January 07, 2011

stay-cation 2o10...

My previous post about the pitfalls of planning (here) led me to do very little over the Christmas season. In the end it felt amazing. Some staffers from my school headed home, some headed to tropical retreats, and there were also a few who didn't budge, and enjoyed a stay-cation. I joined the ranks of the immobile and created Stay-Cation 2o10.

It was actually my procrastination that led to the formation of Stay-Cation, I procrastinated planning so long that Christmas was here, and I had nothing to do. Yet, for some reason these things always kind of work out for me. I don't know if this is just self justification, but if I had been an eager planner, and actually gone on an tropical adventure I would have been left severely handicapped. My blown eardrum would have prevented me from any water activities. Well that's partially a lie, I could float around with my head above the water, but where is the fun in that?? seriously now!

Instead with a blown ear and lazy aspirations, I spontaneously ventured on a lavish food escapades, and to a royally cheesy theme park. (two parts...two entries...)

an evening of mastication...

The lack of Christmas in Korea really got to my palate. So, I set out in search of holiday comforts, i.e. not Korean food. The thing I miss the most from home is BBQ, the smell and taste of wood smoked food is seriously lacking in Korea. Sure the Koreans are notorious for BBQ, but it's an entirely different style. It would be like craving spaghetti and settling for ramen (Mr. Noodle), and over the Christmas break I did not wish to settle.
I sought to remedy the situation by going to Memphis King BBQ, a tiny joint located about an hour from my house (by train) near Bangbae station (I realize that means little to most, but to some readers it might be useful). I read about the place a couple of months ago, and a subsequent article in a local magazine shored up my resolution to frequent the now quasi notorious eatery.

The ribs were well reviewed, and a decent price. I was really looking forward to them. I was seriously expecting great things. In the end Corwin loved them, she thought they were great. I left unsatisfied, it's not that that they were bad, I left wanting more. Truth be told, I left missing my father's ribs. He mastered the pork ribcage a couple years ago, and this place did not meet his standard. The only remedy I could think of would be perhaps order more ribs and simply gorge on the mediocre. 

They had an interesting dessert, a sweet potato pie. In the end this would have to do. Corwin seemed excited as she ordered it from the fluently English speaking staff. However, it was not to be, they were sold out. This left us aching for a decent dessert. Good news though, Korea is a nation of WiFi, and with the help of an IPod Touch we remedied the situation. We found a pastry shop in Itaewon that could help cure our desire for pastry. 

Tartine is a tiny hole in the wall down a side street in Itaewon (an extremely popular weiguk watering hole). I'm actually kind of thankful it was a hole in the wall. It made the whole experience more gratifying because I've never seen it before, and Itaewon is a well traveled area for this weiguk. I elected for a pecan pie, and my elegant date opted for the chef's special blend of mixed berries. Both were served as individual pies, and both were delectable. I'm a pastry fiend, and the pie hit the spot perfectly. I decided to max out my calorie intake and asked for a little bit of whipped cream. Apparently that meant they should bury my pie under a mountain of heavy cream. Hence why there is not a decent photo of my pie, only a spiky white hairdo.

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