In the area surrounding Lincoln Square, Korean fare fans dominate. However, on a stretch of Lincoln Avenue, Chung Son, who owns Song Do Buffet, prides on being the only buffet focused barbecue house in the 'hood.
Leave your jeans and wristwatches at home. Elastic waist-band pants allow your stomach room for growth at this eat-what-you-can stand where folks generally sit for two hours pigging out on everything from short ribs and kim chee to Korean-style sushi and steak.
The environment comprises of elongated tables fit with a fire pit at each, and semi-private party rooms. Adventurous loners will look sad and off, as I did. Nothing notable about the setup sells the buffet. Bone-washed white walls with apathetic green trims surround an expressionless room held up by matted carpeting praying to a ceiling not too high off.
Koreans once dominated the set, but the neighborhood's changing faces brings new patrons and the Korean clientele now numbers only about 40 percent. The remaining 60 percent make up young groups of friends and college students from the nearby North Park University and the not-so-far-off Northwestern.
Son explains the food is pretty heavy, so come hungry; and also recommends making reservations on weekends, especially for the private enclosures and party room fit for 40. Song Do is BYO with $17.99 getting you all you can eat.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: David-Anthony Gonzalez