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Food 5.3.2015

As with any trip, unexpected things can happen. Such is the life of a traveler. Due to unforeseen circumstances this Food Friday is now a Food Sunday. It's a rainy day here in Seoul, perfect for sitting at a coffee shop and spending time writing and editing photos.

Last week I traveled to Sokcho, on the east coast of Korea. It was about a two and a half drive from Seoul (thank you to a new friend who drove me). It is very beautiful there and waking up to film the sunrise, my toes in the sand, was an amazing experience. Also amazing was the food! Because Sokcho is a coastal city, of course I had to try the seafood. My friend knew the perfect little restaurant, where we were given more food than I could eat.

My favorite part of this Sokcho meal was the squid sundae (순대, far right picture). I don't usually enjoy sundae, usually made with cow or pig intestines and stuffed with various meats, noodles, etc. It is too bitter for me, but this squid sundae was salty and eggy and just plain delicious. I barely shared it. The middle photo is soup with a sausage sundae which I also enjoyed. The owner of the restaurant gave us a lot of extras (which is called "service" in Korea), including a sweet and chilly fermented rice drink that I have to find in Seoul.

Later, after a beautiful night walk on the beach, I went by myself to a small restaurant near my motel. It had a sign out front with a "Special Menu for Foreigners". I was given free beer, ordered the donkatsu (돈까스, breaded pork cutlet).

I was also given the little snacky side dishes for free. Maybe it was because I was there during the week and was the only foreigner, but for whatever reason the owner was extremely nice to me. While the food was mediocre, I would go again just to support such a nice woman and her business!

Next, on to Itaewon (again). I spend a lot of time in this area, because I have a really good Spanish friend who lives there. She took me to this excellent mandu (만두) place, since mandu is one of my favorite things to eat in Korea and every place makes it so differently.

Far left is kimchi mandu and far right is pork mandu. There were a couple other options that I will try next time I go. Isn't it pretty? And so, so tasty.

And here is the collage of other things I ate throughout the week:

Left: Not sure what to even call this. My friend I was with ordered it, and I just went with it (I was mainly there for the citrus makgoli). It contained very thinly sliced, breaded, spicy, fried chicken, cheese, corn, rice, kimchi, fries, meatloaf, cabbage...and some other stuff. It was...interesting. Did I eat it? Of course.

Top right: More katsu, but this is from my favorite restaurant in Hongdae, and is drizzled with mayo instead of smothered in gravy. I have started eating there at least once a week and the owners are starting to get to know me. I am hoping to have a conversation with them before I leave!

Middle right: Goodies from a booth at a open market in Suwon. I went there to see the tombs, spent more time in the market. I also left with two bags of these goodies to bring back to my guesthouse friends. One interesting thing about Korea: the things I expect to be sweet (more candy-like) tend to be less sweet than the things I expect to be savory (like the tiny breads).

Bottom right: Chicken in Mangwon Hangang Park! The guesthouse staff and I had a bit of a girls night. Soju and fried chicken is a must. We purchased the chicken from a traditional Korean market nearby, and the fried tteok (떡, rice cake) on top was thrown in as service.

An excellent week of new foods, great experiences, and random trips.

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