I’ve been anxious to try Julio for quite some time now. Julio is popular among expats and was visited by one of my favorite bloggers Annie last year in Hongdae. Jill and I stumbled upon their Gangnam location looking for Brick Oven New York Pizzaria and since we had some time for ourselves this week, we decided to check it out. In three words it was quick, refreshing and flavorful.
How to get there: Julio is in the same vicinity of Brick Oven New York Pizzaria. If you can get there, you can get to Julio. The easiest way to get there is to take the subway to Gangnam station (Line 2) and depart from Exit 11. Up ahead in the distant you will see a giant CGV movie theatre on your right. You will probably walk about 4 – 5 minutes. Once you get to the theatre make a right and start walking up the hill. It will take you about 2 – 3 minutes to get to Julio. It is on your right, just passed Milkcow ice cream.
Service and Atmosphere: Julio has a very simple layout. There is nothing fancy or gimmicky about their interior. There are no giant sombreros hanging from the walls or salsa music blaring from the radio. Instead, Julio has a simple decor of plain wooden tables and chairs with some contemporary music coming from the speakers. The open kitchen was awesome. I love open kitchens and we were lucky enough to get a table beside the kitchen to hear the sounds and inhale the smells of Mexican magic.
Service was very prompt. Our food was served to us within a few minutes after ordering. Normally, I would be a little hesitant about the speed of the order. However, all of dishes were fresh and tasted great. The only minor infraction I can think of is that after the meal, we decided to relax with a beer and the dirty dishes remained on the table. I didn’t like that, but it wasn’t something to lose my shit over.
Food and Drink: Today we ordered two Chicken Tacos, the Julio Burrito with Pork, Nacho Grande with Chicken and an Ensalada with Avocados. We also ordered two San Miguels, a Coke and a Cider. Good times had by all.
Ensalada (8,000KRW): The Ensalada came out first. The vegetables we piled high in layers and everything was fresh. The dressing was tangy which complimented the heat from the jalapeños in the salad. The shell appeared to be baked fresh. It was a nice refreshing summer dish. On a side note, Jill asked for avocados instead of meat, and they complied without an issue.
Julio Burrito with Pork (8,500KRW): The Julio Burrito came out next. The burrito was nicely seasoned with lots of flavor. They were generous with the pork. The pork had a nice sweetness to it and this added to the flavor of the burrito. It was packed with lots of vegetables, beans, and rice. A very delicious burrito and I would highly recommend it. I would consider this my top choice for the meal.
Nacho Grande with Chicken (10,500KRW): The Nacho Grande with Chicken was the third arrival at our table. The nachos were stacked high with black olives, jalapeños, onions, cheese, chicken, guacamole and topped with sour cream. The nachos were crisp and the cheese melted to them perfectly. Similar to the ensalada, the nachos were not overly spicy, but still had nice zip.
Two Soft Chicken Tacos (8,500KRW): Finally we ordered a couple of Soft Chicken Tacos. Now, this was the most disappointing dish of the meal. The tacos were a little cool for my liking and were packed with loads of veggies. But as Homer would said, “Yo Goober, where’s the meat?” The chicken was very minimal and for 8,500KRW, it was a bit of a ripoff. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of black olives in tacos. I was really surprised to see them stuffed in there, and needless to say, they didn’t add anything to the taco. Keep it simple man.
Value: The total bill came to 52,500KRW. If we didn’t have the drinks, we are looking at around 40,000KRW and for Gangnam that is actually not too bad of a price. The ensalada, the nachos and the burrito were definitely worth the price and I would gladly pay again. However, I would definitely stay away from the tacos. In fact, I would probably just head down to Taco Bell for some soft tacos if I was really hankering one.
Who Should Visit Julio: People looking for a great Mexican dining experience in a simple and relaxing atmosphere. This would be a great place for a quiet date, especially in the afternoon. Jill and I chatted for an hour after our meal in peace and quiet.
Who Should Avoid Julio: Want a good soft taco? Head elsewhere friend.