Food & Drink

Korean barbecue po-boy with kimchi fries? New Long Beach eatery does Asian fusion right

Kimchi fries were a crunchy, spicy delight at Long Beach Market and Deli.
Kimchi fries were a crunchy, spicy delight at Long Beach Market and Deli. Special to the Sun Herald

If ever there was an eclectic menu, the Long Beach Market and Deli has it. Most restaurants have a themed menu of some sort, and while I found this place to be delightful in every way, the menu is a one of a kind!

General Tsao chicken, the ever popular Chinese-American dish, has a prominent place on the menu, so does the five kinds of fried rice, and then there is red beans and rice, a vegetarian selection, Korean BBQ, fried okra, catfish dinners, Kogi po-boys and tacos, banh mi summer roll presented as a wrap, and more. Talk about diversity!

My best guess is that it is a fusion of local Gulf Coast, Creole, Southern, Vietnamese and Korean. Am I close?

We decided to go the po-boy route and chose a Kogi Korian BBQ po-boy ($7,99 and $9.99) and a Banh Mi ($7.,99 and $8.99), the famous Vietnamese sandwich presented as a po-boy.

The Kogi BBQ was made with chicken, sautéed onions, bell peppers, sriracha mayo (nice touch!), and some pretty darn good fried onion rings. It was spicy, but not overly so, and we liked the richness the sautéed vegetables added, which the sriracha mayo cut through. This was a well thought out sandwich, that touched all the bases.

The Banh Mi po-boy was made with American style roast pork, not the red char siu (lots of five spice) that was expected. But it was classically dressed with pickled red onions, carrots, and a hit of the spicy sriracha mayo went a long way to making this a good choice.

We also ordered Kimchi fries ($7.99), not really knowing what to expect, but we both like kimchi and fries, so the combo seemed not only a novelty, but had strong possibilities for something really good. And it was! A big helping of fries covered in spicy kimchi, and lots of American style cheese really had our pallets jumping with contrasting textures (crunchy cabbage and gooey cheese) and flavors from mild to wild. Kimchi fries and a cold beer would make for a nice shared treat.

Next visit, and I assure you there will be one, we’ll try the more traditional po-boys. A great gauge of any po-boy place is the roast beef and this place has them for $7.99 and $9.99, which for a good roast beef isn’t bad. A small cheese burger po-boy is just $4.49, and I am a cheese burger nut.

This popular restaurant also has a great selection of beer, including some draft verities, so you can get your growlers filled here. A great beer selection, diverse menu and seriously good eats makes Long Beach Market and Deli a great choice.

Long Beach Market and Deli

Where: 20110 Pineville Road, Long Beach

Hours: Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Phone: 228-864-1933