In an episode of The Simpsons, the family travels to Tokyo and, to intellectual Lisa’s disgust, the family opts to eat at Americatown, a U.S-themed restaurant. The restaurant featured awkward or incorrect interpretations of U.S. culture, including Muhammad Ali boxing with Neil Armstrong and the use of outdated slang. While this parody might be a bit much, I am deeply fascinated by the representations of the United States in South Korea. How do people outside of the United States perceive U.S. culture and customs? On August 20, I visited American Factory, a restaurant in central Dangsan-dong to answer this question.
To be quite truthful, American Factory pulls off a U.S.-style eatery quite well. It is designed as a sports bar, showing U.S. ESPN as well as a Korean sports channel. It trumpets itself as an “American Pizza Pub.” Perhaps the biggest difference I noticed was the inclusion of coffee and brunch in its offerings; typically U.S. sports bars do not serve these.
My significant other, Ms. R, and I were quite hungry when we arrived, so we quickly both ordered brunch specials. Brunch specials are served with hash browns, a hot dog, and a leafy green salad. I ordered the brunch special featuring bacon potato pizza. Ms. R ordered hers with a chicken bake on it.
I have written before about how South Korean brunches often feature miscellaneous yangsik (Western food) items that differ considerably from what most people in the U.S. think brunch consists of. That being said, American Factory plays it well, and the food was absolutely delicious.
While I do not eat salad, the hash browns and hot dog sausage complimented the pizza well. The pizza was oblong, thin and easy to eat. The size of the meal was just right, and left me neither painfully full nor endlessly hungry. Ms. R’s chicken bake was similar to a calzone; she said that it was tasty, but it should have contained more meat.
American Factory is a charming sports bar that does not fall into the awkward tropes of U.S. culture that “Americatown” does. While the brunch was very good, I would enjoy returning at night and seeing how it fares as a bar, as well. The food was delectable, the prices were reasonable, and the offerings were plentiful. The Dangsan area has a lot to offer, and I am glad that American Factory is a part of that.
Tasteless | Bad | Okay | >> Good << | Tasty
Name (Korean): 아메리칸 팩토리
Name (Official English): American Factory
Name (Romanized): “American Factory”
Name (Translated): “American Factory”
Credit Cards? Yes
Apple Pay [?]? No
Take out? Yes
Outside seating? Yes
Wheelchair friendly? Yes
Dogs allowed? ???
Bike parking? Yes
Car parking? Yes
Monday: 09:00 – 01:00
Tuesday: 09:00 – 01:00
Wednesday: 09:00 – 01:00
Thursday: 09:00 – 01:00
Friday: 09:00 – 02:00
Saturday: 10:00 – 02:00
Sunday: 10:00 – 00:00
Address (Korean) 서울특별시 영등포구 영중로 145 삼환아파트 107동
Address (English) 145 Yeongjung-ro, Samhwan Apartment 107, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul