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Everything You Need to Know About Ulsan

Burritos in Ulsan! Sort of!

UPDATED: May 9, 2012, to include a 2nd review:

It’s getting easier every year to find good Western food in Ulsan. We can now pig out on Indian food in five different places, and find Turkish, Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese and Thai restaurants scattered about the city. The Italian restaurants actually serve decent pasta and pizza in most cases, though their ideas of sweetened garlic bread and “risotto” still need to be challenged. Heck, you can even get a kabob at the Lotte Department Store food court. But one thing that has always been lacking from this little city of ours was a good Mexican restaurant.

Well, we still don’t have one.

But don’t despair! Thanks to two enterprising lads based in Ilsan, a suburb of Seoul, you can enjoy tasty, home-made burritos, with sides of salsa, chili or bean-and-cheese dip in the comfort of your own apartment.

As the Gringos website tells us, the idea was born from a lack of decent Mexican food on this peninsula, and two guys who wanted to remedy this situation. Instead of opening up a restaurant that would be known only to the foreign community of Ilsan and a handful of experimental Koreans, the “gringos”, Mike and Mark, set up an ingenious system. They make their delicious burritos and send them to you.

You don't even have to go outside, into the cold, raw winter!

This system was put to the test last weekend at the Ulsan Wine Club’s first gathering of the new year. Chicken burritos were ordered en masse (along a few meatless burritos for the vegetarian in the crowd), and side dishes.

Everything tasted amazing. The chicken was a bit spicy, but balanced out by the milder Spanish rice. Add a dollop of sour cream (which can now, apparently, be found in both Emart and the Hyundai Department grocery store) and some of the home-made salsa, and I was in burrito heaven. The sides were so good, that long after we were full to bursting, everyone still sat ‘round scooping the bean-and-cheese dip up with nacho chips.

Home-made salsa

The Gringos menu isn’t extensive, but it doesn’t need to be. Along with the chicken and veggie (tofu) burritos, they also offer two types of breakfast burrito – bacon and chorizo (yes, you read that right! Chorizo!) – along with the three aforementioned side dishes. You have to order it in packs of 6 or 12, but don’t fret if you don’t have friends to share with. They allow you to mix burrito variety and sides in the pack (so, for instance, you could order 2 chicken, 2 bacon, a chili and a salsa).

A 6 pack, plus delivery to your door comes to a grand total of about 40,000 won, which is pretty awesome when you consider that in Outback Steakhouse you pay at least 15,000 won for a measly quesadilla, and you have to go all the way there yourself, like a sucker!

Order through their Facebook page, or call 010-2088-6336

(Photos courtesy of the Gringos website)

By Steve Roberts:

It took me a little while to decide to go ahead and order some stuff from these guys, but I am so glad I did! They shipped my order out from their location yesterday afternoon, I received the insulated box this afternoon. I couldn’t wait (I was at work), so I popped the box open and oogled my treasure. 4 Chorizo, 4 Chicken, 2 Salsa’s and 2 Chili’s. My mouth was watering like a runaway fire hose for the rest of the day.

As soon as I got home I put a chorizo and a chicken burrito in the microwave. 7 minutes later I was immersed in smells that remind me of living in Phoenix AZ. I put one of the chillis in to heat up next. Then it was time to see if my nose was lying to me.

Nope, not at all. The Chicken Burrito was scrumptiously perfect….the right amount of everything including the spice level. The Chirizo, Oh My Goodness, the Chorizo, spicy enough to give me a runny nose. (I know it’s supposed to be a breakfast burrito, but it’s morning some where in the world). I love the chorizo. If my big toes were capable of giving a “thumbs-up” sign, the chorizo would rate 4 thumbs-up!

The chili exactly the way I like it, there was the right amount of beans, cheese, onions, spices. I tasted some mystery ingredient that I still cannot identify. What ever it was, it added to quality of the dish.

The salsa was FRESH!! Chunky tomatoes still had texture to them. I am going to classify this salsa a my vegetable serving for the day. It is AWESOME. Too bad I can’t find any Frito’s Scoops. Scoops and a cold beer would make this the prefect dish for watching a ball game on TV.

I can honestly say that I had no idea what I would be receiving, (I’m a picky Mexican food-eater), but Gringo’s Burritos has hit one out of the park. I am a satisfied and soon to be a return customer.

I highly recommend that everyone who’s craving some GOOD food give Gringos a try.