The pictures of the burgers and shakes from Brooklyn Burgers on the Seoul Burgers Lovers Group on Facebook leaves my mouth watering every time, so I finally decided that enough was enough and headed down to COEX with a friend for lunch. One of the biggest challenges is actually finding Brooklyn Burger. There are two locations, one near COEX Mall just outside of Samseong Station (Line 2) and their original location in the French Quarter of Seoul. Since, I’ve never been to the French Quarter and it looked like a pain in the ass, it was off to COEX for some juicy burgers and stomach-bloating milkshakes.
How to get there: This is not the easiest place to find, which is one reason why it took so long for me to actually write this review. The easiest way to get there is to take the subway to Samseong Station (Line 2) and depart from Exit 5. At about 200 meters you will see an intersection. Walk across the street and make a right. Now its about a 500 – 750 meter walk straight with the Seven Luck Casino on your right. You will see a 흑돈가 (heukdonga) BBQ place on your left. Make a left at the BBQ joint and head up a small hill. The BBQ joint is on Samseong ro-108-gil (삼성로108-길). Walk up a small hill for about 50 meters and make a right at the first intersection. There will be a Philia Cafe on the corner. Walk for about another 30 – 50 meters and Brooklyn Burger will be on your left.
Atmosphere and Service: Welp! Looks like it is packed for lunch. There is a signup sheet outside the door to add your name to the queue. It was about a 20 minute wait, which could hinder your lunch plans if you only have an hour. Also, there are no chairs or benches for you to sit while you wait. Standing outside and freezing your ass off is definitely a drawback, especially with the cold weather approaching. That said, the fact that there is a long wait shows great promise. Despite the wait, the service was great. The food was served promptly and the servers were very friendly and spoke good English.
The atmosphere is very modern, with a little throwback to the old school diners that we have in North America. Although they might not have a jukebox or a counter to sit at, the open kitchen with the searing of cold flesh hitting the grill reminds me of my days in my small town, where the food was literally cooked 20 feet from you. The decor is casual, if not a little rustic. There is not a lot of room, so I would avoid brining in a large party unannounced. The shelves on the walls have a variety of condiments including malt vinegar for your fries! Canadians rejoice!
Food and Drink: Today we ordered The Brooklyn Works with a 7oz patty, The Real McCoy with a 7oz patty, Chili Cheese Fries, two Pepsis with lemon, and a Nutella Milkshake with Burnt Marshmallow.
The Real McCoy 7oz Patty (11,500KRW): When I first saw The Real McCoy, I thought it was a little small. Maybe because it was just on a large plate, but it was not as big as I would have imagined. That said, The Real McCoy was still very flavorful and filling. The patty retained a lot of its natural juices, but was still cooked thoroughly. It could have used some more bacon, and in fact, the two small slices were a little disappointing. The onion was huge! I had a to take a little off the burger. Overall though, it was a great burger and I would recommend it.
Brooklyn Works with 7oz patty (11,500KRW): AL had the Brooklyn Works. This is his “go to” when he has a craving for a burger. He comes here often and has never been disappointed. The Brooklyn Works consists of a grilled patty with onions, lettuce, tomato, pickles, special sauce and of course bacon and American cheese. This is a classic and should be on every burger enthusiast’s list. One thing he pointed out was how fresh the toppings were. The lettuce has a nice deep green color and is cool and crisp. Lots of flavor in the topping and the sauce.
Chili Cheese Fries (10,500KRW): So the server says, “The Chili Cheese Fries are really big…” Pft. Challenge accepted. Don’t tell me what I can’t eat. Okay, granted, she had a point. The Chili Cheese Fries were pretty damn big. I didn’t finish them all. Server 1 Derek 0. The fries were crispy and brown. The chili was perfect! Not too spicy, but just enough flavor to really give it an edge. The processed cheese was a little disappointing. I’m more of a fan of shredded cheddar cheese, but to each their own.
Pepsi with Lemons (4500KRW): What a nice touch! A classic from the old fashioned diner days. This beverage will take you back to the good old days. There is something very refreshing about a lemon (or lime) in a soft drink. The citrus from the lemon mixing with the sweetness from the Pepsi makes me think of lazy summer afternoons. A nostalgic moment. Also, they put enough lemons in there for several refills.
Nutella with Burnt Marshmallow Milkshake (6500KRW): My adulthood was temporarily put on hold as my inner 12 year old screamed for me to order this milkshake. Thank you inner child. This milkshake was awesome. There was something cozy about eating a burnt marshmallow. Maybe it was the fact, that the last time I actually had a burnt marshmallow was holding the hand of my high school sweetheart as we roasted marshmallows over the campfire. The milkshake had the perfect thickness. You are not sucking so hard that your eyeballs pop out, but its not water either. Lots of Nutella makes this a sweet and unique treat.
Value: The total came to approximately 52,000KRW. This was a fine lunch indeed and kept me full for the rest of the day. I really enjoyed the menu, despite a couple of flaws here and there. I can see why this place is so popular and why the queue was out the door. Brooklyn: The Burger Joint is well worth the wait and I highly recommend.
Who Should Visit Brooklyn: The Burger Joint: Burger enthusiasts from around Seoul will rejoice with their great burgers and amazing shakes. Lots of food which is well worth the cost. Although it is a little more expensive, there is a lot of value there.
Who Should Avoid Brooklyn: The Burger Joint: Not the easiest place to find. If you are new to Seoul, this could be a tricky one. Also, avoid coming here at peak times such as lunch and dinner, or at least be prepared to wait. If you have somewhere you gotta be, you might want to consider another option.