Sunday, September 2, 2012

Korean BBQ

We ventured out for dinner tonight to eat Traditional Korean BBQ at a popular place here in Busan called Bulgogi Brothers.  Talton has had Korean BBQ before at another place, but this was my first time to ever eat it.  It's been on "my list" of things to do, so we packed the boys up with the iPads to keep them occupied and three important S's: snacks, sippy cups, and the stroller.  Then we were on our way!

Bulgogi Brothers is on the first floor of the building on the left.
This is a street sign on the walk to the restaurant.

When we walked up to the doors of the restaurant, we looked at their menu posted outside and quickly realized it was all in Korean.  Talton looked at me, and we were both like, "Let's go for it anyway."  In we went.  Luckily for us, they had an English version of the menu when we asked.
As soon as we sat down, Connar was all about touching all the goodies on the table.
Knowing that Parker would also want to manhandle all the glassware within reach, I quickly got him set up playing a game on the iPad while we all got settled in.

We were very lucky and thrilled that they had a high chair for P, because we thought that we were going to have to hope and pray that he sat still in the corner of the booth otherwise.
working on his chopsticks form... actually, I think he's using it as a pencil here
Awwwww.  They're so cute!
How adorable is this?!  Connar kept smiling at the lady taking our order.  Then he'd make a funny face at her and even lean over Talton's menu to get closer.  She never looked up at him.  Too bad for her....she missed out on one cute kid trying to impress her.  :)
First up: buckwheat tea
It was served ice cold.  I never could really taste anything, because it was so much like water to me.

 Connar trying the buckwheat tea....
"Is yuck."  :)
to get the tea taste out of his mouth...  "Dats good Coke."  :) 
So many sides (and there were even more that aren't in this picture!) to go with dinner.  Some are actual sides and some are just sauces to dip the meat into.

 Next up: radish kimchi
Connar thought it looked like french fries so he wanted to try it.
He loved it so much (ha!) he couldn't rub the flavor off his tongue fast enough!  ;)
I figured if my 2 year old can try it, I can too.  I know, I know.... Some of your jaws just dropped because that is so unlike me.  I'm SUCH a picky eater.  I try to encourage my kids to try new foods, so I thought I needed to take my own advice here.  Mom, go ahead and pick up your jaw.  Dad, go ahead and give me an imaginary pat on the back from 7000 miles away...I know you're so proud.  ;)
Um, no thank you.  I know there are TONS of variations of kimchi, but this was my one and only time to give it a shot.  Go ahead and check that off the bucket list.  Done. Finito.
The boys were not interested in eating this food whatsoever, so here they are with their packed snacks from home.
mini Oreos
heart shaped PB&J sandwiches

It's my experience with these boys that sandwiches are much more appealing when they're cut into fun shapes.  :)

When you go to a Korean BBQ restaurant, you normally cook your food on the grill in the middle of your table.  For some reason, this girl cooked ours for us, so she was in and out every few minutes putting on new meat or flipping it.  Then she'd say, "Eat."  :)

Funny story about this nice young lady -- She would stand so close to Parker that he would unintentionally reach out as he was relaxing in his high chair and touch her booty.  The first time she jumped a little and giggled.  I apologized on his behalf, but he did do it at least two more times.  Geez Louise, Parker.  Talk about embarrassing for Talton and I.
 Look how neat she arranged the meat, onions, garlic, and TWO potatoes.  ;)  Throughout the meal, we ate bulgogi meat (very tender!) and galbi meat (basically rib meat).  Both were delicious!  Especially the marinade on the galbi...yummy!
Hearts.... adorable!  It's like they knew I cut the boys' sandwiches into heart shapes and they wanted our meat to be the same.  :)

Talton is REALLY good with chopsticks.  He should be considering he eats some sort of Korean lunch with his coworkers a few days a week.  He says he prefers the metal chopsticks over any others at this point.
 Connar wanted to try the meat....until it got this close.  Then he changed his mind.  :)
Unlike Talton, I am NOT good with chopsticks.  I tried to use them here and there, and sometimes I did okay but most of the time it was a no go.  It was faster and easier for me to use a fork and spoon, so that's exactly what I did.  Don't judge.  :)
meat waiting to be cooked
We bought a portable grill like this one for our condo so T wouldn't have to go outside to grill, and it's pretty darn nifty if I say so myself.
The sauce on the left was pretty spicy but still tasted okay.  The middle is salt and pepper.  The sauce on the right was pretty good with the meat.
debating whether he wants to try anything else -- there were so many choices laid out on the table
"bop juseyo" - rice please   :)
So they give you a basket of various greens (lettuce, mint leaves, etc.) to wrap your meat in.  I'm told that the Koreans like to eat this in one big bite to keep their hands from getting dirty (at least that's what all the men T works with do).  I told T to go for it, but I was going to bite mine like a lady.  :)
I'm not sure what this is called, but it was SO GOOD!  I dipped my meat and rice in it.  It had a little kick to it, otherwise I would've poured it all over my rice.  Yum!
the view of the restaurant from the front
the view of the restaurant from outside its front doors
This dinner was definitely a success!  As we walked back home, the Blue Moon was shining and all I could think about was how cool this is.  We just managed to eat at a Korean restaurant with two toddlers for nearly 1 1/2 hours with no meltdowns or runaway kids, and now we're walking home next to the beach as the cool air reminds me that our first Summer abroad is over and Fall is approaching.

 And how about this little adorable Bug?  You can't help but smile when he grins and giggles (I think sitting so still in that high chair for so long made him want to just play when we got home).  Just thinking about it makes me want to go wake him up right now.  :)

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