Thursday, August 19, 2010

Le Vert: Burgers, Sandwiches, Salads, Pizza in Haebangchon/Itaewon

Le Vert is a quaint, open-air restaurant with a vaguely French feel to it. The menu has burgers, sandwiches, beers, etc. It is on Haebangchon-gil (up the street from Itaewon; see bottom of post for directions), nestled among other Haebangchon foreigner bastions such as Phillies, Indigo, and Pita Time.

I got a burger, and Meg got a turkey sandwich.

First, the burger: The burger prices aren't too bad for Korea: there's a standard cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato, and onion for 8,000 won (includes fries). You can get the same burger and fries with a load more toppings on the burger (including a fried egg and bacon) for 10,000 won. I chose the deluxe version. One of the draws is that the burger comes on a ciabatta-like bun. The main downfall is that the patty is on the small side, and very well-done. It's a little lump buried amongst a sea of toppings. The moisture in the burger did not come from the juice dripping off the meat as it does in a primo burger, but only from the array of toppings and sauces that surround the meat. However, the fries were large , the portion of fries was generous, and they came with a delicious garlic mayonnaise. On the whole, a B+ burger and fries.

Now, the turkey sandwich. Here, there was some real disappointment. When you visit a place like Le Vert that has several classic American sandwiches on its menu (all in the 10,000 to 12,000 won range), you expect a turkey sandwich to have a large stack of sliced up deli meat (see Suji's and the All-American Diner down the street from Le Vert). This sandwich literally had at most two slices of turkey. It was on ciabatta bread, which was nice, but on the whole, a rather anemic turkey sandwich.

I would say that Le Vert is a place to hang if you're more interested in a cafe-type atmosphere than in actual food. As far as the Itaewon/Haebangchon area is concerned, there are many better places nearby. Keep in mind, though, you'll have a decent meal if you go to Le Vert, but compared to the surrounding establishments, it's unfortunately a B+ restaurant.

Directions:Go out Noksapyeong Station Exit 2 and walk straight down the street. When you get to a large collection of kimchi pots, veer onto the street where the pots are and walk up. (Use the interactive google map below.) You'll pass Pita Time, and La Vert will be across the street from the bar Phillies.

View La Vert Directions in a larger map


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