I’m not exaggerating when I say that I have had my first taste of heavenly foreign food in Korea.
Sure, it’s not new that I am smitten with Korean food like bibimbap and dak galbi, but all of the foreign food — burgers especially — in Jeonju never really satisfies when I’m desperate for a mouth-watering slab of beef between two perfectly toasted buns, topped with all the fixins. McDonald’s obviously doesn’t cut it, despite being better than the Golden Arches in the states, and the burgers from Kraze Burger and T.G.I. Friday’s are good but expensive, and too much of a hassle for a quick fix. Where is Father’s Office when you need it?
Then, along came Pick It Pack It.
It’s a tiny stall located in Chonbukdae, the university area of Jeonju. The owner is a very friendly guy, who knows enough English to have a chat with you and makes the most immaculate plates you can imagine. It is so refreshing to see a restaurant owner put so much care and love into the dishes he sends out. You can tell he really loves what he does.
The tiny stand has five bar stools where you can enjoy your food, and one of their caffeinated beverages to wash it down with. I was impressed to learn that they carry Dr. Pepper, which we naturally both ordered to wash down our food.
On our first visit, I ordered a potato burger — fresh hamburger meat, a hash brown, juicy tomato, lots of crisp iceburg lettuce, and onion wrapped up nicely in two fluffy buns. Evan opted for a double cheeseburger with bacon, finished off with all of the vegetables I had. We gulped down our sandwiches pretty quickly, which were awesome, but not even the best part of the meal.
Tomato Bacon Cheese Fries. Yes, you read that right. Soak it in. The men running the stand started with perfect fries — crispy on the outside, and soft on the inside. Those were topped with a nacho cheese sauce and a sour cream-type deal. Then they added freshly cut roma tomatoes, and perfectly crispy bacon. They were perfection. Literally. I had no idea how much I had missed these sort of flavors until they jumbled up together in my mouth. The acidity of the fresh tomato gave the creamy cheesiness a nice zip — ketchup would’ve been too sugary. Ahhh just thinking about it makes me want more. Nom nom nom nom.
Since the menu is extensive, we will probably both try new things the next time we come (which, let’s be honest, will probably be next weekend). Two new burgers, and we have our eyes on the Animal Fries. Can it be Saturday yet?