The Boston Phoenix
February 17 - 24, 2000

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Nice buns!

Seoul Bakery

by Sarah Lariviere

on the cheap
  • Guido's, February 10
  • Tacos Lupita, February 3
  • Pini's Pizzeria, January 27
  • Anyone who thinks the only snack food you can get for a buck comes from McDonald's needs to visit the Seoul Bakery in Allston. The house specialty is stuffed buns, a popular breakfast food in Korea. Priced from $1 to $1.50, the buns are made with white or rice flour and contain sweet or savory fillings. Eating one is like biting into a cloud full of goodies.

    The beef bun -- which has been just-out-of-the-oven warm each time I've visited -- is like mom's beef stew in a doughnut (trust me, this tastes way better than it sounds). The filling of the bean-paste bun is very similar to that of a Chinese steamed red-bean bun -- it has a sweetness reminiscent of butternut squash -- but the Korean version comes baked or fried, as well as steamed.

    The goods are always fresh and springy; the Kims, who own the place, keep the oven on all day and do their baking in small batches. Mrs. Kim works the counter, happily answering your questions about just what's in those things, anyway. (The peanut bun? The pizza bun?) You can get them to take out, or you can grab a tea bag, pour a cup, and sit at a cozy round table surrounded by plants, pastel posters of baked goods, and Korean magazines. The bakery is open until 10:30 most nights -- perfect for an evening snack on the way to O'Brien's, the Sports Depot, or the Model Café.

    Seoul Bakery, located at 56-58 Harvard Avenue, in Allston, is open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Call (617) 787-6500.

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