- Private Lot
🙂 = High chairs available. Watching food cook right in front of you is always a bonus. And K-pop videos playing on all the big screens tend to keep most kids (and adults) entertained — They’re just so dang catchy!
🙁 = No kids menu or kids eat free options. No changing stations. Curious Georges and Georginas might burn their little fingers on the hot grill so be sure to keep an eye on them.
Notes: Open 24/7 in 4 locations: Annandale, Centreville, Ellicott City, and Germantown. There’s also a Honey Pig Izakaya & Karaoke in Annandale.
Capping off 2015 with one of my faves…Korean BBQ. It’s like a double-edged sword, man. On one hand, I get to watch my pig, with childlike wonderment, turn from raw slabs of trichinosis to golden-brown delicious chunks of what Kermit lovingly lays his head on every night…pork belly. On the other, curiosity and the close proximity of that smoking, hot grill to my stubby, little forefinger tends to get the better of me. Lesson learned.
Mental note — listen to my parents despite my better judgement. If they say something’s hot. They’re not lying.
And in keeping with the double-edged sworded-ness — Or sordidness. Whatever. Both homonyms apply — while the smell of food grilling, not only at our table but all around us, smells like heaven, the stink that lingers on your clothes once you leave more closely resembles the devil’s residence. It’s like hair. How can something be so beautiful when affixed to someone’s head instantly become disgusting and vile just about anywhere else? Life, man. So full of crazy parallels. It’s ridonkulous.
But Korean BBQ is my lifeblood. Burnt fingers and smelly clothes be gosh darned. From Woo Lae Oak to Soo Won Galbi. I’ve sat at those hot-table-top-grills since my infant car seat days. But none are more candy to my ever evolving senses than Honey Pig.
Grill smoke rising up like table-side smoke stacks into a colony of exhaust hoods. The smell of charring animal flesh awakening my primal carnivore within. The multitudinous (yeah, vocabulary ain’t got nothin’ on me) soju advertisements with hot models that daddio and I fawn over plastered on the corrugated tin walls. The pretty Korean boys and sexy-cute hybrid of Korean girls from the ultra colorful music videos streaming on every big screen. The annoyingly catchy sounds of K-pop hits blaring over the speakers.
It’s downright frightening to some (like my grandparents) but enjoyable for most. I mean, it’s probably the most successful and well known Korean BBQ joint in the area. The antithesis of the more classic, subdued, earth toned, and old world-y KBBQ restaurants that dot the DC Metro. You’ll find all sorts of people here: old Korean Baby Boomers laughing loudly over bottles of Hite, groups of Millennial girls and their oversized knit beanies accompanied by their bearded, man-bunned male companions, the formerly cool Gen X’ers with their tired eyes and worn expressions pleading with their kids to sit down and chill the fudge out. It’s a gathering point that knows no generational bounds.
And the food is pretty bonkers too. They hook you up with a whole bunch of banchan (like kim chi, sesame watercress, and fish cake to name a few) before bringing out raw cuts of meat that the Honey Pig gals cook and cut up for your viewing pleasure. We’ve gotten kalbi, bulgogi, and various stews during prior visits — all of which hit the spot — but stuck to our regular go-to of pork belly and pork/squid combo in a spicy chili paste this time around. Pops swears though that the spicy pork/squid combo has been steadily losing its heat over subsequent visits. Or maybe his old, tired taste buds are just quitting on him a la Eat Drink Man Woman. Regardless, we’ll be back without hesitation. The food is consistently good. The table-side cooking experience is always a treat. The loud music, symphony of sizzling meats, eye-candy bill posters, the somehow calming hum of mindless, indiscernible chatter — I just love the busyness of it all. Oh, and the endless Groupon offerings don’t hurt either. It’s like winning a $30 jackpot on scratch and win tickets every month.
Honey Pig. You capture the very nature of my folks right in your name. Honey is sweet like my mom. Pigs are fat and filthy and emit ugly, involuntary noises like my dad. What’s not to love?