In February, Bann Next Door, at 50th street between 8th and 9th avenues (in Worldwide Plaza), informed us that they were cutting their delicious Korean tacos and other fusion items, like sliders, from the menu. Well, apparently they got a lot of backlash for this move and are now bringing it all back! They’re more or less offering the same options as before (beef rib eye, chicken, spicy pork), but with a catch… tacos, sliders, and BBQ bento boxes are now $12 instead of the $8 or $9 they cost before.
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If you’re looking to get your Korean taco fix at Bann Next Door this week and onwards, you’ll want to look elsewhere. The Midtown West Korean restaurant will no longer be carrying those Korean tacos that we loved. The restaurant wrote to us and explained that they’re trying to create more cohesion between Bann Next Door and the parent restaurant, and getting rid of fusion items such as sliders, tortillas, and salsa. However, they’ll be adding katsu (chicken, shrimp, pork) to bolster the menu. We’ll miss those tacos, but luckily you can still other takes on Korean tacos today at Korilla or The Seoul Food Truck, both of which park in Midtown regularly. However, be sure to check the twitter tracker before heading out.
While the rest of us were relaxing (or partying) over the New Years holiday, the folks at Bann Next Door were keeping themselves busy. Their projects included a make-over of their dining room, which was previously designed as primarily a take-out and delivery operation. Over the past month, they’ve expanded the seating area and turned the space into a legit sit-down restaurant (don’t worry, take-out and delivery is still available). Additionally, they’ve added three new items onto their menu, a seafood noodle soup, stir fried egg noodles, and Korean inspired sliders. Since I’ve been an effusive admirer of their tacos, checking out their new menu items was a no-brainer.
Although it looks like Bann Next Door won’t win the category for Best Korean Fast Food, they’ll finish a strong 2nd place, and for good reason – their riff on the Korean taco is still fantastic. Since my original visit over the summer, Bann Next Door’s tacos have made it onto my weekly lunch rotation for a lot of good reasons. The portions are still generous for the $9 price tag, the proteins are capably cooked (the beef bulgogi pictured above is possibly the best rendition of the dish I’ve had north of 35th St.), and they pack a whole hell of a lot of bold flavors onto one disposable plastic tray. Korilla BBQ might be generating all of the Korean taco chatter right now, but as Zagat Buzz succinctly puts it, “this spot is the Korean-taco silent threat”.
The other week, we were tipped off by Lunch’er jchoi2106, that Bann Next Door would start selling Korean style tacos in August. Speaking as a Korean and a Korean food enthusiast, this simply required immediate investigation. I’d always viewed Bann and its sister restaurant in SoHo, Woo Lae Oak, with mild suspicion. Their relatively high prices and hoity-toity frilly plating was the exact opposite of the humble, filling, and inexpensive Korean food that I grew up with. But after reading Amy’s glowing review of Bann Next Door’s lunch specials, as well as admittedly buying into the Korean taco hype, I hurried over past 8th avenue for a first hand look.
In addition to Bann Next Door’s solid line-up of under $10 lunch specials, it appears that they’re set to start selling Korean style tacos this week (on 50th btw. 8+9th). The tacos are priced at $9, and diners will get a choice of proteins including garlic chicken, beef bulgogi, or spicy pork daeji bulgogi, which come with corn tortillas, “asian” salsa, spicy guacamole, and chips. Looks like Blockheads will have extra competition for taco seeking Midtown lunchers. Early adopters, let us know how they are in the comments.
Last week, we were tipped off by Lunch’er Jennie that Bann, the pricey Korean restaurant on 50th St. btw. 8th+9th (in Worldwide Plaza) opened a casual takeout counter called “Bann Next Door” at the same address. (Bann just blocked off a corner of their existing space and packed in four tables.) One look at the menu and we knew we had to go back. $6.95 soy BBQ pork spare ribs or honey chili glazed Korean fried chicken? With empty stomachs and high expectations, we ordered one of every main item on the menu.
See the Korean feast – takeout style – after the jump.
Thanks to Lunch’er Jennie for this great tip… Bann, the pricey Korean restaurant on 50th St. btw. 8th+9th (in Worldwide Plaza), has blocked off a corner of their existing space, packed in four tables, and called it “Bann Next Door” (even though it’s technically not next door, but inside the restaurant.) Confusion over location aside, Bann has always been out of the Midtown Lunch price range (save for Korean Restaurant Week 2008), but Bann Next Door’s under $10 menu, complete w/ pork spare ribs and Korean fried chicken, sounds right up our alley. (Yes, I said Korean fried chicken.)
Check out the menu after the jump… Read more »