Thursday, April 29, 2010

i am a wanna-be food critic

First off, big thanks to Dan for posting my first attempt at a restaurant review on seouleats.com. Every morning when I wake up, I check gmail, facebook and seouleats. I am a religous follower, and have been lucky enough to do a cooking class with Dan (see Seoul magazine's April addition) and have run into him on rainy days at H, my favorite magkeolli bar. He generously posted my gramatically incorrect review of brunch at La Vert today. So again, thanks Dan!! See the post here:

http://www.seouleats.com/2010/04/la-vert-review-by-lauren-mcphate.html

It is Thursday evening and I am typing in my hotel room in Sokcho. Sokcho is a coastal town on the Eastern coast of Korea. I was planning on coming tomorrow morning, but decided that a 3 hour bus ride out warrented an evening here as well, and seeing as I have a brewery tour/pigroast/birthday party to attend on Saturday, tonight was optimal. So I took the 2 1/2 hour bus ride out and was told to take a cab to find a motel. These days I (stupidly) don't worry about planning or researching trips, I just show up. I get into the taxi and say "motel." ????? "hotel." ???? "hostel." ???? I pull out my phone and use the Eng->Kor dictionary, the guy still has not a clue where I am trying to go. Neither do I for that matter :) He pulls a guy off the street who speaks English, I say hotel, and we're off. He brings me to what looks like a four star hotel. At this point I'm tired and stressed and I start freaking out a bit. "No, no, no!! Little won. This is mani won!" He finally gets me and brings me back into "town" a bit and finds me a lovely 30,000 \ a night motel. I have my own room, TV, computer, nice bathroom. Really it's just lovely. So now it's 10 and I want to go out and explore a bit; perhaps even find a local hof to chill with the locals. No dice. There's nothing here but motels and restaurants, and me having no clue where I am, doesn't want to walk too far and never find my motel again. {motel not being an American motel; it's I guess what you would call a Love Motel. It's all inside, there are just hearts and sketchiness abound} I stumble upon a restaurant and figure I'll play the ignorance card. In Korea you're not supposed to go to a restaurant, or even a Hof for that matter, without ordering food. But I just ate a kimbap on the bus and am not hungry. I'm just looking to go out for a while. So I wander in and ask "magkeolli? no food, just drink." The woman clearly wants me to order something so I get up to go and she comes back and gestures for me to stay. I love playing the foreigner card!! I order a magkeolli and she brings me no less than 5 side:

kimchi
radish chunker kimchi
some other radishy kimchi
tuna
odeng

yum! I obviously eat it all because it's there, drink my magkeolli and try to pay. It's 3,000 ($2.50) and I try to give her more because I didn't eat. She's not having it. She was so sweet!! On my way out I tried to explain I would be back tomorrow for food, but I'm sure that got lost somewhere. So now I'm back in the room on my computer about to passout. For whatever reason (probably because I have been sleeping 12 hours a night all week) I awoke at 7 this morning, so now that it's 11:30, I'm about ready to go to bed. Tomorrow's a big day of sightseeing. Hopefully I can find the lighthouse, beach, fishmarket, and whatever else there is to offer here. Full review of Sokcho to come. So far it's pretty quiet....

2 comments: