The quest to find a good pizza in Seoul is a bit of a challenge, one that is has been painstakingly pursued over the course of many years since Western culture and food descended upon the Land of the Morning Calm. However, steps have been made to eradicate pizzas with corn sprinkled on them like candy, or aligned with layers of potato wedges. Brew 3.14 has taken the next step in the culinary evolution of the pizza in the far east.
How to get there: The most challenge aspect is finding Brew 314. It isn’t near any major subway, the closest one being Anduk. However, it is easy to find if you are willing to do a little walking (about 5 minutes). First, go to Anguk Station (Line 3) and depart from Exit 4. Walk straight until you see Samil Daero 30-gil and make a left, look for the Pizza Haven on the left. Walk down the street and you should see the Ibis Hotel on your left and the Crown Hotel on your right. Walk past those until you see Proto on the corner, make a left and Brew 3.14 is on the left.
Atmosphere and Service: Cozy is the optimum word I would use to describe Brew 3.14. When we entered, we noticed there wasn’t too much seating available, and that the “action” zone was at the bar. Having a pregnant wife at nine months at the time, I was concerned for her comfort, but she was starving and was fine sitting at the bar. In hindsight, we were glad we did. The kitchen is adjacent to the bar, which means you can watch your order as it begins to take shape. Although the restaurant is small, it is not stuffy, there is still plenty of personal space for you and your companion to have your own conversations. However, if you are by yourself, the patrons at Brew 3.14 were very engaging and friendly.
Brew 3.14 feels as though you are walking into the family home as opposed to a small restaurant. The service is exceptional. They are friendly, make small talk with you, but they don’t intrude on your conversation. The owner Patrick and I, had a delightful conversation about our homelands (Canada), but didn’t intrude on my conversations with the wife. Intrusive service is a hidden shadow in the customer service industry, and a lot of customer service reps feel the need to chat the ear off of their customer in order to provide good customer service. This approach is terrible on so many levels. Good customer service is about reading peoples’ expressions and reacting to them. Brew 3.14 does an excellent job of balancing great customer service without impeding on a customer’s privacy.
Food: Supreme pizza, calzone and french onion soup were on the menu tonight. It was a cold one, so this was a perfect stick to your ribs type of meal that we were craving.
French Onion Soup (7000KRW): Is there anything better than a nice bowl of French Onion soup to fill up your belly on a cold winter night? Short answer: No. We both ordered the French Onion soup and were not disappointed. The cheese was plentifully and the soup was stuffed with French bread. My only concern was the broth. We noticed that the broth appeared to be a chicken stock broth, which is different from a normal French Onion soup, which normally uses a beef broth as its base. That said, I found that it didn’t take away from the flavor of the soup too much. It was a still a delightful and comforting dish on a cold night.
Cheese and Meat (Chicken) Calzone (7000KRW): First thing’s first, the chef at Brew 3.14 was awesome. Unfortunately, I forget his name, but if you are reading this, my wife and I really enjoyed your attention to personal detail with our meals. Keep up the great work! He said that we could customize our order with any meat that we wanted. It was a pretty quiet night, so time allotted him to do so. Jill decided to get chicken as her meat of choice and it was an excellent choice. The outside was baked to a perfect golden brown. The innards of the calzone included a marinaded chicken, which had a nice juicy flavor and was not dry. Also, there was a nice balance of cheese and tomato sauce. A lot of calzones go bananas with the cheese to compensate for the lack of toppings they put inside, but Brew 3.14 really balanced out all the ingredients nicely.
Pizza Supreme (15000KRW): The search for a great pizza in Seoul has come to an end, or maybe this is a beginning to a new era of pizza in the city. Honestly, this was one of the best, if not the best pizza I have had in Seoul. A light thin crust, plenty of toppings and customized the way I like it. There was a lot of flavor. The sauce wasn’t sweet, which so common here, but had a nice blend of flavors including basil and a little garlic. For the grand finale, not a single kernel of corn was found on the pizza. The crust was baked nicely. Not a single burn and had a really had a light flavor to it. The chicken and ground beef on the pizza was plentiful. I high recommend ordering the supreme pizza if you decided to satisfy your pizza craving.
Drinks: An excellent selection of craft beers highlight the drink menu. Beers from Craftworks including their Jirisan IPA (8000KRW) and their Namsan Pilsner (6000KRW). However, on a cold night, I decided to drink something thicker to warm my soul. I decided on the Brau Stout (7000KRW), which needless to say, was creamy, a little smokey and went down smooth.They also have bombs, lots of bombs for 6000KRW, including the OJ Simpson Bomb! Sadly an Al Cowlings or Kato Kaelin bomb was not included. There is also bottle service including wine and liquors. A small, but nice selection for a local pub.
Value: The whole meal came to approximately 77000KRW, which included the food, and a lot of beer for me. I do love going around and drinking beer. My wife (extremely patient) doesn’t necessarily support, but understands this “hobby” of trying different elixirs from around the world. Overall, I found Brew 3.14 a great value. We shared the pizza, which was huge and for 15000KRW, beats any pizza that I have experienced so far in Seoul. The calzone was a little small, but was delicious. In fact, Jill mentioned that she was full, but not bloated which is common when Italian food aims for quantity over quality. The French onion soup was very comforting, and although the broth was a little perplexing (chicken instead of beef), it did not take away from the flavor of the soup. Great local microbrews will satisfy any beer snob, and is priced accordingly.
Who should visit Brew 3.14: If you are looking for a nice, comfortable pub with a friendly atmosphere, great food and a nice selection of local brews, this is a good place to start. Also, if you are missing quality, thin crust pizza, I would pop by to try the supreme pizza.
Who should avoid Brew 3.14: Brew 3.14 is small and cozy. It might be tough to get a big crowd in here. Also, not really a place families could go to, as it might be a little to small for young ones to move around.