Taking One for the Team: CheoGaJip's Bulgogi Pizza
Ever since T.J.’s Pizzeria in Flushing closed I’ve mourned the loss of kimchi pizza. So when I heard that My Favorite CheoGaJip Chicken was slinging several kinds of Korean pizza, including one topped with bulgogi, I had to try it. Korean barbeque and pizza both rank high on my list, so even though CheoGaJip didn’t have kimchi pizza, I was pretty excited. Since T.J.’s pizza was more of a standard-issue New York City slice topped with fiery preserved cabbage, I never really thought of it as Korean. I envisioned CheoGaJip’s pizza as a tastier, more Korean pie; living halfway between paejun and a standard New York ’za. Sadly all my hopes for mouthwatering Korean pizza were in vain. The only good thing about CheoGaJip was the fried chicken, and while we don't normally like to write about things on Serious Eats New York unless they are delicious– some things just have to be shared.
I don't know how else to say it: The bulgogi pizza was one of the worst things I’ve eaten in a while. It simultaneously managed to do disservice to standard New York City ’za, Korean food and frozen pizza. The picture on the menu shows a nice amount of meat on the pie, but there was hardly any meat on the one I was served. And what little there was didn’t taste like bulgogi. The limp dough brought to mind the undercooked Ellio’s Pizza I used to eat in my elementary school cafeteria. After forcing down the first slice, which tasted vaguely Korean because of the jalapeños, I doctored up the subsequent ones. Since I’m scared of Kraft parmesan, I opted for a few dashes of Tabasco and a pickle chip, which combined with a prodigious amount of beer enabled me and a companion to soldier through about half the pie.
I'd been thinking mean thoughts about CheoGaJip: Why not rename the special “Pizza & Chicken Death Threat?” Then I remembered that the sign bills the restaurant as a hof, a Korean spot specializing in serving beer. Then it dawned on me: CheoGaJip is all about beer and fried chicken. The pizza's obviously an afterthought. I suppose you could jazz up your pie by putting some of the fried chicken on it once it comes to the table. Just stay away from that Kraft parmesan and be sure to drink plenty of beer.
My Favorite CheoGaJip Chicken
160-24A Northern Boulevard, Flushing NY 11358 (map)