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Vit Goal Tofu, and so on…

Posted by CDB 5 Jun 2008 6 Comments

A friend of mine said we absolutely had to go to this place for the awesome Korean food. He was right. Vit Goal Tofu appears to be the real deal. I don’t claim any supreme knowledge of the cuisine–my familiarity is limited to Bul Go Kee and their deep red, spicy, hot pot. The menu didn’t explicitly describe anything as a hot pot, but I suspect the have it. And both cuts of the famous Korean barbecue are readily available. I bet they are awesome if you choose that route. We didn’t. Here’s what we had.

He ordered this boiling Tofu, Beef, and Kim Chee soup, and it was amazing. Not only is it served in this extremely hot little cauldron, it also has a depth and character I couldn’t get enough of–to his protest. The soup consists of a large block of tofu crumbled in the broth. I’m pretty certain the broth is beef, made only beefier by the bits of meat in it. These two components alone would have made a great soup. The broth flavor is deep and rich. It’s the first thing I noticed. The tofu gives it a great creamy body. But the Kim Chee taste comes in all tangy and vinegary. I’ve never had a soup like it. He ordered it medium spicy.

I ordered the Steamed Squid with Spicy Sauce. I didn’t know what to expect, but usually really like the way most Asian cultures prepare squid. So I went for it.

First of all, I had no idea how I was supposed to eat this dish. I settled on making salad rolls with the romaine. I drizzled the sauce on top and added some rice. I really liked it that way and think I may have stumbled into the right way to eat it. Otherwise, the squid was okay. It really was just steamed. It wasn’t chewy or anything, but didn’t have much flavor. The sauce, however, was really good. It made me think of a plum sauce-chili sauce combo. They serve the dish with pork, too, which is probably better.

These are the standard side dishes that come out first. The salad wasn’t so great, but the other kim chee were nice. The bean sprouts with a peanut oil-rice wine vinegar thing going on were my favorite. The cabbage and squash were both good. Rice and barley tea are also served up standard.

This was described as Sweet Red Beans, Shaved ice, Ice cream, Fruit, Rice cake, and so on…

I enjoyed it. It reminded me of a New Orleans sno ball sandwich (the kind with ice cream in the middle, condensed milk on top). Just replace the condensed milk with the sweet red beans and add some fruit cocktail, and so on…

The place was packed by the time we left at 7 o’clock, and there were bubbling bowls and sizzling plates of meat all around us. Our dishes, like most, were reasonably priced in the $8-10 range. Though I’d like to go back with more friends to try the big combination plates.


  • Wes said:

    This is my absolute favorite restaurant at the moment!!!!!


  • Zombicorn said:

    The soup is available vegetarian as well. Amazing with the veggie dumplings and served at the spiciest level, IMHO. This is a good place to rehabilitate folks that have had bad run-ins with kim chee, since they are not fishy like the jarred stuff. Plus you shouldn’t forget a mention of Bi Bim Bop, which is best served in the stone bowl.


  • Jim said:

    I have been there several times. The tofu, BBQ, and seafood pancake are all good. Unfortunately, I think it was changed either ownership or staff half a year ago. Since then, the service there is less pleasant. Especially, the only male staff is rude. After several tries, I personally won’t go there again and I prefer the other Korean restaurant (Chosun Ok) just down the street. Please check out the posts at http://www.chowhound.com/topics/323003.


  • Tooth said:

    I went to Vit Goal last night for the first time in several months. As I was eating my food I wondered, “Why do I not eat here every at least once a week”? This is good food at a good price. The kim chee alone will make you wanna jump up and slap your grandma.


  • Chosun Ok « Carpe Durham said:

    [...] was quite good, the overall value was not that of the nearby Vit Goal Tofu.  I can’t say how the lunch menus compare, but the dishes at Chosun Ok were a dollar or two [...]

  • Grumpy Dad said:

    We have eaten here a number of times and the food has always been superb. I do agree that the service can be rude. After our last visit, I do not think that I will be spending anymore money with them.


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