Quick Bites: Arirang Korean and Japanese, Omega Deli

I’ve been working in Getzville for almost a full year now and I’m still managing to find new places to eat lunch. I knew about Arirang long before I started working in the Northtowns but never could find a reason to drive out to UB’s North Campus area and try their mostly Korean menu. On a cold day last winter, I was desperate for some hot and spicy kim chi to warm me up but walked up to a closed restaurant (on a random Tuesday). It took a few months but I finally drove back down Millersport to give it another try, when I arrived a new sign saying “Open 7 Days a Week!” was on the door.

Quick Info:

  • Restaurant Type: Casual
  • Cuisine: Korean
  • Prices: Appetizers > $10, Stew/Soup/Noodles $10-14
  • Location: Amherst

The restaurant has a very large dining room, which made it even more awkward when I walked in and found the place completely empty. Since UB’s spring semester had ended, the out of town students who might be dining at Arirang on a regular basis had gone back home. On my second visit there was another table occupied but I was basically dining alone again. Their menu is very large and filled with stews, soups, noodles, Korean BBQ Beef and other Korean specialties. It’s not a cheap destination, if you are planning on eating at the restaurant for lunch your going to spend at least $15-20 per person and that’s if you stay away from their main entrees. Their menu is better suited for a sit down dinner with several people, ideally you could order an entree and split a bunch of smaller dishes with a group of people. I was dining by myself and didn’t want to drop $40 on a lunch so I tried a couple smaller dishes that were reasonably priced.

On my first trip I ordered their Bi Bim Bap with Pork (12.95, pictured top). It was my first Bi Bim Bap experience and I had mixed feelings about the dish. It comes with several sides (kim chi, potatoes, onions) that can be added to your bowl of rice and stir fried veggies. The Bi Bim Bap came out in a very hot stone bowl (I burned myself at least twice), the food inside was equally as hot and I tried to stir everything around so that it wouldn’t become over cooked. Due to the strong heat, the rice on the bottom of the bowl basically caramelized and had a difficult crunchy bite and the fried egg on top was overcooked.  That sais, the stir fried veggies (lots of bitter greens) were nice and spicy and the pork had a wonderful flavor, unfortunately there wasn’t a lot of it inside the dish.

On my second visit I tried their Spicy Sausage Stew (pictured above) and their Dried Seaweed Rolls from the Japanese menu. The rolls were very bitter and underwhelming. Inside the roll was crab, egg, greens and carrots that really lacked any strong flavor besides being bitter, I probably wouldn’t order it again. The Spicy Sausage Stew was much better. Another very hot bowl that was literally boiling when placed in front of me, the stew was filled with kim chi, tofu, sausage (that looked like hot dogs), some rice noodles and a even a gyoza dumpling. It really was a little bit of everything thrown in together (hence the name “Army” stew) but I would have preferred more actual noodles and sausage. I’d consider returning to Arirang again and try some of their more expensive entrees with a group of friends but dining alone for lunch is a little too expensive for one person and has so far yielded mixed results.

When I came across Omega Deli in East Amherst on Transit, it was completely by accident. I figured I’d drive down Transit one day until I found someplace new to eat, I’ve had some pretty good deli experiences for lunch (Jonny C’s, Marcos) and was hoping that Omega would be another. Unfortunately Omega is actually more of a grocery store than a restaurant style deli, they have a small menu of sandwiches that you can order but it’s clear their primary customer base are people buying lunch meat, bread or other specialty groceries.

Quick Info:

I visited Omega twice over the last 3 months and ordered two of their sandwiches. On my first visit I ordered a Soppressata sub (pictured above) which was OK. The sandwich was absolutely loaded with meat and placed on a Costanzo’s sub roll with lettuce and tomato, the soppressata tasted great but I think there was just too much on the roll and would have worked better if mixed up with another meat (they do have an Italian variety sub). On my second visit I ordered their Baked Rueben (pictured in gallery), which had the standard corned beef, swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Russian dressing. I assumed the sandwich was going to use grilled or toasted bread, but instead it was just two normal slices of bread that were completely soggy and almost inedible when I got back to work. The actual corned beef was alright but at a luke warm temperature with wet bread, I couldn’t finish the entire thing. Ideally I should have eaten the sandwich right away but since Omega doesn’t have seating, I had to make the 10 minute drive back to my desk.

If Alli and I lived in the Northtowns we would probably shop at Omega Deli on a regular basis, aside from a large selection of cheeses and meats they have an impressive selection of local companies. You’ll find pizza dough from Just Pizza, pasta from Gondola and Lake Effect Ice Cream. They even have some of your restaurant favorites in their freezer like pizza logs, fried mozzarella sticks, zucchini sticks and chicken fingers.

Their subs aren’t necessarily bad but compared to other deli’s in the area that offer unique and large menus of well prepared sandwiches that use delicious ingredients, there’s no reason to visit Omega for lunch besides convenience.

Photo Gallery:

Arirang Korean & Japanese on UrbanspoonOmega Deli on Urbanspoon

2 thoughts on “Quick Bites: Arirang Korean and Japanese, Omega Deli

  1. Sophia

    Hi! Buffalo-born, Buffalo-raised Korean. Arirang is not my favorite place to go for Korean food either, I prefer my mom’s cooking! :) I, however, feel obligated to let you know that “hot stone pot” is called Dolsot Bibimbap & it is customary for it to come out that piping hot. It is most delicious served in this way. Also, the crispy rice at the bottom is a delicacy which Koreans call “Nurungji”—which, in the case of this particular dish, indicates that it was cooked extremely well. Dolsot Bibimbap is my favorite Korean dish & is often served with a semi-cooked egg so that the egg yolk is runny & can be mixed with the rest of the dish’s ingredients. I hope you try this dish at other places and have a better experience because it is really delicious.

    • Tia

      Sophia,

      So, do you have a favorite Korean restaurant in WNY? I just got back from South Korea and the craving must be satisfied.

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