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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Seoul Street Food (Round 2)

Seoul Street Food 
Round 2
Tornado fries + hot dog
It’s my second trip to Seoul, Korea. With my goals more defined and my eye on the prize, I began my 36-hour adventure on foot. While my goal was to eat (of course), my mom’s goal was to shop. We arrive at Myeong-dong, where both of our interests combined into a district full of life. As we weave our way in and out of shops and boutiques, I reward myself with whatever street food presents itself to me at that moment. 
Various street foods

First, the famous tornado fries I’ve heard so much about. The potatoes are peeled right in front of us, coiled around a long skewer, dunked in batter, then deep fried into a potato chip spiral sprinkled with seasoning. Like a kid again, a little snacky snack for the baby makes shopping a lot easier for mommy.  ($2 each)

Lunchtime approaches, and we don’t skip a meal. After all, we only have 36 hours to accomplish some unrealistic food goals. We find a small bibimbap joint. For mom, beef bulgogi bibimbap. For me, spicy kimchi and pork bibimbap. It comes to us piping hot and we mix it all together with red pepper paste. There’s something special about bibimbap. Why does this simple dish, that's essentially just rice and veggies, taste so good?!
Beef bulgogi bibimbap
Spicy kimchi and pork bibimbap

There’s some more shopping afterwards, but not for long. I spotted the foot long ice cream man! Carefully serving the tallest ice cream cones I’ve ever seen, this guy is getting quite an audience. I go for the green tea and vanilla combo. ($2 each)

My gut is cramping, and I don’t think I can take anymore. But then the famous French-fry-crusted corn dog appears! On a table of fried food-on-a-stick’s I spotted my ultimate Korean street food goal. I don’t know whose idea it was to dunk a corn dog in batter laced with French fries, but I’d like to shake their hand. I never thought anyone would be brave enough to merge the side dish with the entrée! I bought it, obviously. And we each took a big bite before calling it quits. ($2 each)

After all, we have to save room for our big BBQ dinner…

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Sicily: 15-Course Seafood Dinner

15-Course Seafood Dinner
Palermo, Sicily
Nothing fancy on the outside, but isn't that usually the case for hidden gems?

Via Torretta, 78
Palermo, Italy
+39 091 532934

I was told to expect the best seafood in Sicily, and lots of it. Over the past year or so, I’ve been training my palate to acquire a taste for seafood, unaware of the marathon meal that was ahead. Some friends took us to their favorite spot in Palermo, where 25 per person gets you 15 courses. Take a look at some of the family-style seafood plates we devoured.
Frutti di mare cold seafood salad.
Stuffed sardines.
Smoked tuna.
Swordfish Polpette.
Fried calamari.
Bait. That's what I called it. Looks like fried bait. 
 Seafood meatballs.
Pasta with clams.
Seafood risotto.
Penne with tuna and octopus.
Fish platter.
Sgroppino lemon sorbet to end the meal and clean the fish taste from our mouths.

I felt privileged to be taken to an authentic Sicilian seafood restaurant, where locals come for a good meal. I was the only tourist in sight, and I walked away feeling like I was let in on a secret. Down 15 plates, and countless bottles of wine, it's time to go home.