By Kayla Reeves
Housed in a shabby little building at 1815 N. 18th St., Kitok is one of Waco’s more unconventional restaurant options. The mixture of American and Korean cuisine has earned quite the reputation among Wacoans who can look past the first impression.
After parking in the gravel lot behind the restaurant, my friend and I walked past a wall with “The Kitok” painted on it and past the windows protected by metal bars.
At the front door, we were greeted by a friendly woman who was carrying a platter to the one occupied table on the other side of the restaurant. We could hear people in the kitchen speaking another language, which to me, always makes it seem like more authentic foreign food is cooked there.
The wood-paneled walls were covered in Baylor posters and Asian art, and a paper lantern hung from the ceiling. Several family photos lined the window to the kitchen, where something was sizzling loudly and smelled like spices.
The menu was divided into American and Korean sections. I ordered the highly recommended Lip Locker, which is basically a double cheeseburger with oriental fries, and my friend had the chicken bulgogi.
After waiting only about 10 minutes, the woman who had greeted us earlier brought out our food.
The Lip Locker looked and smelled delicious, and I was in shock at the enormous portion of oriental fries piled on my plate.
Oriental fries are Kitok’s specialty, but I was a little disappointed.
They are pieces of potato, onion, carrot and parsley all dipped in batter and fried, and the waitress told us to dip them in soy or ginger sauce, not ketchup. They were an interesting sight with all the colors from the vegetables, but they were bland and got cold before I finished my burger. The burger, however, was better than I expected.
It was just as fast as a drive-thru, but much higher quality. It tasted like it had been made especially for me, not pre-cooked, and was piled high with fresh, crunchy lettuce, tomato, pickles and onion. It was greasy and definitely not healthy but still appetizing and better than the fries.
My friend’s chicken bulgogi, marinated in a Korean sauce and served with potato soup and fried rice, was not spectacular, but not bad.
She said the soup needed some salt and pepper, and the rest was comparable to an Asian buffet.
There were only two women working, other than the cooks, and they were both pleasant. They asked if we wanted any condiments, brought refills for our drinks, and rang us up at the cash register when we were finished.
Our meals were each under $10.
Overall it was a fast, decent meal and great service for an inexpensive price. Kitok is probably not a place many people would think to go for burgers, but theirs was better than some I’ve had at chain restaurants.
However, if you want outstanding Korean food, I would recommend finding somewhere else.