Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Asian Food Weekend, Part 1: Golden Pig

Food is always better when you know - and trust - who's cooking it.

Ms. Kwon of The Golden Pig makes you feel as if you are in her own home.  It's inviting.  It's welcoming.  It's cramped, but there is a sense of family, of community - of belonging.

Korean food isn't commonly found in many places around Pittsburgh - in fact, Golden Pig isn't even in the same county.  On Route 50 in Cecil Township, Washington County, you will find the small, 12-seater in front of a soccer field - and not much else.  The first time I drove out there, I missed it  because it was so dark and had to turn around.

This past weekend, it was just James and I, and because the restaurant was so small, we wanted to go at an "off-peak" time to be able to get a table.  We arrived sometime just before 3:30 PM and were able to get one of the two tables (the rest of the seating is counter seating).

Golden Pig
Ms. Kwon recognized James and welcomed us warmly.  She presented us with the menus and talked to us while she cooked for and settled up with other customers.

James and I decided upon soup to start.  For him, Man-Du Soup:

Man Du Soup
And for me, Egg Soup:

Egg Soup
Both soups were great, but the Man-Du Soup had the best flavor.  Definitely the better option, but my egg soup was a close second.

We also shared a Kimchi Korean Pancake, with kimchi, cucumbers, and daikon radish on the side:

Kimchi Korean Pancake
Daikon Radish (pickled)
Spicy Cucumber
You HAVE to get a Korean Pancake when you go to Golden Pig.  It is a must.  AND - it should be kimchi.  No questions asked.  And - never had pickled daikon radish?  You need to try it.  It's awesome.

James and I knew we would split meals, and since we had gone other times, we went with two of our favorites from previous visits.  He chose the Oh Jing Uh Bockeum (spicy squid, broiled and seasoned) with steamed rice:

Oh Jing Uh Bockeum
I chose the Bulgogi (marinated beef in a mixture of soy sauce, sesame oil, black pepper, garlic, onions, ginger, wine, and sugar) with fried rice:

No complaints.  The food was awesome, as it always has been.  Korean food is spicy, filling, and leaves you feeling like it was made especially for you - due to the intimate setting and Ms. Kwon's friendly and welcoming demeanor.

The restaurant filled up while we were there, but a couple came in as we were in the middle of our entrees.  There were not any seats together, but they were eager to try Ms. Kwon's food.  She was very busy cooking for everyone, and instead of ignoring this couple's need and disturbing her, the people at the counter moved down, a couple the other table offered another chair, and I handed over our menu.  It was as if everyone in the restaurant knew what had to be done so that this couple could enjoy the food just as much as we all were.  They even commented on how accommodating everyone in the restaurant was - and we were all strangers.

Pittsburghers.  Love 'em.

On previous visits, we had tried several other dishes and drinks.  Drinks are "serve yourself" from the cooler in the corner, and they range from Coke products to traditional Korean beverages.  My favorite drink was this one (with actual pieces of rice in it, unlike Hispanic Horchata, where the rice is strained):

The drive is worth it.  The food is worth it.  Meeting Ms. Kwon is definitely worth it.


Golden Pig Authentic Korean Cuisine
3201 Millers Run Road
Cecil, PA 15321

Golden Pig Authentic Korean Cuisine on Urbanspoon


  1. I really love the Golden Pig. The squid is my favorite, but we also like the jop chae and the pork bulgogi. I totally agree that the pancake is a must. Plus, her hot sauce is amazing.

  2. sounds great - i'm a Pittsburgh boy living in northern va (many Korean restaurants here in centreville and annandale - my wife is from korea, so we will check it out on our next trip up north.