My Latest Addiction: Bonchon

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Hi, my name is Finediningdiva, I’m addicted to Bonchon!  I had heard of the Korean Fried Chicken place before but was not impressed with the idea initially.  Years later, it popped into my mind when I happened to be in an area near one of its locations.  My friend and I stopped by and ordered it together but had long journey back to our homes before we could enjoy.  The smells in the car were amazing and I almost wanted to reach back and try on the way home. However, I waited until got home and the addiction began! Even the box ask if you are addicted yet! The answer is YES!!!

Bonchon has several locations in the DMV area to include 1015 Half St SE, Washington, DC 20003 and 6507 America Blvd, Hyattsville, MD 20782. These are all a significant distance from my home so it made it hard to maintain the addiction if I had to drive a long distance and then the chicken would be cool when I got home. However, danger arose when I discovered they had a location closer to my home located at 3419 Plum Tree Drive #102, Ellicott City, MD 21042.  And a few more coming soon! Parking at the Ellicott City location is excellent and even easier than the Hyattsville location. Thus began my addiction throughout the summer and into September.  I have made a personal promise to lay off this restaurant for the entire month of October and hopefully find a new crave or change in taste but as I write this blog, I tempted to break my promise get some more Bonchon today!

My first visit was to the Hyattsville location near The Mall at Prince George’s and the PG Plaza Metro station.  The restaurant is located next to a movie theater and has free parking which is a bonus if you want to eat there and stay around for a while.  I ordered the Large Combo ($30.95) which include 15 chicken wings and 8 chicken legs to share with my roommate.  I also ordered the beef Bulgogi ($15.95) main dish.  The chicken is served with a choice of the soy garlic which is a deep flavor of soy sauce with a garlicky kick or spicy made with fiery and spicy red chili peppers.  The peppers are dried and ground up into the sweet and smoky gochugaru (Korean for pepper powder).  Both sauces are amazing so I do the best of both world and get half the order one flavor and the other the second flavor called their Half and Half. The chicken is cooked-to-order so there is quite a bit of a wait for your meal. But the chicken is fried perfectly with rice flour that creates a lighter and airy crust on the chicken that is different than the traditional standard flour.  Apparently the chicken skin is rendered down before frying to aid the airy crust. The chicken is full of flavor and always juicy. After my first bite of both of the flavors, I was hooked.  I don’t even have a preference of the chicken legs or wings, they are both done excellently.  I would say the chicken wings are easier to enjoy because of their small size but, even that is not really an issue. The chicken is phenomenal.

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downloadI was disappointed by the bulgogi.  I would not recommend this dish at all and I could actually make it better at home with my own recipe. The dish includes thinly sliced tender Ribeye beef marinated and aged with a homemade sauce, sautéed with mushroom and onions. It is served with white rice and steamed vegetables on the side. To be clear, Bulgogi is a Korean dish that usually consist of grilled marinated beef. Keyword here is grilled! The meat usually has a bit of a char that adds some additional flavor. The first mistake was that the meat is sautéed. So the dish included a lot of juice and lacked flavor. It was almost soupy.  The veggies were not very well seasoned and overall, it was a poorly composed dish. Stick with the chicken.  A few people have sung praises of a few of the starters so those may be worth a shot.

bonchon-chickenOnce I visited the location in Ellicott City, they served their chicken with pickled radishes to cool down palate after eating the spicy chicken. They are little white squares but are quite flavorful also.  My typical order consist of an order of Medium or 20 Wings ($20.95) that I enjoy over the course of two days. After taxes, the order is generally about $22. I have also ordered a small or 10 piece or of strips and cut them into bites for my salad which was a treat. But the wings are mainly my favorite. Recently, I got addicted to their Seasoned Fries ($5.95) which are French fries tossed with house seasoning and parmesan cheese, topped with parsley flakes for garnish served with spicy mayo. These too were also pretty amazing. With this addition, my meal was totaling roughly $30.  In one weekend, I ended up going to Bonchon twice and I realized that I had a problem so I stopped cold turkey.  Maybe I will make it a once a month treat but for now, I had to let it go.

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Bonchon has multiple locations all throughout the United States to include California (mainly Northern with one coming soon to Costa Mesa), New York, Texas, Georgia, and many more.  It is becoming a popular trend as the lines continue to grow in locations here in Maryland.  Wait times are long and the restaurant is more of a sports bar which is why I generally take my orders to go.  Call ahead! I have been given a 45 minute wait at times which is crazy but they needed every minute of it. But, if you have some good self-control and can handle the delicious chicken, I highly recommend you give this wonderful place a try! The following is my Seven Mac Score for the restaurant:

Bonchon

Criteria Scale Score
Accessibility 1-10 10
Customer Service 1-20 20
Cleanliness 1-10 10
Food Presentation 1-10 10
Price Value 1-10 8
Taste of Food 1-30 25
Overall Experience 1-10 10
TOTAL: 93/100

Please look of my next post as I share more dining experiences in and around Baltimore and DC.  Also, you can find me on Instagram @finediningdiva and twitter @moderndaybeauty. Also, if you would like to follow my blog to receive notification when a new blog is posted, please send your email to finediningdiva@gmail.com.

And remember: It’s a BIG world and we are going to eat our way through it!

 

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