An Englishman in Texas Tries Om
ni Korean BBQ. U.N.'s One-World Conspiracy Closer to Reality.
Cooked by an Englishman, plus all his fingers remained intact -- not too shabby.
Spreading my barbecue wings (geddit!) this week, I ventured to the highly recommended Omi Korean BBQ in Carrollton for an all-you-can-eat spectacular feast. I was very excited, envisioning as I was a huge stack of barbecued meat that I could insert in my face without damaging the City of Ate budget, most of which has been diverted towards fixing Scott's photography and etiquette lessons for Alice. (Editor's note: HE said it, Alice. Shiv HIM. Scott, dude, seriously ... maybe it's time to visit an optometrist.)
When my stepson and I were shown to our seats, I noticed that the center of the table was a suspicious-looking silver disc. Brushing this aside as "something Korean," I quickly ordered two all-you-can-eats, specifically brisket (all you can eat brisket!) and barbecue pork (all you can eat pork!). Before the meat arrived an array of side-dishes in small bowls was brought to the table. I can't even hazard a guess at what they were. Most places, even when something is unfamiliar I can at least take a stab ("that looks like warm meat"), but here I was surprised when things were cold, when things were vegetables, when they were (presumably) fish, I had no idea what was going on.
Note to Gavin: You're in Texas now, pard. Fill that damn cup next time.
Finally, to ease the mental anguish I was experiencing, huge plates of meat were brought out. The server leaned over, clicked a button next to the disc, and switched on what I now realize to be a gas hob. I noticed the meat was raw. Cogs started to turn, slowly, but there was definite turning occurring. I have to cook my own meat? On a gas hob? What element of this is barbecue? Bemused, but trying to rein in my surprise so as not to leave my stepson as scared as I felt, I put on the brave face of many a parent. "No, Lewis, this is perfectly normal. This sort of thing happens all the time. You kids are so funny!"
But then came the final blow. The kick to the swingers. The coup de grace. I was handed a simple pair of kitchen scissors by the server. Kitchen scissors. Are you for real? I am going to chop up and cook my own food. I thought this was America! Where I was free to go to a restaurant and not cook! Is this meant to be entertaining? It's a single gas hob! I have no knife, just scissors! I felt like the newly divorced father in a tiny apartment entertaining his reluctant child for the weekend. "Let's cut our food up with scissors! Won't that be fun! Tell mummy I have knives and that I miss her. No. That sounds bad. Tell her I miss her. Forget about the knives."
Really though, the food was totally delicious. The thing is though, I don't know how much of that was down to my amazing cooking skills. I turn meat like you wouldn't believe. I feel like brisket needs a lot longer to cook properly than 10 minutes on a gas hob, but I tried to ask for help only to slam hopelessly into the language barrier I often hit, this time one step further removed. Throwing caution to the wind, I simply ate all the meat in front of me, and then upon returning home went to bed at 5 p.m. and slept for some time. I would highly recommend Omi for the quality of meat, but I would also recommend going with someone experienced, not a child looking to you for guidance. You can take me. I'm an expert now. Until you've seen me simultaneously wield tongs and scissors, you've barely lived.
On a side note, afterwards if you can ever eat any food ever again, YogurtLand is next door, and that is incredibly cheap and super delicious. My favorite combo -- New York Cheesecake, Raspberry, Passion Fruit and White Chocolate, with Peanut Butter Cup toppings. Hell yes.
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Dallas dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.