Gray Matter


Lunch at a GEN Korean BBQ House

RT Cunningham | April 22, 2021 (UTC) | Food and Drink

GEN Korean BBQ HouseI’m not a big fan of “eating out”, and it’s something I try not doing. Eating at restaurants and fast-food joints can cost much more than expected. Other than fast-food joints, I can tell you how many sit-down restaurants I’ve eaten at this year. It’s a grand total of two, and both of them served Korean food. This one is called the GEN Korean BBQ House.

GEN Korean BBQ House

My younger son (Jon), his wife (Cathy), their son (Ezra, a baby), my wife (Josie) and I live together in a small apartment at the Helemano Military Reservation near the north shore of Oahu in Hawaii. The zip code belongs to Wahiawa and the reservation is just north of the Dole pineapple plantation headquarters. In fact, it’s right next door. Josie and I have been here much longer than we anticipated due to Ezra’s birth as well as the pandemic.

All of us except Jon are leaving next week, heading to my older son’s house in Maryland. Jon’s still awaiting orders for his next duty station, wherever that may be. As a going away event, he took us to lunch at the GEN Korean BBQ House at the Pearlridge Center in Aiea. There is another one in Honolulu and a few in California. More will soon be opening in Arizona, California and Nevada.

A Gas Grill in the Table

table BBQI guess grilling your own food in the middle of a table can be considered barbecuing. Never mind the semantics. At the GEN Korean BBQ House, we had to cook our own meat. Other than the grill, I didn’t know how all this worked, and no one explained anything to me.

The meal price is $19.95 per person and includes up to seven servings per person. No one I know can eat that much meat. The catch is to order only what you can eat. They charge extra for uneaten servings. I think I had four servings of Hawaiian Steak and a serving of spicy pork something. All that, a bowl of rice and a couple of glasses of water filled me completely. I honestly couldn’t eat more.

Josie didn’t eat as much as I did because she couldn’t. Her stomach just isn’t big enough. Josie and Cathy ate shrimp, squid (calamari), pork belly and other things I didn’t pay attention to. Jon ate the most food. He was a little angry when he found out he could’ve eaten less rice (he ate two bowls) and more meat.

The total cost of the meal was $83.56, including tax. I don’t know how much Jon tipped them because I wasn’t paying attention. I spent at least 15 minutes letting the food settle before heading to the men’s room to relieve myself of as much water as possible.

It’s Not as Expensive As It Seems

I took Jon and Cathy to a place called “Haleiwa Joe’s” in Haleiwa (naturally) for their fifth wedding anniversary and the check came out to well over $100, and we weren’t even satisfied with our meals. It was an obvious tourist trap, but that’s what they wanted.

Fast food isn’t inexpensive food. It’s easy to spend $10 or more at one of them and still not be satisfied. Well, at least here in Hawaii. So, $19.95 for a meal that is more than satisfying? It’s well worth it. Again, I’m not a big fan of “eating out” but when I do, I want it to be well worth it and not feel like I’ve been cheated.

Photo Attribution (both): GEN Korean BBQ House

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