The Vegetarian Option: Hot Stone Bowl Veggie Bibimbop at Del Seoul

From Chicago


[Photograph: Amber Gibson]

Del Seoul isn’t exactly a vegetarian hot spot. The menu is heavy on meats, from kalbi, bulgogi, and chicken wings to fried fish, battered shrimp tacos, and bánh mì. Even the fries are famously topped with pork belly. Vegetarians often lament a lack of choice at some restaurants and here there’s only one vegetarian option. But when that one option is the hot stone bowl veggie bibimbop ($9.95), it’s the only one you need.

You could forgo the hot stone bowl and save a dollar, but that would be a mistake. The crispy golden brown layer of rice lining the bowl is the best part of this dish, especially with a healthy splash of spicy Gochujang sauce.

Various vegetables mixed in the rice bowl include carrots, shiitake mushrooms, bean sprouts, zucchini and daikon. It’s all topped with an egg that cooks in the bowl. As the bowl reaches the table, the sizzling rice, rising steam, and delicious smell of sautéed veggies are a treat for all five senses. I can’t think of a better comfort food on a bitterly cold winter day.

Del Seoul

2568 North Clark Street, Chicago IL 60614 (map)