Each year I make a list of new things I want to try (it’s part of how I live my life on purpose). Some of these things are exciting/adventurous/expensive, many of them are super normal, I-can’t-believe-I’ve-never-done-this things. You can read about past shenanigans here.
I would encourage you to click play on the above video so you can hear what hot stone bowl bibimbap sounds like!
It is a truth universally acknowledged that new, interesting food is best consumed deep in the suburbs in a location that is as hidden as possible.
Like a cafe.
In a grocery store.
In Columbia Heights.
Really and truly, I think there’s a direct correlation between how delicious something is and how hole-in-the-wall-y the location is (re: my favorite restaurant).
So when I went a’googling for ‘Twin Cities bibimbap’ there was a part of me that thrilled to discover the undisputed best bibimbap living in a grocery store, in a decidedly un-hip suburb.
If you (like me) are new to bibimbap, Wikipedia tells us that it is “a signature Korean dish that literally means “mixed rice.” Bibimbap is served as a bowl of warm white rice topped with sauteed and seasoned vegetables, chili pepper paste, soy sauce, and salty soybean paste. A raw or fried egg and sliced meat (usually beef) are common additions. The hot dish is stirred together thoroughly just before eating.”
Because I have a ‘go big or go home’ mentality when it comes to trying new food, I wanted to try dolsot bibimbap, or hot stone bowl bibimbap. It’s the usual bibimbap ingredients, served (as the name would suggest) in an insanely hot stone bowl. The bowl is so hot, you can literally hear the rice and vegetables crackling as the waitress hands you your tray.
As you wait for things to calm/cool down a bit, the rice at the bottom of your bowl is forming The World’s Most Delicious Chewy, Golden Crust. You can drizzle your bowl with all sorts of amazing sauces and dip into the million tiny bowls of condiments you receive.
It’s delicious. It’s vegetarian and vegan-friendly (they make each bowl individually so it’s easy to ask for yours without meat or eggs) and it’s not even vaguely healthy. Really, it’s the perfect winter comfort food and not just because you could cuddle that hot bowl on a long, cold November evening.
This cafe/grocery store is actually down the street from my beloved vintage movie theater! Wouldn’t bibimbap and a cheap movie make for the perfect winter date night?
What interesting foods are on your must-try list? Let me know of any other interesting, vegetarian-friendly dishes I should try!
P.P.S. Thanks to my friends Emily and Jess for bibimbapping with me!