Diverse restaurants gaining popularity in Mason

Bibibop, a Korean restaurant, is one of sophomore Morgan Archiable’s favorite places to eat.

Move over, McDonald’s — the people of Mason are bringing home Bibibop instead.

New restaurants are making their way into Mason’s storefronts and are getting noticed by the students of MHS. Bibibop, among the most popular, serves Korean cuisine and was founded in 2013 just 2 hours north in Columbus. The new food options are healthier than some of their competitors, like Wendy’s, and taste just as good if not better to the students of MHS. 

Bibibop is Korean food, some of Korea’s most recognizable dishes are Kimchi and Bibimbap. Taziki’s serves Mediterranean food. But there is also Ichiban or Dancing Roll for some sushi.

Junior Avery Schmid favors the sushi that rolls out of the kitchens of Dancing Roll. Schmid was hesitant about trying new foods but now goes out to Dancing Roll with her friends often.

“My parents are the ones that made me try sushi in the first place,” Schmid said. “I didn’t like it at first but now I like it, even though I don’t like fish. I started going to Dancing Roll at the beginning of the summer, just going with my friends all the time. It was kind of a thing that we would do.”

Sophomore Morgan Archiable’s usual Bibibop order consists of purple rice, chicken, cheese, and extra egg.

Schmid not only goes to these restaurants because they hit the spot, but she believes they are also a healthier alternative than a fast food joint. As an athlete, Schmid watches what she eats to stay in shape for the season, and she thinks her coach would rather her eat at Dancing Roll than a burger place.

“I think places like Taziki’s is a healthier option than places like Five Guys,” Schmid said. “My coach would much rather I eat at Dancing Roll than McDonald’s. The only bad thing about sushi is you can’t eat it for leftovers.”

Some students favor a different flavor. Junior Ethan Sernoffsky prefers the Mediterranean menu at Taziki’s. Sernoffsky’s family and friends enjoy the gyros and sweet tea that Taziki’s is known for.

“I went to Taziki’s first about a year ago with my family,” Sernoffsky said. “I liked it and started going back with my friends for lunch. There’s just like a different flavor palate with these foods. A taste we don’t get to experience a whole lot at other restaurants or at home.”

Sernoffsky knows Taziki’s comes at a price. Charging around 10 dollars for a sandwich. This may provide a barrier for some students but Sernoffsky believes Taziki’s is still worth the price because it’s healthier and tastier. 

“I don’t go there as much as I want to,” Sernoffsky said. “You go in having to expect to pay 13-14 dollars for a gyro, and their sweet tea is really good too but it’s like 3 bucks. But being fit and healthy can definitely impact the choice of where to eat along with the taste of a different culture.”

Sophomore Morgan Archiable is also indulging in the new food. Not far behind, her parents joined in on the opportunity to try something new. Archiable thinks that restaurants are a good way to get people to try new foods, and maybe even discover new recipes out of the broad possibilities of Korea’s signature ingredients. 

“My parents are more open to trying new food than I am,” Archiable said. “I think Bibibop is a new and good way to help broaden your taste. My parents probably would cook this at home for me, it’s just a matter of deciding what everyone wants.”

Archiable goes to Bibibop for her order usual of purple rice, chicken, cheese, and extra egg. But she also finds that it is a great environment to connect with her friends, even if they have never had Korean food.

“There’s just something for everyone,” Archiable said. “It’s gotten so popular, everyone is bringing their friends there because it’s easy, convenient and good. Bibibop was the first time I have ever had Korean food, and I didn’t think I would like it, but my friends said I should try it and now I love it.”

Photos by Scott Reckers.