By Bill Hanna/UMCP
It is amazing how the culinary culture of the College Park, Maryland, has blossomed. From a few pizza places and a couple of mediocre so-called Chinese restaurants, the area has added Latin, Vietnamese, Thai, Korean, and more. The latest addition is a Korean restaurant on Route 1 near downtown. Kangnam BBQ (8503 Baltimore Avenue, 301-220-1635, replacing Seven Seas) has a wide-ranging menu of good Korean food. On my last visit, for dinner, I ordered Chicken Bulgogi (pictured below being BBQed at the table) and my partner ordered BiBimBap. Both were very good. Of course there were side dishes, “banchan,” and they were not only good but the dishes were refilled when empty (a unique event for me). They included potato, mung bean sprouts, and seaweed. Plus, of course, kimchi – which was sufficiently mild that I had a second helping.
The two dinners with tip were under $30, not cheap by local Korean standards but certainly good value. The menu is quite comprehensive, including among my favorites, soy bean stew, dumpling stew, and seafood pancake. At lunch, there are specials. Oh yes, most of the diners were Korean – a very good sign.
It’s worth noting that the College Park–Beltsville area of suburban Maryland has quite a few Korean restaurants, all at least good. The three in Beltsville are Da Rae Won (5013 Garrett Ave., 301-931-7878), Gah-Rham (5027 Garrett Ave., 301-595-4122), and Myong Dong (11114 Baltimore Ave., 301-595-4173. And the Beltsville area only has a small Korean population!