If the words “Korean barbecue” conjure up images of meaty meals with 10 of your closest friends and plenty of “soju” (Korean vodka), you’re not alone. Course after course of marinated vegetables, grilled beef, and side dishes are gluttonous occasions that, like Thanksgiving, can only be undertaken once a year.
It doesn’t have to be that way. When my husband and I headed to Arvada’s Dae Gee Korean BBQ (dae gee means “pig” in Korean), we had a plan: Pass on the all-you-can-eat options and share an entrée. Instead of a bill topping $80, we’d keep it under $30. We took a seat at one of the cook-your-own grill-top tables and wondered if we’d have to stop for dessert on the way home to fill up.
Then the server arrived with raw spare ribs and the “banchan” spread—nine small dishes of mashed potatoes, broccoli with sesame oil and garlic, bean curd slathered in a chile paste, various types of kimchi, and more. We nibbled on these items while we watched the spare ribs, sliced thin and through the bone, spit on the grill. Occasionally, I’d flip the browning meat. And just when we’d sampled all of the banchan, the spare ribs were ready.
After we ate the last of the beef, scraped the rice from our bowls, and practically licked the banchan bowls, I realized we’d done it. We hadn’t cleaned out our wallets, and we’d still had a feast. Never mind our initial worry that we’d have to stop off for dessert. 7570 Sheridan Blvd., Arvada, 720-540-0700, daegee.com
Galbee (marinated beef short ribs) $20.95, plus $5.95 for additional toppings
Pork Bulgogi (sliced pork with BBQ marinade), $15.95
Seafood Pancake, $8.95
Goon Mandu (fried chicken dumpling), $5.95