Koriente Restaurant and Tea House
31 October 2008
Koriente is one of my favorite spots in Austin — great for a quick, healthy and delicious downtown lunch or dinner before a concert on Red River. It’s owned by a great family who have infused their personalities into the menu and the quirky ambience of the place.
It opened in 2004 and I became completely evangelical about the place — telling everyone I knew to go there and order the garden handroll with veggies that taste like they are fresh from the garden, and a deeply satisfying and comforting beef bulgogi.
If you go at lunch, they offer complimentary miso soup and salad with your meal and you help yourself. Just another touch of many that makes customers feel at home.
Clay and I met for lunch at this downtown gem earlier this week and enjoyed a lovely meal on the back porch. He had the spicy chicken bulgogi and I dug into the Japchei, a warm bowl of clear sweet potato noodles with tofu, carrots, green cabbage, red cabbage, red bell peppers, and organic spring greens.
The quirky story of how Koriente came into being is summed up in this note written on a wall by the owner’s daughter, an artist:
“My mom started this restaurant b/c she hates to cook. She loved going out to eat (make someone else do all the work) but found it tough to find healthy, msg free, low cal, balanced meals with prices within daily reach. She felt guilty for feeding us crap and felt sick of being a housewife, so she said, Why not open a restaurant for people like me?”
Is everything on their menu prepared and served with love? Uh, yeah.