Several countries have impacted fast food culture over the years. The latest to do so is Korea.
The influences are subtle and they are showing up all over the city.
A generation ago, most people didn’t know what giardiniera or chipotles were. But immigration has taught us they belong on Italian beefs and burritos. It’s one of the reasons Chicago is so diverse and delicious.
Enter Korea. From New York City chef David Chang to the Kogi barbeque trucks in Los Angeles, they are a new generation is using kimchi, gojujang and sesame to flavor fast food all over town.
If Will Song had opened bopNgrill in the late ’90s, and I had relocated from the West Coast to Evanston and attended high school there, or, if time machines existed, I might do off-campus lunch at his restaurant several times a week.
That’s a lot of stars to align and time machine technology to invent, but bopNgrill speaks to my Asian-American heart, a menu featuring my two all-time favorite starch-protein pairings: 1) burgers and 2) meat-rice-eggs.
No, bopNgrill didn’t do them first. They just do them best. By Heather Shouse