Octopuscarwash's Gourmet Adventures

I live to eat. Yes, I am an Asian Jew. My favorite meal is breakfast (oatmeal in particular). I'm only in high school, so I am a complete amateur. Some of my favorite cuisines are Middle Eastern, Moroccan, Japanese and Korean. I eat so much Chinese food that it's hard to say whether I like it or not... all I know is that I don't like what most of America seems to think of as Chinese food, Panda Express. I'm a pescetarian and love coming up with my own healthy fusion food.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Neighborhood eats again


Hyde Park really is improving (and if Obama is elected, who knows what changes will take place?)!
They've even opened a new gourmet foods store on 47th, Zeleski and Horvath. My mom also let me know that Experimental Station on 61st has an organic foods cafe! Who knew?
We still mainly eat dinner at home, but on those nights, especially after swim meets, where it makes more sense to drop by a cheap restaurant and get home by 7:30, my dad and I go out to eat.
We've agreed that Hyde Park's best food is found at the incredibly underrated and decently authentic Seoul Korea, or Cafe Corea... the name of the restaurant is still unclear, since the menu and neon sign tend to say different things...
It had been a while since we had actually eaten at the restaurant as opposed to just getting takeout, and I realized what a cute, family-run restaurant it is. It's run by a Korean couple, and the kitchen and fridge are out in the open. The menu shows that the variety of ingredients is somewhat limited, and yet they are able to turn out three or four pages of different dishes. Of course, a true Korean would turn up their nose at this restaurant compared to the BBQ places on Lawrence Ave, but who am I to complain?
We asked for the small plates of pickles, which are one of my favorite parts of Korean food: soy bean sprouts, spicy potatoes, kimchi, and daikon.
I was tempted by the seafood pancake, which I'd had before, but since we ended up ordering both noodle and rice dishes (CARB LOAD), I opted for my favorite appetizer: blanched spinach with an almost decadently sugary sesame sauce.
We ordered perfectly: we decided to order three dishes, despite there being two of us, and eat them family style. The three dishes were sufficiently different to keep the tastes interesting-- my dad ordered bibimbap (with meat), but i managed to steal some of the vegetables before everything got mixed together.
The other two dishes were a noodle soup with egg, seafood, and vegetables (carrots, onion, scallions). The noodles and octopus provided great chew, and the broth was mild and warming. I would have added hot sauce if the second dish hadn't been so incredibly spicy.
My dad was most impressed by the tofu, vegetable, egg, and kimchi stew (see what I mean about repetitive ingredients?), and I definitely understood why he would say so-- there was something extremely complex in the flavor of the broth and the intermingling of different textures. The spice was more complex than just being hot, and the kimchi was crunchy, while the dofu was tender (nen, as we say in Chinese). The stew had to be eaten with their sticky, short-grain white rice, which I love.
We managed to eat almost everything. Even as I write this I'm getting a craving for some more kimchi...

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