Review: Sandwiches From Rye Post in Itaewon (이태원 라이포스트)

Have I mentioned before that one of my favorite food there is is a perfectly good sandwich? Back when I was a frugal university student trying to scrimp and save on everything I made, I resorted to a lot of sandwiches as my go-to meals. But I never made them sad meat and bread stackers and instead would fill it with things like peppery arugala, roast beef slices, real cheese slices, whole grain mustard, etc. If I felt extra fancy, I would top it with some avocado slices, fried egg, etc, and with some fruit and salad on the side, it was an inexpensive, tasty, and filling go-to meal which I loved.

Alas, here in Korea, it's no easy feat to get a good sandwich. It's not easy as a go-to make-at-home meal here because things like deli meat, cheese, whatnot are rather expensive and the choices likewise are scant. There are plenty of cafes and stores that sell sandwiches but they're usually rather inferior in quality with little meat, a whole slew of iceberg lettuce, and seemingly always honey mustard spread everywhere. Subway and Quizno's are scattered about the country but really, atrociously scant in their ingredients.

Nearby my house in Haebangchon, the sandwiches from Casablanca always wins raves for their prices but what's a guy to do when he just wants a regular "American"-style sandwich?

Rye Post has been making waves since it started off as a little tiny hole-in-the-wall in the back street of Itaewon by its Korean-Canadian owner. Its popularity was so much so, in fact, it was having supply problems keeping up with demand and a seating problem. They moved on up last year to the main street to a much bigger space where it's been continuing to thrive.


Sandwiches are a mix of different kinds but include:
Bacon avocado (7,800), Philly cheesesteak (8,800), banh mi (7,800), chicken club (8,800), Jamaican jerk chicken (8,800 Jamaican jerk chicken thigh meat, tomato, red onion, lettuce, cheese, house mayonnaise), Korean cheesesteak (11,500 and includes bulgogi, cooked onions, pickled red onions, cheese, scallion, garlic, sesame, and spicy aioli), and Mexican fish torta (12,000 and includes fried tilapia filet, cabbage, pico de gallo, pickled red onion, tartar sauce, and cilantro). Baskets of fries are 6,000 while an order of cheesteak fries is 10,000.


You can also make it a set by adding 3,000 for fries on the side or soup for 3,800 (soup changes).

Salad varieties include garden salad (7,000 includes avocado, greens, cherry tomatoes, and red onion), Greek feta cheese salad (9,000 and includes greens, cucumber, olives, cherry tomatoes, red onion, and feta cheese), and Mediterranean chicken salad (10,500 includes chicken breast, bacon, greens, cherry tomatoes, red onion, and hard boiled egg).

Drinks include coffee variety (3,500 for Americano and 4,000 for latte, hot or cold), hot tea (3,500 for your choice of Earl Grey, English breakfast, strawberry mango, and lemon ginger), hot grapefruit tea (4,000), hot chocolate (4,500), Perrier bottle (4,000), apple juice (4,500 for regular or carbonated), and soft drinks are 2,500. You can also get a homemade cookie for 2,500.


Beer list is also rather extensive from IPAs to ale and more ranging from 8 to 12,000 for a glass of draft beer.

I should have asked for and taken pictures of the English menu. But know that they do have English menus!


We put in an order for some philly cheesesteaks and the Jamaican jerk chicken as well as a basket of fries. All dishes are definitely made to order as we could see the kitchen staff beginning to cook our dishes once the order was put in.

The fries were of the of the shoestring variety and came hot off the fryer and cooked to that perfect crispness. I still think 6,000 is a hefty charge for fries anywhere but at least these came hot, fresh, and cooked with attention.


The Philly cheesesteak is the real deal (minus the option of Cheese whiz sauce) with pan cooked beef cuts, mounds of peppers and onion, and a generous serving of cheese. The cheese option is solely white American here (though I'm partial to Provolone) but a nice nod to the real deal.


The peppers, beef, and onions have that bits of char to them that gives it that smoky flavor and is seasoned to perfection. The bread itself is given a bit of toasting before joined by the trio of ingredients. The bread and rolls at Rye Post are all made in-house which makes a big difference. A nice density with just enough chew, it's these small attention to details that made me really appreciate Rye Post.





The Jamaican jerk chicken sandwich isn't as visually striking as the Philly cheesesteak and I initially thought they had skimped out on the chicken. Looking inside, however, I found there were amble bits of spiced chicken chunks, just lightly charred, and covered in cheese. Finding a sandwich that wasn't stuffed to death with iceberg lettuce in Korea was a refreshing breath of sweet air. Rye Post really has its ingredients ratio down to the T.



The jerk spices on the chicken was evident and thought it would have been a tad salty on their own, especially with the melted cheese covering them, the bread and ingredients counterbalanced wonderfully to make it just the right blend of flavors. The subtle sharp notes from the red onion slices were a great add as well.


Rye Post also provides pickled jalapeno slices and a homemade spicy sauce for customers. The odd thing though was that the jalapeno slices and spicy sauce were provided in little plastic containers. This made us end up with a lot of plastic containers at the end of our meal which I found rather wasteful. Making a communal container for the pickles and a big pump for the sauce for patrons to serve themselves I think would be a much practical and environmentally-friendly solution.

Other than that, Rye Post was a fantastic spot with smashing sandwiches. The food is obviously made with care and the attention to details is noticeable. With a spacious floor, it makes a great spot for small and large groups alike to grab a quick meal.

Ratings: 
3.5 out of 4 Stars
With food made to order, a careful attention to detail, and an ever expanding menu, this is definitely one of the best spots to grab a great sandwich in Seoul. No iceberg lettuce fillers and everything doused in honey mustard here... each sandwich has been carefully thought through in their creation. The drinks list is extensive, restaurant is spacious, and workers are friendly. It is Itaewon so I understand the higher prices I need to pay in Korea but some budget friendly deals such as a sandwich of the day or a combo meal I think would really make this place the spot to beat for value.


Address: 
서울특별시 용산구 이태원1동 72-34
72-34, Itaewon 2-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul


Walk out exit 4 of Itaewon Station and head straight for about 80 or 90 meters. You'll see Rye Post on the left. 

Telephone: 
02-792-9991

Website:
https://www.facebook.com/RyePost

Parking: 
N/A

Alcohol: 
Draft beers available

Tip: 
New sandwiches, soups, and other menu items come up frequently. Check out their FB page (look above) for their on-going specials.

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