Dish Deathmatch: Burrito Brawl, Korean Style
You say Korrito, I say Korean Burrito. Or vice versa.
You can’t really call the dish a fusion craze. Merging Mexican and Korean dishes together in a global burrito is certainly not as ubiquitous on Columbus menus as, say, chicken wings or sliders.
But the merger is delicious, and you can find this tortilla-wrapped deliciousness in at least two hip Columbus restaurants: Hae Paul’s (Downtown) and Jobu Ramen (Grandview Avenue). That’s all the players you really need for a Dish DeathMatch.
But in spite of their similar names and shapes, the two interpretations are very different creatures, actually.
At Jobu Ramen, the Korean BBQ Burrito is gift-wrapped with classic checkerboard paper, the paper helps support a bulging flour tortilla in its effort to contain a package with with lots of rice and black beans. Mildly sweet chicken gives it flavor depth, along with a tart kimchi, shredded carrots and a creamy sauce (something between Yum Yum sauce and mayo). It’s sturdy, savory and filling.
At Hae Paul’s, the Korrito comes wrapped in an almost delicate, soft n’sweet multigrain tortilla. This wrapper surrounds a collection of grilled slices of lean bulgogi beef that plays off of a spicy-hot kimchi, twirls of fresh lettuce, shreds of carrots and a little rice.
Also sturdy, savory and filling.
But not everyone can win in a Deathmatch, even when both the players are so nicely conceived. The flavors and textures are stronger at Hae Paul’s: grilled meat, the bite of the kimchi, the sweetness of the tortilla -it’s more intense, with a more distinct Korean accent. And intensity makes a difference in every fight.
Although both competitors are worthy of stomach space, today’s victory goes to Hae Paul’s. You can conduct your own rematch by visiting both joints. Jobu Ramen is at 1439 Grandview Avenue. Hae Paul’s is at 79 S. Fourth Street.