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Lunch at Bulgogi Korean BBQ in Conway

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Here in Little Rock, our options for Korean barbeque are somewhat limited, so when I heard Bulgogi Korean BBQ was opening in nearby Conway, it’s fair to say I was a bit excited. So, like I typically do with these new restaurant openings, I waited a few months, listened to the chatter on the street, and gave the place a try of my own.

Well, the chatter leading up to my lunchtime visit to Bulgogi was overwhelmingly positive, and my meal did nothing to disprove that sentiment.

Bulgogi Korean BBQ resides in a former Jimmy John’s sandwich shop right on Oak Street, just a short distance from the epicenter of downtown Conway. The sleek interior bursts with red, black, gray, and white colors throughout. The restaurant is fast-casual, so just walk through the door and head straight to the register. Directly above is a hanging menu, large in physical size but small in its number of offerings. This is more of a compliment than a knock. I tend to disapprove of larger menus.

Bulgogi’s selection of appetizers includes lettuce wraps, egg rolls, fried spring rolls, fried shrimp, housemade kimchi, miso soup, edamame and fried dumplings. I tried the latter two and was particularly impressed with the pork and ginger-filled fried dumplings. The other meal-starters were just as enticing, but I wanted to focus most of my attention on the entrees. For those, Bulgogi serves up rice and noodle bowls, ramen, salads, cheesesteaks, and tacos. All come with three protein options, beef, spicy pork, and chicken. The menu’s streamlined quality with proteins allows for fast service. 

I only scratched the surface on my one visit to Bulgogi but can highly recommend the fried rice bowl with spicy pork. It’s a sizable portion of food, and while the pork isn’t as spicy as I wanted, it was very flavorful and tender, and you can turn up the heat with one of the complimentary sauces. There is also the option of adding a fried egg to each bowl for a nominal cost. Do it. The gooey yolk is a perfect complement to the rice and pork.

My taste of the udon noodle bowl was met with equally positive results. For those new to the udon noodle game, it is a thicker wheat noodle, slick to the taste and fun to eat.

In the end, there was nothing I didn’t love about Bulgogi. From the inviting atmosphere to the fast, friendly service to the tasty food, the restaurant checked off all the boxes. If I lived in Conway, I’d be a regular at Bulgogi. As a Little Rock resident, I am just thankful it is only thirty minutes away.

Did You Know?

Bulgogi has now partnered up with Omni Delivery Service. Also, the drive-thru is available for customers who call in their orders ahead of time. Finally, Bulgogi does offer catering. Contact the restaurant for details.

Bulgogi Korean BBQ
317 W Oak St (Conway)
Phone: 501-358-5923
Hours: Monday-Saturday 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m.; Closed Sunday

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Kevin Shalin is a food writer living in Little Rock with his wife, Sara, and two daughters, Natalie (12) and Sydney (7). He started his own blog, The Mighty Rib, seven years ago while living in Houston. Six months later, he began writing for Eating Our Words, a Houston Press food blog. After a year in Boston, he moved to Little Rock, where he’s been for almost five years. During that time, he’s written for Little Rock Soiree, Rock City Eats, Treatsie, and Bourbon and Boots.

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