Pepper Chicken

Pepper Chicken (꼬닭)
Downtown, Daegu

The Good
+ Fried chicken with flavor
+ Clean and calm atmosphere
+ Good service
The Bad   
- Limited menu
- Slightly expensive
Best for: Groups, a few beers, chicken-lovers, hangover food

Anju Expedition

Anju Expedition:
Discovering the Food & Alcohol Pairings of Korea

It was a rainy Saturday afternoon.  I was bored and hungry.  The only thing thinner than my wallet was my enthusiasm for the same old bars and restaurants.  It was time for something new, something exciting, but also something affordable.  I conscripted a comrade and drew up plans for an expedition.  Our mission: eat delicious meals and get drunk.  To guide us was a Korean tradition, the art of combining the right food with the right alcohol.  Its name is Anju, and this is our journey to understand it.

Jirisan Traversing Trail

It must’ve been an easy decision to make from the comfort of my computer chair on a sunny afternoon back in August.  Learning of a Jirisan traversing trail and deciding I’d do it both happened in a single moment.  Three days it is, 44.5km across one of Korea’s highest mountains, the “Mountain of Wisdom.” I like hiking and I like a challenge.  I could use a bit of wisdom too.  I’m going.

No detailed plans. No invitations to others.  No such efforts that are more likely to cancel a trip than improve it.  I’m going alone.  I’m going tomorrow. So I packed my bags, checked a map, and booked two nights at evenly-spaced shelters along the Jirisan traversing trail.

Meanwhile, off Korea’s southern coast, stormclouds were gathering for a journey of their own.

How to make Jeon (전)

We may know Jeon as the Korean "pizza" or "pancake." We may have tried them in makgeolli restaurants or after hiking mountains.  Cheap, healthy and delicious, they're traditionally served with seafood or spring onions, yet Jeon has unlimited potential for customization.

Now it's time to harness the magic of Jeon.  It's time to transform our cold, boring veggies into crispy delights.  Conjure quick, tasty meals at home with these easy steps.

Japanese Beef

야끼니꾸 유끼
"Yaggi-Niggu Yuggi"
Downtown, Daegu

Yaggi-Niggu Yuggi is a well-known beef BBQ restaurant, specializing in Wagyu.  This Japanese breed is renown for its finely marbled beef and relative healthiness.  Compared to other beef, it has the highest levels of unsaturated fat and the lowest of saturated fat, according to their poster.  They offer a variety of beef cuts ranging in price from sorta expensive to "holy cow that's expensive." 

Godzilla (Japanese Restaurant)

고질라 야시장
Downtown, Daegu

The Good+ Variety of Japanese dishes
+ English-speaking staff and menus
+ Fancy and fun setting
The Bad  - Busy, may need to wait
- No cheap appetizers 
Best for: Dinners, small groups, dates, drinking

  Towering above downtown's Izakaya Alley, is the King of Monsters himself, Godzilla.  Stomping out the other Izakayas (Japanese bar/restaurants), this newcomer has a diverse menu and a unique atmosphere.  Most of all, it wins the coveted ROKin' Daegu Restaurant of the Month Award which I just invented.


Palgong Makchang (팔공막창)
Downtown, Daegu

What is makchang (막창)?  Some call it large intestine, others call it pork.  Whole truth be told it's the "end" (막) of the pig's digestive system (창).  It's rectum.

Pig rectum may sound unappealing to some.  But maybe they just haven't acquired the taste, or haven't eaten it at great places like Palgong Makchang.  As something of a rectum connoisseur (read: stage 1 addict), I'm qualified to declare this may be the best makchang restaurant in Daegu, the city of makchang restaurants.  While I've written about some in the past, none can match the crispy, juicy and reasonably-priced rectum here at Palgong Makchang.

"Cold Noodles" (Naeng-myeon)

Busan Noodle House 
Downtown, Daegu

The Good+ Summer refreshment
+ Friendly service
+ Delicious noodles
+ A few pork dishes too
The Bad  - Not much else
- Move along vegetarians
Best for: Hot days, solo, lunch or early dinner

Summer is here.  As residents of this giant oven known as Daegu, we know what that means: hot sweaty summer heat.  It means diving between patches of shade while dodging gusts of bus exhaust.  It means higher frequency of SHC (that's spontaneous human combustion, for the laymen or non-Daeguites).  In fact, few non-reptilians could survive the season if we weren't soaked in gallons of fire-retardant sweat.  Fortunately there's another way, a meal that can lower our body temperature!

Naeng-myeon (냉면) is a Korean classic for hot summer days, first served in 1800's Joseon dynasty but becoming increasing popular with global warming.  Literally "cold noodles," naeng-myeon is served in an icy metal bowl, with a cold broth and often frosty chunks of frozen winter ice.  The resulting absence of heat is enough to make a certain Batman villain proud...

Rice Hamburgers (Bap-berger)

Bon-Gousse Bap-Berger
봉구스 밥버거
All around Daegu

The Good+ Low budget meals
+ Many locations
+ A deceptively wide variety of Bap-bergers
+ Some are tasty
The Bad  - Others are a sloppy mess
Best for: Those in a hurry, going on a picnic

Deep-fried Street Food

Deep-fried Street Food
(튀김 - tuee gim)

Mmmmm battered and deep-fried snacks... What's not to love about tuee-gim (튀김)?  You can find them just about anywhere, they're cheap, quick and tasty.  Well, usually tasty.