Jon Goree, formerly of Whole Foods, opened the Seoul Food Truck with his wife, L'Academie de Cuisine graduate and Seoul native Hyun Shil. Photograph by Kyle Gustafson
Seoul Food DC rolled onto the streets of Arlington today, bringing Korean breakfast burritos, caramelized-kimchee quesadillas, and fresh-baked blueberry muffins to the Courthouse area.
"I want to serve people what I serve my family," chef Hyun Shil, a native of Seoul, South Korea, who runs the organically-focused food truck with husband Jon Goree.
The couple worked at Whole Foods in Fair Lakes—he as a meat carver, she as a pastry chef after graduating from L'Academie de Cuisine—and were toying with the idea of a food truck that served buffalo. But over a home-cooked meal of bibim bap, the traditional Korean dish of warm rice topped with vegetables, fried egg, and marinated meat, they ditched the plan for bison burgers in favor of fare inspired by Hyun's mother, who ran several barbecue restaurants in Seoul.
That bibim bap is now the star of the lunch menu: a bountiful portion of Japanese sticky rice layered with shredded carrots, radishes, and field greens, plus a runny cage-free egg and either grass-fed skirt steak, local chicken thighs, or organic tofu. The meats and tofu are marinated for 12 hours in red-pepper paste, garlic, ginger, and soy, and they pop up throughout the menu, tucked into maki rolls and folded into burritos.
The truck debuted with a full menu—and plans to operate in DC once they secure a permit. Look for "test kitchen Fridays" when the couple experiments with such dishes as bacon-kimchee quesadillas and roast-duck wraps with hoisin saucen and green onions. Like the rest of the offerings, Hyun's desserts change seasonally. Get to the truck for a luscious tart layered with caramelized peaches before the season runs out.
Twitter.com/SeoulFoodDC. Open weekdays for breakfast and lunch in the Arlington area.