Just curious. What tickles your fancy?
Mine is Sundubu Jigae
I like kimbab, but I usually go for something that is meaty like the tonkatsu or maybe a curry. I know it isn't the best place to get it, but hey, gotta love a place that gives tons of free kimchi and pickled radish. I always prefer the cheap or fresh kimchi over the fancy aged stuff. If I go with kimbab, I prefer spicy tuna or cheese or something like that....
HEY, I'm getting hungry thinking about that... thanks a lot... grr...
It comes free with everything on the menu.
I love Korean food but I avoid those two places like the plague. There's nothing quite like spoiled shellfish and 25% MSG content to get the bowels in full gear.
Can someone please spread the word to these Korean restaurants that if the shellfish doesnt close when its cold or doesnt open when hot its spoiled and VERY likely to give food poisoning...
I've never gotten food poisoning from at a Kimbab Cheongook, but they are a rip off when compared to any mom and pop restaurant. It took me a couple of years to get hip to them, but they're all over. They don't have such GIANT menus, but usually for 4,000 won you get a soup/jiggae with many great and fresh side dishes. At Kmbab Cheongook/Nara they usually give you just some kimchee and/or radish. The place by my school where I regularly go (리들 식당) is a family-run place. Along with the soup or bibimbap, you usually get kimchee, a fried egg, a slab of fish, along with several other usually great side dishes. Sometimes they serve up pork, and even chicken! It beats the hell out of Cheongook.
I do like kimbap though, so I sometimes submit, but Kimbab Cheongook is only great for those that don't know any better. It was at a KC that I read my first Korean menu item, though, so the name does kindle some good memories.
I never got sick at one of those restaurants. I got sick at other ones, but generally not the cheap ones, however, I tend to get fried foods or foods that would survive a nuclear holocaust. I agree that they are expensive when you compare them to some mom and pop places, but the thing is that generally the quality is consistant. For me, I generally cook at home, but when I am out and about and I don't want to pay more than 5000won for lunch, when I enter a kimbab restaurant, I know what I will get. The worst thing is to go to a mom and pop place and be the only one in there while they stare at you trying to choak down whatever they gave you. Sometimes it is fantastic, and then you have a new place to eat, but more often than not, for me, it has turned out bad. Thats why I like it, but again, I only go there to fill up my stomach, not for flavor or quality, but for energy.
If I ever do go to these places I all ways order specialty kim-baps; tuna, beef etc. That way they have to make them then and there assuring it is fresh. if you simply order the 1,000w ready made there is no way to tell how long it has been sitting out. This is what causes people to head to the head and pronto especially in summer.
I would also avoid the punshik(minute foods/snack) the street vendor foods. There is just too much of the food that is left outside all day long and the thought of the odeng double dipping in the soy sauce of hundreds of students is enough to make me barf a little in my throat now.
It's dirty food people, and it's cheap for a reason; it's shit food.
@Tharp. Since when has your opinion been humble? ㅋㅋ
Anyhow, I kind of have to confer about getting sick, it never happens. Except when I eat Western Food especially at places like Outback and the new multitude of burger places that are springing up everywhere.
I'll take street food any day over the generic chain restaurants. You can see who's cooking, what they are cooking, how they cooked it, and by the smell tell instantly how fresh or not it is. Also all the money that they pay in overhead, frahchise fees, and for poor quality manditory purchase foodstuffs can be rerouted into the quality of food. (although too often it gets rerouted into the vendors pocket instead)
One good trick to street food, if the double dip annoys you then dont dip. I treat it the same way as open relish, pickle, onion, or the community mustard at many stadium hotdog vendors. If anyone but the guy serving it to you can touch it, I just stay away. Its easy to find a place with a squeese bottle just a few meters away from the community bowl of coldsores.
To me the chain Kimbap places are just like the chain trash food in the west. No one cares if you spit on or drop the burger on the floor, as long as it has the McDonalds stamp they just insert into food hole.
My biggest problem is that they put out a bunch of poor quality food with more chemicals than LSD to avoid waste. I've been cooking for long enough that my tolerance for odd food chem and spoilage is low low low. It also seems that joe averagedoesnt care because the portions are big, or the brand has been drilled into their head through marketing. (enough food rage, I'll leave the rest to Alton Brown)
Quick[trash]food restaurants can serve a purpose, find out what you like, get used to ordering in an easier fast food atmosphere, then go out and find those mom and pop shops and try real food.
P.S. - @Lee : Good idea in theory, but in practice its best to order whatever is popular. All too often the specialty ingrediants sit arround so long they are often in worse condition than the generic blob in seaweed sitting on the shelf. So if it works for his restaurant it might not work at yours.
I wouldn'[t say that it is all that bad. Chemicals are used in everything. If you want to avoid them, then leave earth. There really isn't much you can do. Even at a mom and pop place, they use them.
And yes, Alton Brown is great, however, few people can actually afford what he eats. I have all of his tv shows and specials, however, they are more entertaining for people like me who can neither afford the luxary of such cooking, nor the time.
If you are worried about problems with old food, make sure you order at somewhere thats generally packed and avoid ordering any kind of unique food, unless you don't mind. I don't mind because I am not going to pay 10,000won for a meal everytime I am hungry.
And I have family members who work in McDonalds and they never allow dropped food to be given to the customers. I'd personally be more worried about an expensive restaurant where they cannot afford to waste a dropped $40 steak. I'd rather go somewhere that would rather make something new than feed me something expensive that was on the floor.