Vintage Review: On the Border

On the Border
  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 3 stars
  • Good
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  • On the Border
  • Published on: September 9, 2009
  • Last modified: March 21, 2018
  • Ambience
    Editor: 80%
  • Food
    Editor: 60%
  • Service
    Editor: 50%
  • Value
    Editor: 50%

Review Summary:

My goodness, how starved we are for anything resembling Mexican food in Korea!  Back home, chain Tex-Mex restaurants like these were where the yuppies and frat kids hung out--not places for real Mexican cuisine.  (Sorry folks, cheddar, Monterey Jack and sour cream aren't authentically Mexican, though crema fresca is.)  Yet it is a much desired taste of home when one is tired of eating food slathered in red.  If you like gunky platters covered in so much cheese and sauce that you can't recognize the individual elements, On the Border is your place, though they aren't as egregious about it as the worst offenders back home.  In full disclosure, I cut my culinary teeth working in a Tex-Mex kitchen for a year in the mid-90s.  So I know the tricks in the kitchen and am a bit jaded.  Nonetheless, there are some items that sparkle there.  The Sizzling Fajita Salad isn't one of those salads for dieters (this video sums it up nicely).  It's big and will fill you up for a couple of days.  The Carne Asada Steak Tacos are a bovine carnivore's muse.  The Queso Live is one of the "show dishes," like the sizzling fajitas that get everyone's attention or Chili's (owned by the same company) Presidente Margaritas, which servers shake all the way to the table.  The Queso Live is guacamole prepared table side like a classic Caesar salad.  On the Border incites great passion in favor of and against.  Just note that if you liked places like Chili's and are willing to pay almost twice as much for the same food, this is your place.

Okay, I've ho-hummed an expat sacred cow.  Gonna hear it in the comments.

Cuisine: Tex-Mex
Reservations: Optional
Suggested Items: Sizzling Fajita Salad, Carne Asada Steak Tacos, Guacamole Live

Other Amenities: English menu

Phone: see map


The web site has great maps and up-to-date locations.


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3 thoughts on “Vintage Review: On the Border”

  1. I ate here twice last weekend. The first night I only had cheesecake. It was fantastic! Nice and rich. The 2nd time I had a build your own burrito. It was huge and delicious! My friends ordered the quesadillas and true to Korean custom it is best to share, as they are also quite fulling for just one average sized person. I will definitely go back to this restaurant when I visit Seoul again. The staff were friendly and the menus are in English.

  2. I have to partially agree to your ho-humm review. I am originally from Texas so slap a "Tex-Mex" label on this food is sorta doing Tex-Mex cuisine a disservice. Though, I say this, I live in Eumseong…which is approximately 1.25 hours away from everything. So when I get the opportunity to eat at "On the Border" I will jump at it! The carne asada tacos are a rare opportunity to sink your teeth into some beef and not beef chips. I wish Koreans could learn the value of cutting beef into thick slices so that you can get a good carmelized crust on the exterior and retain the juicy goodness of medium to medium rare beef on the inside. The thickest steak I've had in Korea was at "Outback" and it was woefully inadequate. So if you get your teeth sunk into some cow, hook a brother up and give me the skinny if you please? Keep up the good work you have some interesting reads!


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