Monday, December 19, 2011

Just One Bite!

As I've said, I am always up for a new experience and this one took

me to the oldest Korean restaurant in Chicago.  Now.. I am not going

to let you think this was my idea or that I was going in complete 

agreement with this decision.  I'm not that adventurous with food!  

But I was going with my family... love!... and we were heading into

the city.. love!... and all I could see running through my head was that scene

in The Christmas Story where the Buppese's hounds had ransacked the

the kitchen leaving the turkey torn to shreds on the floor.  Remember the

next scene where the only restaurant the family found open was a Chinese

restaurant?  The duck and choruses of "Fra-ra-ra-ra-ra" leave everyone in 

hysterics!  That's just the BEST scene!  So.... I was open to a new adventure!

We open the door and one by one, head inside to a tiny (maybe holds 50

people at one time) world that held such promise.  I was delighted!  It 

almost felt like I had entered someone's home.. clean, intimate, and only

viewed by their closest of friends.  There were roughly ten tables, each 

with a large cast iron skillet in the center where you prepare your own food. 

Not knowing if we should seat ourselves, we patiently waited until someone 

points to an available table.  The waitress appears with four menus... Korean 

language first with english subtitles.  Perhaps I shouldn't have looked!  Cow's 

ankles?  Please don't tell me it would all be along this same line!  (I could see

that we're not in Kansas anymore, Toto!)  My husband, who has Korean clients

and has traveled to their country several times, ordered for all of us.  Phew!

I was pretty sure cow's ankles would not one of his choices.. or so I hoped!

It was only a short time before our food arrived but enough time to allow

me to look about the room.  In my mind, this photo is priceless....

Gives you a perfect idea of our experience... handsome family, right?

                                         This child is so precious!

Our table that seemed quite comfortable for four soon was weighed down

with dish after dish of condiments and sides to accompany the massive 

amount of raw brisket... to be cooked by us in that cast iron skillet that was 

heated and ready!  Everyone dove right in, cooking the meat and then

swirling it in sesame oil and salt; wrapping greens in it; bathing it in soy sauce

that had chunks of onion marinating in it (to be eaten, also); adding kimchee; 

whole cloves of garlic; bean sprouts and others that were foreign to me.

And may I add, nary a fork in sight to eat all this with??  Ok... I can work

with chopsticks.  I'm going to go with the flow! Even though I was feeling 

silly using two hands prying them open to pick up each piece of meat. Ohhhhh..

you're supposed to break the chopsticks apart first?  Now you tell me!  I guess

everyone was so busy snarfing down their meal they forgot to see this poor

ol" girl needed some guidance!  Typical!

We are nearing the end of our meal with some sides still left in their saucers.

At this point our waitress appears and takes over.  Working

quickly, she picks up a piece of meat, wraps some paste inside with a clove

of garlic.  Looking at me, this lands on my plate.  Politely, I explain I'm full.

Just a little white lie.  After all, what the heck was in that paste??  It could be 

very nasty and then I'm left with that awkward situation of wondering where

and how to spit it out!  Well, I obviously didn't know who I was dealing with. 

No words... only a stern expression on her face.  Realizing that I was one heck

of a stubborn customer, a bit of english finally was uttered.... "Just one bite!".

I am now reduced to being six years old and told in no uncertain terms  I 

would not be allowed to leave the table until I had one bite.  Quickly, I pop it

in mouth to be greeted with the most amazing taste sensation!!  A smile

appears on her face.  She has won me over!

The meal is finished.... the check delivered with one stick of Wrigley's Double

Mint gum for each of us...... (how unique is that?!)

So... happy waitress for conquering another skeptic, happy family with full

bellies, and happy me!!  Fa.. la.. la.. la, la, la la!!!!!!

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