So I’m sure you are still catching your breath after reading my heart-stopping food blog from last week, and hopefully wiping your mouths after stopping by either Johnny’s Pub or House Grill. But for those of you who still have rumbling stomachs, then I am back to reveal a few more of Daejeon’s foreign food gems.
Taco Bell isn’t quite cutting it in the Mexican food department? Then head over to Don Enrique’s if you want to get a more authentic Mexican culinary experience. It’s located in Dunsan-dong, just a stone’s throw away from the City Hall subway station (though it would need to be a pretty strong toss). It has a great atmosphere and the owner Enrique is a nice guy who really goes the extra mile to give you the best dining experience possible. He prides himself on serving a wide variety of fantastic dishes, but my personal favorite is the choriqueso, which is a massive plate of chorizo smothered in cheese, served with tortilla chips. The serving of tortilla chips is never enough to scoop up all the chorizo, so I find myself scraping the rest up with my fork (or my fingers if no one else is looking). If you still have room for dessert, the buñuelos will certainly send you into a food (and possibly diabetic) coma. They are essentially sweet nachos, covered with cinnamon, sugar, and a decadent white frosting. As far as Mexican food in Daejeon is concerned, Don Enrique’s is in a league of its own.
Mouth still isn’t watering yet? Jeez, tough crowd. Well, then you need to take the subway over to Daejeon Station to get a taste of the Far East. Honestly I don’t even know the name of this Chinese restaurant, but I can tell you how to get there. You need to cross the street in front of Daejeon Station and turn right, heading down a sketchy side street for about sixty meters. Stop when you reach a building with a red sign and lanterns hanging outside. The street may give you the vague feeling that a serial killer is lurking in the next alley, but enduring that momentary flash of fear will absolutely be worth it.
I may not be an expert on Chinese cuisine, but as a proud and unashamed glutton I like to think that I know good food when I taste it. I’ve tried dozens of Chinese restaurants ranging from borderline unsanitary to rather classy, and I must say this place ranks near the top. The owners are Chinese and their English is extremely limited, so you may find yourself ordering a dish without having a clear idea of what exactly you will receive, but in my experience I have never once been disappointed.
While everything is high quality and you truly cannot go wrong with a menu choice, I strongly recommend the lamb skewers. They are served with small plates of spices that you can use to kick your skewers up a notch. In true Korean fashion, you cook them yourselves at your table, placing them on a handy motorized turning mechanism which cooks them to perfection, provided you don’t completely space out and allow them to burn. I have the attention span of a squirrel and even I managed to get through it without any issues.
The lamb skewers are the main attraction, but this place is far from a one trick pony. The sweet and sour pork is quite delicious, coated in a light batter and an addicting sauce, and the noodles are always perfectly prepared. The prawns also are top notch (eat the head as well if you are feeling ambitious).
So, if pizza and burgers weren’t your cup of tea, then hopefully this should give you a few more places to check out. Don’t worry loyal readers, I will be sure to update this list if I find any more diamonds in the rough that I feel you need to know about.
Patrick Sheridan grew up in the quiet suburbs outside of Boston but always knew he wanted to explore the world. Studying abroad in Denmark while attending Elon University did not satisfy this desire, so after graduating in 2012 he decided to join Chungdahm Learning and teach English in South Korea. He loves wandering through the various neighborhoods of his city Daejeon, sampling random back-alley restaurants and attempting to communicate with the locals in his horribly broken Korean. He embraces everything Korean and looks forward to seeing everything South Korea has to offer.