June 22, 2010

you are very attractive...potato mandu

One of the foods I've decided I miss the most are perogies. It’s not like I ate them very often, perhaps once every couple of months. Yet I found myself on a mission to find some last week. I set forth and scoured the internet in search of those little dumplings of potato happiness. The search hardly yielded a batch of contenders. It simply provided one sole institution, Happidus Pub.

From what I could find in my research Happidus Pub was in Anyang City. Anyang City is a satellite city of Seoul about an hour away by train from Gusan station. I made is my mission on Sunday to visit this pub, and to eat their perogies.

I didn’t want my day to solely revolve around perogies, so further researched revealed that the Seoul Horse Track was nearby, It was on the same train line as Happidus Pub. It seemed to fit, horses and perogies, it had a definite European flare to it.

The horses were... well horses. I have never seen a horse race before. Well that’s kind of a lie, I did go to the trots with my grandparents a couple of years back. That was interesting; I’d love to see a speed walking 100 meter race. I think the two are comparable. It’s all about the form and you can’t fully break out on the final stretch. Anywho, these horses seemed small, I’ve never seen horse races before (said before), they could have been the right size I don’t know, but they appeared small. They ran their little hearts out despite that fact. Complete with an average sized Korean on their backs, it must be really easy to be a jockey here, they don’t need to find midgets.

Finally once the races were over, it was time for the main event. Okay wow that sounds like i was going to a boxing match.. um. This was not the case. It was about 5.30 when we arrived in Anyang and strolled down the main piazza, or blvd. The street was Europe meets Asia, there was a big blvd, with lots of shops, trees, and a couple fountains. Then the Asian influence, every building was 5 stories high with nothing but neon signs with names of the hundred or so different pubs/bars/restaurants found encapsulated within. The food industry calls that kind of culture mixing, fusion cuisine, in korea they call it Rodeo Street, Anyang City. I call it interesting...

The rest of the night… well…was a traffic accident. We arrived just after 5.30 to find out Happidus was closed, it didn’t open till 6.30 (speed bump #1). That really was not a problem, it allowed for more strolling of Anyang. At 6.40 we walked in, it was a super cool little bar, actually made cool with the blaring AC. Beer was ordered, and more importantly perogies were ordered. At about ten after seven the waitress came to inform that the kitchen was not open for another two hours. DAMN…. The question then became, should we stay or should we go (now)? (yes, read that and think of the song). Since perogies were the goal, I could wait, and wait we did (speed bump #2). The bar was awesome, it was playing concert DVDs on a projector. When we arrived they were playing Coldplay Live in Japan, followed by Ray Charles Live at Montreaux. This was a semi reminder of home, my father has a love for concert DVDs, and a love for playing them. After Ray Charles had performed a couple songs the owner of the bar stopped by and relayed VERY unfortunate news. They were sold out of perogies…… my heart sank, I endured two speed bumps to hit a wall.

The mission failed, no perogies: dumplings of potato happiness, potato mandu (mandu is a korean dumpling, i've tried to explain to a couple koreans what perogies are, and potato mandu is the best way to achieve this). To say that i was disappointed was an understatement. I was SO excited for them, the perogies at Happidus are hand made, the picture at the top of the article is of their perogies. I really didn't feel like eating anything else at Happidus. I planned the day around them, i had endured two speedbumps in pursuit of them. I ended up settling for some amazing indian food, complete with birthday cake! (there was a birthday meal at the restaurant, they gave us a piece of cake). I will go back for those perogies, i will simply call before i venture down to avoid further heartbreak.

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