100 Favorite Dishes 2013: No. 54, Kimchi Koagie at Koagie Hots

Photo by Kaitlin Steinberg
It's the kimchi that really makes the sandwich.
In the midst of my love affair with the kimchi fries, I discovered the kimchi koagie and fell in love anew. It's fairly similar to the fries, only with marinated rib eye instead of potatoes, and either provolone or Cheez Whiz instead of crumbled feta. It's the combination of rib eye, kimchi and Sriracha mayo that put it over the fries (in my book).

The rib eye starts out in steaks that Pak marinates in a secret family Korean sauce, though some of his employees doubt the legitimacy of the "secret family recipe" claim. No matter, because it's delicious. It's slightly spicy and acidic, and it keeps the meat juicy while it's grilled on a flat griddle and chopped up to create an even layer of meat inside the crunchy French bread roll.

The bread is delivered daily by Slow Dough to wherever the truck might be. A generous smear of Sriracha mayo goes on the bun under the meat, a rich, bright orange sauce peeking out from under chunks of lightly shredded rib eye.

Finally, it's topped with some melty, gooey provolone cheese (or Cheez Whiz if you're feeling fancy), that delightful homemade kimchi, and some chopped green onions. For an extra kick, squeeze a bit of Sriracha on top and revel in the knowledge that, for now, Sriracha is still available.

Now you really can't go wrong with the fries or the hoagie, or even the hot dogs, at Koagie Hots, but if you're going to get anything there, be sure it's something topped with kimchi. I'm convinced that's the secret to Koagie Hots's success: homemade kimchi, from Korea, with love.

The list so far:
No. 100: Bangkok Fries at Boheme
No. 99: Almond Croissant at Phoenicia
No. 98: Bulgogi Tacos with Kimchi at Chi'Lantro
No. 97: Soft Pretzel from Mongoose Versus Cobra
No. 96: Chicken and Waffles at Adair Kitchen
No. 95: Sweet Potato Gnocchi at Brooklyn Athletic Club
No. 94: Foie Gras Mac & Cheese at BRC Gastropub
No. 93: Vuelve a la Vida Soup at Connie's Seafood
No. 92: Homeroom at Bernie's Burger Bus
No. 91: Lobster Cake Benedict at Sorrel Urban Bistro
No. 90: Uncle Daryl's Cake at The Chocolate Bar
No. 89: Porchetta e Fagioli at Giacomo's Cibo e Vino
No. 88: Sesame Soft Balls at Golden Dim Sum
No. 87: Crab Daddy Bao at Fat Bao
No. 86: Ham, Egg & Cheese Crepe at Melange Creperie
No. 85: Pork Tamales at Irma's
No. 84: Greek Burger at Hubcap Grill
No. 83: Lobster Roll at Maine-ly Sandwiches
No. 82: Grilled Ahi Tuna at St. John's Fire
No. 81: Catfish and Grits at The Breakfast Klub
No. 80: The Marie Laveau Sandwich at Sandy Witch
No. 79: Carnissima Pizza at Coppa Osteria
No. 78: Mortadella Sandwich at 13 Celsius
No. 77: Lamb Lollipops at Américas
No. 76: The Heights Burger at Gratifi
No. 75: 'Date With a Pig' at Sparrow Bar + Cookshop
No. 74: Taco al Pastor at Taco Keto
No. 73: Chili Cheese Mac from Jus' Mac
No. 72: Chicken Pot Pie at Kenny & Ziggy's
No. 71: Lazy Lane Frites at Brasserie 19
No 70: Banana Split at Cloud 10 Creamery
No. 69: Dozen Raw Oysters at Pappas Seafood
No. 68: Green "Hurry Curry" at Nit Noi
No. 67: Bad Ass Hambur-Torta at Pistolero's
No. 66: Enchiladas de Mole at La Guadalupana
No. 65: Shorty Mac at H-Town StrEATS
No. 64: Squirrel Master Burger at Cottonwood
No. 63: Bánh Mì at Les Givral's Sandwich and Cafe
No. 62: Korean Spiced Brisket Plate at Revival Market
No. 61: Old Fashioned Frito Pie at Armadillo Palace
No. 60: Patata e Funghi Pizza at Pizaro's
No. 59: Baklava French Toast at Harry's Restaurant & Cafe
No. 58: Grilled Cheese at The Golden Grill
No. 57: Macarons at Ganache Dessert Bar
No. 56: Eggplant Fries at Batanga
No. 55: The Juicy Lucy Burger at Lowbrow

Location Info

Koagie Hots

, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

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