Food trucks have been in an uphill battle with the restaurant community and city of Tacoma for years. It’s a beautiful thing to know that Tacoma’s Health Department is so in-the-know and actively checking their list so thoroughly to ensure all things are up to code. But I have seen it be incredibly frustrating to get great businesses started because it’s the red taped path that leads to a ribbon cutting ceremony. When Burger Seoul was getting started eyes seemed to be on them with a laser focus. Due to the city’s regulations they couldn’t cruise from place to place setting up shop where requested or commissioned by other businesses or organizations. A business model you usually see in other cities that helps build awareness and word of mouth marketing was not allowed here. Since then it seems the city has lightened up a bit but they’re still ready to crack down on inspections at a moment's notice. I’ve seen it happen even at the Tacoma Art Museum.
Burger Seoul is still a food truck today but it’s not mobile. It’s located firmly on 19th & Prospect in the corner of the 19th St Grocery and Deli parking lot. Owner Young was featured on the latest Best of South South Mag issue. His beloved burgers helped Burger Seoul win best food truck. Based off the consistency, quality and uniqueness of their menu it should have been in the feature for most consecutive wins, the food and experience have been high level since its order window opened in 2015. By 2016 it was one of few places on my monthly visits list. The highlights of the menu are the Seoul Burger and the Bulgogiger. Both of which you need to take deep breaths and water breaks to finish in one sitting. It’s a burger fiend’s dream and a pleasant surprise to a KBBQ enthusiast. A specialty not to be overlooked is their FIRE sauce - it’s only added to certain items but the Seoul FIRE fries is where it really shines. It’s like far less messy kimchi fries. Pay for double meat. The menu isn’t long because it doesn’t need to be, Young introduced something into the marketplace that wasn’t there and fulfilled a burger dream while we were sleep.
But like ALL great establishments it isn’t just about the consumption it’s about the experience as well. That’s where adding the right people to your business becomes important and Young has known that from the beginning. He’s an ambitious creative as much as he is an entrepreneur and brings his high energy to the business. You can find him dressing up for most of the holidays, singing karaoke from the food truck, inviting patrons to sing along, full dance breaks from time to time and on a rare occasion he’ll produce apparel for himself and the Seoul squad. Through careful hiring Young has found people who share his passion or have learned to participate from watching his performance. Burger Seoul vet, Jordan is a friendly familiar face to anyone who enjoys the food frequently. He’s there all the time and with a smile and energy that lets you know he enjoys being a part of the Burger Seoul family and potential empire.
Remember your order Seoul Burger + FIRE fries.
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