pork.  (Our other options included chicken, shrimp, and maybe some fish?)

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Our waitress turned on our grill, placed our meats and our garlic on the grill.  While she checked on other tables we moved the meat around a bit on the grill and she came back to cut up the larger pieces (they carry around scissors with them 🙂 )

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My friend gathered a plate of traditional items to go with the cooked meats.  The top left was a lettuce and spices mixture, top right is red pepper sauce, and the bottom bowl was garlic (and as mentioned before, ended up on the grill. Yum!)

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While those cooked, I had my fill of asian buffet items.  I had a couple of types of noodles, green beans, some more sushi, and some seafood and veggie items.  There is also some dim sum which is supposed to go nicely with the Soju (and it sure did!).  I also had a bowl of white rice to go with the meat.

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Everything was as good as I remembered! I’m glad I was able to catch up with my friend and get back to a place that I hope to visit again with him in the near future.  If you haven’t been to a korean bbq restaurant before, I highly recommend it!

Il Mee Buffet on Urbanspoon

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