Itaewon ~ Motor City & Oh Poutine

Evidently, Detroit makes its own style of deep-dish pizza and there is an outstanding version of this pie in Itaewon. The background of this style is being baked in the old steel pans that would hold the nuts and bolts of the car manufacturers from Motown. Continue reading “Itaewon ~ Motor City & Oh Poutine”

Namyangju ~ Merry Dog Cafe

We were buying some dog food from an outlet store in Seoul’s distant suburbs and stopped into a cute dog cafe. This one had it all: Continue reading “Namyangju ~ Merry Dog Cafe”

Seoul ~ Julio’s Mexican & a Saturday Walkabout in Jongno

We exited the subway, squinting in the June sun, onto the busy streets of Jongno, with old ladies hustling and old men playing Chinese checkers. Everybody’s shoes seemed to be half on and their hats half off. Also, people are still pissed about Park Geun-hye, except these folks were pissed that she was arrested. Loud and repetitive it was. Continue reading “Seoul ~ Julio’s Mexican & a Saturday Walkabout in Jongno”

Namyangju ~ Sujongsa Temple at Ungilsan

We were off to hike Ungilsan (운길산) to see Sujongsa Temple. It was late on a Saturday afternoon, and the tables at the base weren’t yet filled with thirsty hikers. Continue reading “Namyangju ~ Sujongsa Temple at Ungilsan”

Tofu at the River and Beef in the Country

Where the north and south rivers meet to create Seoul’s massive Han River there is a small island called Joan-myeon where the ferry captains used to live. There is a relaxing river walk and some outdoor activities, plus croaking frogs in the cool fall evenings. Continue reading “Tofu at the River and Beef in the Country”

Do Hwa ~ Chinese Comfort Food

There are over 41,000 Chinese restaurants in the U.S. There are 36,525 McDonald’s in the whole world! Despite that imbalance of General Tso to Ronald McDonald, I didn’t eat Chinese food until I was 17 and dining out with a friends’ family. Continue reading “Do Hwa ~ Chinese Comfort Food”

Seoul ~ Conveyor Belt Dining at Sushi Hiroba

In the posh backyards of Gangnam, there are probably hundreds of Japanese restaurants. We like this one with colored plates designating the price of the fish rotating on a conveyor belt. For the more expensive cuts, we order a fresh piece from the chefs. It’s a cool experience for people who don’t know exactly what they want when confronted by the Japanese menu symbols or even just what kind of raw fish they might want beyond the classic tuna and salmon. It’s not a place to show off sashimi knowledge as the plates offered are limited, but it satisfies the fresh fish craving yet doesn’t scare away a beginner. The plates range from 2$-25$. Most of the good stuff is around 4-10$ per plate. It’s a nice place, but your table can get overwhelmed quickly when you’re hungry.

“Oh, that looks good.”

“Grab it before it passes!”

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Tuna belly, just an outstanding mouth moment of tenderness.

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Salmon, soft and light.

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Two white fish, maybe mackerel, maybe sea bass, not sure.

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Eel roll, roe on top, crunchy inside, nice.

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This was some kind of salmon mash inside a crunchy fried egg rice outside.

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Potato croquettes, palate cleanser, comfort food.

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I didn’t eat this, but couldn’t imagine why someone would need only the fish head.

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Da Farci ~ Classical Italian Trattoria in Sincheon

On the quiet streets near my apartment, I pass numerous buildings during my thrice daily dog walks. One day, I glanced up from my perambulatory stupor and spotted the words “Trattoria.” Continue reading “Da Farci ~ Classical Italian Trattoria in Sincheon”

Siloam Sauna ~ A Day at a Korean Jjimjilbang

Sometimes, you need a hot bath. Since there are few bathtubs in Korean apartments, we are given the public sauna–that mutually nude tradition from Roman antiquity. Continue reading “Siloam Sauna ~ A Day at a Korean Jjimjilbang”

Winter Soups in Korea

The winter in Korea is brief but harsh. January and February’s air holds a pure and constant chill, permeating skin and infecting the bones with an icy fever. The ubiquitous sauna can assuage the frost, but the best remedy for melting the snowman inside remains Korean soup. Continue reading “Winter Soups in Korea”