6 E. Preston St., (410) 752-5793
Usually, our craving for bulgogi is confined to late-night trips to Joung Kak on 20th St. During those trips, half the appeal is the sizzle of the table grill and the shots of soju with our bleary-eyed barmates. But Joanne's Grill, on Preston Street, caught our attention with the promise of daytime Korean in the form of the bulgogi sub ($6.59). Like most of the Asian takeout joints in the city, Joanne's has a MOMA-sized gallery of faded photos of food with bad flash lighting, which makes the dishes look worse than they really are. Don't be fooled. The bulgogi sub was just about perfect. It was a little heavy on the teriyaki sauce, which isn't really supposed to go with bulgogi but which mellowed out the hot peppers and cheese. In addition to the sub, Joanne's serves up bulgogi as a regular platter ($8.99) and as a "burger" ($5.59), which is strips of bulgogi piled high on a warm burger bun. We also ordered a side of kimchi ($3.59), and the chicken teriyaki ($6.59), which was a bit on the dry side and a little too sweet.
Joanne's also serves breakfast all day, which is rare in the Mount Royal corridor and a serious necessity to an area populated by quick carb cafes and pizza joints. The two-egg platter ($3.79) is a bargain with grits or homefries. The waffle ($5.59), which was buttery and not too dry, comes with two eggs as well.
Breakfast is great and all, but we kinda wish Joanne's was open late, since it's easier to part with a few bucks for a good bulgogi portion than it is to drop $50 on the Korean grill joints above North Avenue. We'd even forgo the soju.