You Gonna Eat All That?

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Location: Virginia, United States

(Biscuit Girl)

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Gamasot Restaurant

Biscuit was cravin' some seolleong-tang so he asked around online for some good places to go here is the DC area. Someone on Don Rockwell's suggested Gamasot, a small restaurant in a strip mall just off Backlick Road in the Springfield area of Northern Virginia. It had a limited menu and I was hesitant about going. Why? Well, I didn't know how limited and if any of the choices besides the seolleong-tang would sound interesting.

But I'm glad I decided to give it a shot. The place is very nicely decorated inside, clean lines with light colored walls, dark tables and a tan slate floor. There are a few traditional tables along one wall that are partially screened off from the rest of the place. These tables are low to the floor and require you to sit on cushions on the floor. And towards the back of the place is a glass wall that looks into a kitchen.

On the table is a table tent with the menu options with the Korean and English translation. But if you're like me and know a few things like Dol Sot Bi Bim Bop or Seolleong-tang, the lack of a brief explanation of the dish is needed. If that's the case, the waitress will gladly give you a bigger menu that tells you what is in each dish.

There were about two dozen choices ranging from soups to rice dishes. Biscuit Boy got the seolleong-tang and I got a bi bim bop that was served in a hot stone pot. After we placed our orders, the waitress brought out about a half dozen panchans, small dishes of tasty treats like kimchee, a pickled veggie, mini vegetable pancakes and soondae (a Korean blood sausage). A small pot of cabbage and radish kimchee was also brought out and cut up tableside. Biscuit rating for the panchan = 3.5 biscuits

Biscuit Boy's soup came out in a nice sized stone pot. It was loaded with noodles and sliced beef. It's usually garnished with salt and sliced green onion which were already on the table when we arrived. Biscuit rating = 5 biscuits!

My dish came out sizzling like crazy. A bed of rice with veggies and some ground beef placed on top followed by an raw egg dropped on top of everything. The heat of the pot and it's contents actually cook the egg. Two little bowls of hot bean paste were also on the table for me to add as I needed. And in addition to my hot pot, I got a small bowl of the seolleong-tang broth. Nice. Biscuit rating = 4 biscuits

The soup was the best that Biscuit Boy's had since he was in Korea many years ago. It was rich, flavorful and slightly thick. A little salt and a sprinkling of green onions completed the dish. The bi bim bop needed the hot bean paste to help perk it up but it was probably the best I've had of all the Korean places I've tried. Because the bowl is so hot, the contents stay warm down to the last bite. And the best part is the little bit of rice that gets stuck to the sides of the pot. Scrape them away and enjoy the crunchy goodness.

We did have to ask our waitress what one thing was on the table. She placed another stone pot at the end of the table that contained some rice and a warm liquid. Using a paddle like spoon, she scraped the rice away from the sides of the pot and left it. We looked at each other, then back at the pot. Hmm...... When she came back to see how our food was, I sheepishly asked her about it. She explained that it was for after we finished our meal. It was actually quite nice. The liquid tasted like a barley tea. It was simple, almost too plain in flavor but really helped cool off your mouth. After eatting a bunch of kimchee and hot bean paste, there was just a little heat still lingering when we finished our meals so this was a nice way to help clear things out.

We brought the camera but didn't take any pictures. There weren't that many people there when we first go there and didn't want to make a commotion. We decided to go back on a Saturday night when it may be a little busier so we wouldn't be so obvious.

Overall Biscuit rating = 4.5 biscuits for food and service

Our tab was $22. Not bad at all.

6963 Hechinger Rd
Springfield, VA 22151
Sun - Thur: 11 am to 11 pm
Fri & Sat: 11 am to midnight

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Anonymous Suburban Tasteland said...

I had Seolleong-tang on my short list of things to try when I lived in New York, but somehow never made it to Gam Mee Oak. I figured that there must be a restaurant in the Springfield/Annandale area that offered it, so I was stoked to read your review.

2:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, I've been to Gamasot also. Food is really good. I hear that the chef was pretty big in the NY/NJ area.

11:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Recently moved to the area and had a serious jones for mom's hanguk eumshik(korean food). Accidently found this place and it was cham mashiso( yummy!) the banchan was gr8 and the seouloongtang milky and delicious! Bonus $5 lunch price : ) Way better than value meal @ local underpriced and overcaloried fast food place.


11:47 PM  

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