Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Dancen is a traditional Korean bar hidden away in Lincoln Square.  Dancen is the ONLY place in Chicago that serves up grilled pork skins and they are pretty damn good.  In addition to their unbelievable grilled pork skins, they also provide authentic Korean bar food that come bringing the heat! This bar emulates South Korea's po-jang-mah-chas, which are outdoor street food vendors that are housed by a plastic tent.  The exterior of this bar looks extremely shady.  I'm talking blacked out windows shady.  But do not fear, take a deep breath, walk through the door, and you'll find yourself in Little Korea with K-pop music playing in the background.  Reservations are not accepted and this place gets a bit crowded on the weekends.  Try checking this place out during a weeknight to get a taste of their legendary grilled pork skins that will keep you coming back for more.
5114 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60686
(773) 878-2400
4 stars on Yelp
Ahn-joo in Korean refers to the Korean bar food that is served in Korea's po-jang-ma-chas.  People in Korea chase their shot of soju with the food they order.   Don't like soju?  Don't worry, this place offers a full bar.
Bul Dak.  Literally means "fire chicken" in Korean. 
The Bul Dak is grilled to order right next to the bar.  The marinated chicken is cut off the bone, grilled, and served.  They even include the bones on your plate so you can eat the meat off the drumstick. 
This chicken is SPICY!  Exceptionally tender and juicy.
Tame the heat with some refreshingly sweet pickled daikon.
Marinated grilled pork skins.  Also called Kkup-Dae-Gee.  THIS IS WHAT YOU COME TO DANCEN FOR.
Offers a nice crunch while still being juicy.  Freaking delish!  Fresh onions and garlic accompany this hot plate while the grilled pork skins are sizzling at your table. 
Dip it in the mi-soo-kka-roo, sweet ground soy bean powder.
You can also order the grilled pork skins naked. 
Seasoned sesame oil accompany the plain grilled pork skins. 
I still can't decide which version I like better.  So I always order two: one marinated and one plain.  Problem solved.
Ahl Tang.  Fish roe stew.  This stew comes out bubbling at your table.  Piping hot, freshly made, and oh so tasty!
The steam kept fogging up my lense.  Goes fabulously well with ice cold soju.
Oh-Deng Tang.  Fish cake soup.  These portion are huge and great for sharing!   Anchovy and seaweed based broth with fish cakes, hard boiled eggs, and scallions.
Don't forget to order another plate of grilled pork skins.  You'll regret it if you don't.
Happy eating. 


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