This was my first visit to Big Bowl Korean BBQ but it won't be my last! The location is easy to find in a strip mall right on the corner of Weber and Saratoga behind the bank. The strip mall itself looks old and a bit run down, so I was a little apprehensive to park and enter, but this has gotten such great reviews that I really wanted to try it for myself. I visited on a Tuesday at about 1230 so it was prime lunchtime when most establishments are packed with patrons. The restaurant is small inside but there were about 10 tables and it wasn't fancy but it was clean and tidy inside. The furniture looked worn and well loved, but it was neat and clean. There were no customers when I entered and that made me almost go back to the car without ordering, but the staff was friendly and ready to take my order so I thought what the heck, it's just one meal, if I don't like it, I'll not come back. They had a written menu on the countertop and 2 tv screen/electronic boards with pictures of the dishes on the wall behind the counter. They offered such dishes as kalbi, bulgogi, and katsu. I love chicken katsu so I jumped right on that order and it came with steamed white rice as well as my choice of 2 sides. Island style, I chose the finely shredded cabbage salad with the spicy mayo dressing, the mac salad, and then it came with rice and a very generous portion of chicken katsu. This was prepared fresh to order and I had to wait a few minutes for it, but it didn't take long. I ordered this to go, and when it came out the cashier opened the box to show me how it looked and gave me the sauces and instructed me which sauce was for which dish. I took this home to dine. The chicken katsu was crisp on the outside and the inside was tender juicy white meat. The rice was standard steamed white rice. The cabbage was shredded super finely and came with a little cup of spicy mayo. The cabbage was good and I liked it, but I always soak mine in ice water to crisp it up, and I don't think they did. It was fine, just not quite as crisp as mine at home when I soak it first. They spicy mayo wasn't really spicy at all and seemed mild to me. I do love spice though, so for someone else it might have a kick whereas for me it was mild and I wouldn't consider it spicy at all. The mac salad was standard mac with mayo and it seemed to be just mayo and mac which is fine with me. This reminded me so much of a Hawaiian plate lunch with the mac salad and rice and katsu. The katsu sauce has a Worcestershire flavor but it wasn't dominant and went well with the chicken and rice. I think it was a homemade sauce as the sauce I buy at the Asian market is thicker and has more of a saucy gravy consistency and this was a liquidy sauce. It was good but the next time I will ask for a second cup of it as one wasn't enough for me. The portion size of the rice and chicken was generous and I only ate less than half. The mac salad and the cabbage salad were much smaller portions and I could have used twice as much cabbage salad. I love the shredded cabbage with the katsu and it adds that special crunch factor and the mix of textures with the tender chicken, the crisp cabbage, the crunch katsu breading, the tender white steamed rice, and the katsu sauce dripping off, Mmmmmm soo good! I had no complaints at all, and this was every bit as good if not better than what I make at home and I am a really good cook, and it isn't often that I can find as good in a take out kitchen as what I can produce with my own two hands. This was as good as home cooked. Kudos for that! I will be going back that's is for sure. This is a hidden treasure in Corpus Christi. It isn't gourmet, but it's really good and it's unique for this area where Tex Mex reigns.
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