The first time I went to Roadem BBQ was back in 2014 before I really started spreading my wings and eating Korean BBQ on a regular basis. The last time I went to Roadem BBQ was probably well over a year ago, before they had their little “incident” and closed for awhile and reopened (ahem, I heard rodents were involved).
Since I’m still furloughed at work, a cheaper Korean BBQ option sounded like a good idea to me and I dragged Jake to Roadem BBQ on my furlough day to check it out.
The Monday-Friday lunch special. Normally I’d never get to experience this cheapness due to my work schedule. 5 choices only but they are the more popular choices.
B Menu has more choices.
Same with C.
Jake and I visited last month so we still got the $9.99 price, but it’s since been raised according to the sign above.
When you first walk in, there are some drink dispensers and you can get free samples of their drinks. They kind of taste like kool-aid.
The side dishes, or banchan. My favorites are still the Korean potato salad and the Korean pancake. I totally thought the cubes (on the bottom right) looked like cooked apples but they were cubes of cooked potato.
You get salad, too. Happily it does not have a super duper spicy salad dressing on top like some other places I have visited.
We started off with the beef – thin brisket slices – which our server slid onto this ELECTRIC grill for us. I emphasize “electric” because this grilling surface was CRAP. We actually asked if we could be seated at a gas grill but the guy gave us the lame excuse of “having so many reservations”. Bull-crap! There were open gas grill tables when we left which just made me grumble.
In any case, I quickly noticed that this craptastic grill wasn’t very hot in the middle. The meat didn’t seem to sear at all – it just kind of sweated on itself. I found the hot areas of the grill were on the edges and I started putting all the meat on the edges to get some kind of sear on it.
The beef brisket was incredibly chewy and lacked a lot of flavor. We got more than one plate of brisket as well and my normally favorite item at Korean BBQ was sadly disappointing here at Roadem BBQ. Was it the quality of the beef? The poor cooking surface? A combination of factors?
Looking over the menu, I see that the “C” menu has a different listing for thin sliced brisket, so I’m sure that the cheap-o menu you only get the crappy brisket. Boo.
We also tried the pork belly and marinated pork. These were a bit better than the brisket. Jake loves the sweet marinade on the pork – that’s his favorite item. Me – I’d probably go for the plain pork belly instead.
We also got an order of chicken which was Jake’s choice. I kept getting paranoid that the chicken wasn’t getting properly cooked on this weird-o electric grill. You can see above how I cooked things on the edges only. The chicken had a really weird extra chewy texture to it that made me think it was undercooked so I basically didn’t want to eat it. Jake had to eat 95% of it – I should have told him to just get a small order of it!
All in all, Jake and I both felt that the quality of the meat at Roadem BBQ is pretty low. You really get what you pay for and it suffers in the quality of the meat. And electric grills!? Geez, get rid of those crappy things! No one wants to sit at the electric grill table, okay? Just get hoods for all of the tables and give it up, man.
We both agree that another visit to Roadem BBQ would NOT be in order for us, no matter how cheap it is (or used to be, after the prices got raised).
4344 Convoy St
San Diego, CA 92111