An Englishman in Texas Tries Om
ni Korean BBQ. U.N.'s One-World Conspiracy Closer to Reality.
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.)
Cooked by an Englishman, plus all his fingers remained intact -- not too shabby.
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.
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!"
Note to Gavin: You're in Texas now, pard. Fill that damn cup next time.
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.