Foodie Frenzy #11 Woo Nam Jeong Korean Stone Bowl House
—The Fun and Fearless Edition!
Let me preface this article by saying that my food radar was slightly overshadowed by the lively conversation this week. I knew the food would be impressive, but had no idea what to expect from our guests whom I had never met. In one word on both….Score!
If you will recall from a previous article, I mentioned that we had already enjoyed three restaurants included on the recent AJC top 50 list. Woo Nam Jeong Stone Bowl House, our destination today, was also on the list and one I was eagerly anticipating. Picking the right guests was key for this Frenzy. With large tables and semi-private seating areas, I knew Stone Bowl house had the makings of a great outing. We couldn’t have had a better group of fun, fearless folks with a real sense of spontaneity and Joie de Vivre!
When talking with good friend, Leigh Anne Draughon, recently about the comment her boss and new Senior Pastor at Dunwoody United Methodist Church made regarding enjoying The Aha! Connection and its community binding content, a light bulb went off in my head. I instantly knew that he was whom I would stalk for this frenzy! I also realized he would be a long shot given his demanding schedule. Then when she probably intentionally whet my curiosity about how much fun Dan is and commented on his sense of humor, I was even more determined to try and pull this off! Cleverly, Leigh Anne presented the idea to Dan on a day when his wife had come to join him for lunch. Much to my surprise, with no hesitation, Dan and Carol Brown accepted our offer! And by the way, it’s not the same best-selling author Dan Brown, but he does have a funny story about the other Dan if you ever get a chance to ask him.
My husband, Ed, and long-time friend and Dunwoody entrepreneur, Bill Gavlak, rounded out our fun and fearless group. When Audra’s husband, Kirk, who was supposed to join us, woke up sick, I knew Bill would jump at the chance to try something new. I love Bill’s spontaneous spirit!
For me, enjoying a good meal has as much to do with the company you share it with as the food itself!
A little before noon, Audra and I pull into the OTP strip mall where Stone Bowl is located. We immediately see Dan across the parking lot in coat and tie, talking on his cell phone. Although he had no clue what Audra or I look like, he probably realized we were his lunch dates when we started waving like stark struck fans. He quickly finished his call and got out of the car and to greet us with a huge smile. The three of us went on in, as Carol, Ed and Bill all arrived separately. Immediately upon opening the door we were swept into the cozy, clean and wonderfully aromatic hole in the wall with both Asian and American patrons.
We enjoyed apps of Goon Mandu (pan fried Korean dumplings filled with beef, shredded cabbage diced onions and tofu-$6.95), Kimbab (California roll/Korean style-$7.95) and Yache Pajun (Korean pancake topped with mushroom, zucchini, carrot and green onion-$15.95).
Entrée wise, we ordered Bulgogi (marinated beef, made with thinly sliced rib eye steak in a mixture of soy, sesame oil and spices-$19.95), DuhDuck Daegee Bulgogi (grilled pork and bellflower root cooked in spicy house marinade-$19.95) and Kalbi (Korean BBQ, marinated beef short ribs -$29.95).
The house specialties are the Dol Sot Bibimbabs that are served in sizzling hot stone bowls and are topped with a sunny side up fried egg that thankfully Mimi, our waitress, mixed all together for us. The rice lines the bottom and gets crispier the longer it sits. Although I ordered one with squid, they brought us the veggie version of Dolsot “Stone Bowl” Bibimbap ($15.95) instead. I particularly liked the Buhsut Dolsot Bibimbap with mushrooms that I had read so much about. It comes with a side of soy house sauce for spice that I would apply more liberally next time ($15.95).
Everything we ordered, we enjoyed family style and ordered in dinner portions since we were a large group!
They do have a lunch menu with lunchtime pricing but sadly no dessert!
As always with Korean cuisine, the Banchan (side dishes) were delicious. Particularly tasty and unique to me was the apple and crab salad with a hint of vinegar and the fresh and flavorful kimchi! They come with the meal similar to chips and salsa at a Mexican restaurant. Yum, Yum!
This was one of those lunches that I just didn’t want to end! The conversation was incredibly lively and limitless! For those of you who know me, I love to laugh out loud! (and its not a cute, little, petite laugh either) This was such a lunch full of these kinds of sought after laughs, that I actually logged it as a core building workout! Precious Carol indulged us with conversations of when she and Dan met at LaGrange College. She recalls an evening in the library when Mr. Dan Brown entered, and they caught each other’s glance. She remembers thinking, “That is the man I am going to marry!” How romantic! Of course, Dan is 50 shades of red and tries to change the conversation! Love that!
For those of us who have ventured out to Buford Highway, you pretty much know what to expect about the diverse businesses in the area. The Brown’s had not ventured on to BH before. Although we laughed over the top at lunch, my biggest chuckle came when I called Dan’s Assistant, Leigh Anne. after getting home.
Evidently, when Audra and I saw Dan in the parking lot upon arrival, he was on the phone with Leigh Anne asking, “What in the world have you gotten me into?” After passing several questionable establishments en route, he was undoubtedly second guessing his decision! When Audra and I found him in the parking lot, he was on the verge of calling Carol to say, “Turn around now!” Once again, that is why I underscore the Fun and Fearless theme of our lunch!
I am so glad we intervened when we did, because we all had a blast and enjoyed our yummy meal! Dan and Carol are a delightful couple that I already adore and am thrilled to welcome to our Dunwoody community! Not only is he my Church’s Senior Pastor, but now he and Carol are beloved friends! Both Audra and I are honored and humbled to have had this amazing opportunity and experience!
Disclaimer: This is not a paid advertisement. The restaurant owners are unaware of this article at time of publication.
Woo Nam Jeong Korean Stone Bowl House
5953 Buford Hwy NE, Atlanta, GA 30340
Tel: (678) 530-0844
Foodie Frenzy Week 1 (El Rey del Taco)
Foodie Frenzy Week 2 (Han IL Kwan)
Foodie Frenzy Week 3 (Nam Phoung II)
Foodie Frenzy Week 4 (Gu’s Bistro)
Foodie Frenzy Week 5 (Casa Vieja)
Foodie Frenzy Week 6 (Canton House)
Foodie Frenzy Week 7 (Pho Dai Loi #2)
Foodie Frenzy Week 8 (Bo Bo Garden)
Foodie Frenzy Week 9 (Desta Ethiopian Cuisine)
Foodie Frenzy Week 10 (The Sweet Hut Bakery & Cafe)