Posts tagged ‘vacation’

Uhhh…I Wouldn’t Eat There If I Were You

The world over is full of amazing places to go, adventures to take and awesome meals to partake in. I for one am a firm believer that you the true way to get the flavor of any place is to try its food. I’m no sissy eater, is what I’m trying to say. I’m willing to try anything once and I go by the saying that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. However, when I heard about these umm, shall we say…weird restaurant names, I found myself faced with hesitation. A man, a real man, mind you, has got to know when to draw the line. And I draw the line at these weird sounding restaurant names and for the disturbing thoughts and ideas that go in my head upon hearing of them. Here are my top 5.

1. The Elegant Dump– This restaurant in Nantucket was supposedly open for years! Why? I don’t understand! When I hear the word dump, I think of number 2, the toilet, relieving myself, or whatever you want to call it! I don’t want to eat in a place that I associate with shitting, thanks very much!

2. A place in Memphis that sold hot dogs was called…Doggy Style Hotdogs. Umm, Maybe on a drunken night with my friends I would consider grabbing a bite, but not when I’m with my innocent little nieces and nephews, or my proper parents! I don’t know who’d die first of embarrassment!

3. Cheezus Crust– This place supposedly serves Pizza..with what I might ask? Some scripture and a Virgin Mary Martini on the side? I’ll take my religion in the church please, and not in a pizza parlor.

4. Chewy Balls– God only knows what they sold in this restaurant in Houston! This is not funny people! It makes horrible, painful nightmares about someone cutting off my personal lower region and enjoying them for break fast all too real! Nooooo!!!! The name just makes my lower areas hurt!

5. This is the last and my absolute favorite! Has anybody ever gone to Dirty Dick’s? You’ll never believe what they serve too…Crabs!!! Can you imagine the conversation? I got crabs at Dirty Dicks! They were soo good…Really hit the spot! Sounds appealing right?…Wrong..The only thing this sounds to me is itchy, gross and oh, did I mention wrong?.. just plain wrong!

So, the next time you want to go somewhere, don’t randomly consult some know-it-all bozo for the best place to eat. Do your research, go online and maybe get some genuinely good travel tips . And when you end up in a really nice, really classy 5 star restaurant, don’t forget to think of me, and say a silent prayer that you didn’t end up having dinner in possibly nasty and absolutely questionable Chewy Balls instead!

Cheers!

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March 24, 2008 at 3:45 am Leave a comment

Seoul: Soul Food for Travelers You Will Miss

While designer boutiques and cafes spring up in Seoul, I will share with you my travel experience with some sections of Seoul. This capital of South Korea offers silk worm snack foods and street jazz.

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The place. It was a clear spring evening, outside Tongdaenum stadium, west of Seoul. Hundreds of teenagers mill around waiting for the clock to strike 8 p.m. I wonder if it is not a soccer match or a pop concert they have come to see. Their excitable chatter would lead me to believe otherwise.

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Oh I see! The big attraction lies across the road at the Migliore department store. 14th floors of thrifty glamour fashions and the latest arcade dance machines. Or maybe a guest pop group appearance awaits the crowd. Migliore’s night-owl business hours (8 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily) have made it a beacon for Seoul’s restless and hip-to-the-groove youth. And at 8:06 p.m. the first transactions are rung though. Less than eight hours after Migliore closes its doors, another hive of shopping opportunity will abuzz on the other side of the city.

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We inched our way up the base of the imposing Mount Namsan, Myong-dong district, a new face of Seoul. Here we saw sleek office complexes rise over bustling local markets, Eastern and Western fashions. Coffee is the beverage of choice.

korea-myong.jpgThe food. Commerce is certainly the force driving the capital these days. But I find it’s worth noting about our travel to Seoul is when dinner time approaches. All our wheeling and dealing, haggling and bartering, suddenly stops. We and the citizens of Seoul get down to the very serious business of eating and drinking.

I believe that there is a growing demand for traditional home-cooked food that has created an enormous range of dining possibilities for travelers and visitors to Seoul. I find it the most challenging part of dining out in Seoul is where to pull up a seat at hundreds of food stalls, restaurants and even street kitchens.

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We sit down at one of these stalls and found out our fellow diners could be a mechanic chewing thoughtfully on a pig’s trotter. I saw a group of immaculately-dressed office ladies tucking into a fish head stew. I find the aromas of their dishes excite, and at the same time, completely confuse my senses. I’m still curious, odors fill the night air along the north side of Jongno Street back towards the Seoul’s city center. Oh! It’s peondaegi, or boiled silkworm larvae, wafting from dozens of street carts.

seoul.jpgOutside Danseonsa Theater, I spied elderly women spooning steaming critters into paper cups and selling them to passers-by for US$0.95 (1,000 won). I speared them with the toothpick provided and I swallow it as quickly as possible. It is at the back of T’apkol Park that I finally found an antidote for the powerful silkworm aftertaste. There are a handful of stores specializing in traditional medicine, called hanyak. Clusters in the alleys to the north, are easily recognizable by the bell jars of snake wine in their windows.

korea-snake-wine.jpgTogether with dried reptiles, exotic-smelling herbs and animal parts, snake meat soup called paem t’ang (don’t know if I spelled it correctly), and snake wine, called paem sul. At Cheung Jin Ok restaurant, opened in 1937, located in Jongno district my problem was solved. There is only one dish to choose from, hae jang or the coagulated cow’s blood broth served with extra spicy kimch’i.

kimchi.jpgDid you know? Kimchi is an absolute necessity in every Korean meal and can be made from one or more kinds of vegetables including Chinese cabbage, radish by seasoning and salting them with garlic, scallion ginger, chili and fish sauce.

January 23, 2008 at 4:01 am Leave a comment


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