Most restaurants I have written about are located in cities, which is simply the nature of diversity. This post, however, is about an Asian restaurant I dined at weekly while I worked in Grafenwoehr. Before I tell you about BAB, let me preface my review with a description of the town.
Grafenwoehr is home to the largest army training area in Europe, which is run by the United States Army. Other than the explosions and helicopters that frequent the training area, the town is pretty quiet. All the standard grocery stores are there - Edeka, Norma, Lidl, Aldi - as well as a few Bäckereien and Metzgereien. The town's population is mostly German, with a decent handful of Americans residing throughout it.
The restaurant scene consists of German, Italian, Greek, a few American-style restaurants, and a couple Chinese restaurants (I would sarcastically put that last one in quotations). If you look up "The 10 Best Grafenwohr [sic] Restaurants" on TripAdvisor, you will find that most of the reviews are written in English by Americans. Not that there's anything wrong with that - there are a lot of Americans dining in the Grafenwoehr area.
But you will not find BAB Korean Restaurant listed. In fact, as of March 2018, you won't find it anywhere on TripAdvisor. Not that it makes much of a difference - people learn about it by word of mouth, and that's enough to keep business booming.
I wish I could write about all Asian restaurants like how I wrote about BAB Korean Restaurant, but what I believe makes this one particularly exceptional is how often I can return to it, which is not necessarily an experience I've been able to have up to this point.
I've eaten the stone bowl bibimbap, which is delicious. I've also eaten the spicy pork bulgogi, which is even more delicious. When I'm especially hungry, I will order a side of daikon kimchi or a small order of kimbap, both of which I greatly enjoy.
But my absolute favorite dish is the pork ramyun. Honestly and truly, it's one of the few Asian noodle soups I crave that isn't my own. The one other place I've eaten ramyun did not make it like this. The broth is flavorful - I can't even think of an adverb that properly describes just how flavorful. It's not creamy, but it blankets the taste buds with such an enjoyable combination of not-too-salty flavors that I just want to keep slurping. If you shy away from spicy-looking dishes, this is not to be feared.
And the pork. The pork! Every time I go, it is seasoned to be explosively delicious, and cooked to be a perfectly tender bite. An ideal spoonful has broth, a small chopstick pinch of noodles, a slice of pork, and a sliver of vegetable. Even the sliced leek adds a delightful oomph to the soup, not just with its refreshing flavor, but also its gentle squeak between the teeth.
Every bite I take of the pork ramyun reminds me of what Asian cooking should be: warm, desirable, tantalizing...all of those fun adjectives that can be used for other joyous human experiences. I have eaten here with co-workers, with friends, with the Ramen Marauder, and by myself. I have eaten here when I'm happy, when I'm sad, when I'm angry, when I'm bored, and just generally whenever.
Whether you live in a small village or a big city, BAB Korean Restaurant is the restaurant every Asian craver needs.
BAB Korean Restaurant (also known as Korean Wellness Food Family Restaurant), Alte Amberger Str. 35, 92655 Grafenwöhr, +49 9641 9298778