Where Good Company and Good Food Come Together
Story by: Becky White
Photos by: Becky white
It’s no secret that N2Rage Barbershop knows how to make a man look good. Every stylist in the shop wields a razor and scissors with casual accuracy, snipping hair until the customer looks like he’s been sporting three-piece suits since he was born. The upscale barbershop for the everyday man looking for a fresh cut has an academy just down the street from their Dogok-dong location, where aspiring hairstylists can take classes. N2Rage takes a step beyond being simply a fine barbershop; on the first floor of their academy, their restaurant Queen’s Boulevard can be found. Here is where well-made food and casual atmosphere mix company.
Ahn Hyung Ro, the head chef at Queen’s Boulevard, has been working at the burrito joint for a year now and has worked hard to create a special atmosphere that is not easily found in western-style restaurants in Seoul.
“Our concept is a bit of an American atmosphere, Mexican food, and a good vibe. We really paid attention to the interior and style to make a place where people come not just to eat a good meal, but to enjoy the culture here. We want our guests to feel comfortable talking with each other and the chefs, a place where they can all share a beer and just have a good time.”
The menu at Queen’s Boulevard is simple and the portions are generous. The salad comes in an over-large taco shell bowl, the veggies fresh and colorful. The chefs flip the meat on a grill behind the bar, toss fries in a basket to shake out extra grease, and unsparingly squeeze a tangy sauce over the hot dishes, waiting to be served. The open kitchen area allows customers to watch their food being made fresh before them, the smell of hot food cooking wafting over the whole place. Their ingredients are crisp and the quality speaks for itself in the full flavor of each dish. For those who have been searching far and wide for a proper salad in Seoul, Queen’s Boulevard serves up a decent one, alongside with grilled shrimp tacos and their signature dish, the California Burrito.
“All the food here is delicious, but if there’s a dish I absolutely recommend, it’s our California Burrito. It’s just good, hot food and has proved to be consistently popular,” Ahn Hyung Ro said truthfully, smiling somewhat bashfully. His modest expressions belie his hard work ethic. Chef Ahn Hyung Ro began learning how to cook at twenty years old, and has always known that he wanted to do work that he could enjoy and find great satisfaction in, despite how hard it may be. He works hard to make a warm, friendly atmosphere at the casual diner. During major sports games, Queen’s Boulevard opens their doors to fans and curious onlookers, playing the games from a big screen on the wall.
“Last time we did this, the whole place filled up. People were sitting on the stairs and the room was crammed all the way up the refrigerator. It was really fun,” Chef Ahn Hyung Ro says, appearing satisfied at the recent memory.
Future events hosted at Queen’s Boulevard can be found on their instagram @queensblvd_. Social media has played a big role in granting Chef Ahn Hyung Ro satisfaction in his work. “Honestly, it’s hard to cook. It’s really difficult, but when you put food in front of a customer and you see them enjoy it, I feel full and happy. When people people put up photos on instagram saying they ate here and ate well, it’s a great feeling.”
Queen’s Boulevard is where casual dining meets friendliness, where customer and cook chat over the bar, and where good company and good food come together.
Hours: 10:00 am (KITCHEN 11:00) to 24:00 am (WEEKEND 22:00)
Location: Dogok-dong 448-16 1F (도곡동 448-16)