Little Brooklyn

I often jokingly refer to our sub-neighborhood of Itaewon, Kyungridan, as "Disneyland Brooklyn" or "Little Brooklyn". It's undergoing rapid gentrification, new restaurants are opening and closing every day and food windows seem like they're becoming more the norm than sit down restaurants. We even have a Porchetta AND a Donut Plant (I know, both actually in Manhattan, but you get my point). Not long ago Meatballism, a Meatball Shop knock off opened. We started calling it Disneyland Brooklyn because while a lot of new places are going with a rustic look, it's all just a little too shiny and trying too hard to quite make us feel like we're at home. With the advent of a new grilled cheese window and a new house made sausage shop, the name "Little Brooklyn" is starting to feel less and less like a joke and more and more like just the truth.

Melting Monkey

Earlier this week, I told Dan the only thing I wanted to eat was a grilled cheese and his response was "Well, you better go get cheddar from Costco". Yes, this is my life, I have to go to Costco to get affordably priced cheddar and butter. Thankfully, the next day I remembered that there had been a grilled cheese shop under construction before we left for Thailand. Restaurants in Korea seem to be half finished one day and have a line out the door the next, so with high hopes that it would be open, I ventured down the hill and was not disappointed.

Right now, they only have a three item menu. There's the Basic, the Basic+ and Monkey Fries. I went with the Basic+ which is the basic sandwich of sourdough bread, mozarella, cheddar and gouda, onions and leeks PLUS pickled jalapenos and bacon. Let it never be said that I've passed up an opportunity to make something spicy and/or full of bacon. What I really appreciated was that the pickled jalapenos and bacon were chopped small and spread through out the sandwich. I think a lot of fancy grilled cheese places make the mistake of leave whole pickled jalapeno rings or bacon slices in a sandwich which makes it hard to eat and doesn't do a great job of melding all the flavors. The bread had a nice true sour taste but was a little bit doughy. All in all, I'd say it was as good as any grilled cheese I've gotten from the Prospect Park Food Truck Rally and at W5,500 pretty similarly priced. Will definitely eat again.

Melting Monkey is located up the street from Street Churros in Kyungridan.

Hassdog Kyungridan Itaewon


This was our first meal back from Thailand because we needed to grab something quick on our walk to pick up our dog from the sitters. Dan and I have been watching the construction and opening of Hass Dog with probably an unreasonable amount of anticipation because we're not really into Korean sausages and also literally ate at Bitzinger every day we were in Vienna this Summer. Of course, it would be unfair to compare a sausage window in Korea with what might be the best sausage window in the entire world, so our expectations were mostly set at "more to our taste than Korean sausage". Those expectations were met, but I wouldn't say exceeded.

We both got the Cajun sausage which comes loaded with toppings. The sausage had a good amount of heat, but that was the only thing Cajun about it. My first bite made me feel like I had been punched in the face by Christmas potpourri there was so much clove in it. I'm not opposed to some clove in sausages but it was overkill and definitely not a spice typically used in a Cajun mix. The texture of the sausage was pretty dry and crumbly and it really seemed like it could use some more fat. I'm not that in to a million toppings and told Dan I wished I had asked for it with just the bun and mustard but he pointed out that it needed everything to at least somewhat balance out the clove and hold together the crumbly sausage.

Needless to say, we weren't huge fans, but they did say they're hoping to have three or four flavors next month and to start selling packaged sausages so I'm willing to give a new business the benefit of the doubt and try it again when there's more to offer. I will say, it was much more savory and totally different than any other sausage we've had in Seoul so far.

 Hassdog's address is 305-3 Itaewon-dong.