Tag Archives: beef

Review: BURGERMINE – People’s Favorite Burgers

17 Nov

So, this last week, I was craving a burger for my cheat day ‘treat’, and of course I didn’t want to waste my cheat day on a tasteless meat patty and anemic toppings from one of the local fast food joints.  Who would?

Instead, I did some Googling and decided to head to Haebangchon (or HBC, as the locals tend to call it).  Just west of Itaewon, HBC has a high foreign population, but not quite as inflated prices as the main Itaewon street by the station.  To get there, you’ve got to come to Noksapyeong Station on Line 6 and walk out exit 2.  After a few hundred meters up the sidewalk, you’ll see a fork in the road, with the left-hand side street heading up a hill, and a shop with a lot of giant kimchi pots outside on the corner.  Walk up the hill until you’ve passed a couple of side streets on your right, and another tasty pub called Phillies on a corner on your left.  BURGERMINE is nearly across from Phillies. You’ll see some painted renditions of spraycans with Campbell’s labels and various popular characters on the concrete strip beneath the patio.

What makes BURGERMINE special is the concept–it’s a DIY burger bar.  You walk in, and for 18,000 KRW you have 90 minutes, during which you can order as many beef, chicken, or veggie patties as you want, cooked at your request and retrieved via a buzzer system, along with apparently endless plates of fresh-cooked french fries and free soda refills at the fountain.  The beef patties are quite thick and tasty, grilled well without being overcooked.  I liked the chicken breast as well–it came to me bearing noticeable, delicious grill-marks without being leathery or tough.  As for the veggie burgers… I don’t know how they rate, I was too full after a burger, a chicken breast, and picking off three plates of (chili) fries to be tempted into trying one for myself.

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Out with the Old (a.k.a. getting laser eye surgery in Seoul)

4 Jan

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It’s been a really intense few months!  First there was my birthday, and some fixated attention on scale numbers that were inching closer and closer to my goal.  Then there was a sinus infection. And periodic checks to make sure the world wasn’t ending. And holiday parties, and holiday cheese platters, and holiday punch.  Then there was LASEK, and being unable to read anything smaller than font size 36 for a few days, if I could open my eyes at all.

Nevertheless, here I am, with my fancy new cyborg eyes (courtesy of Dream Eye Center in Myeongdong, here in Seoul: 02-779-7888).

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I’ve only had the protective post-surgical lenses out for a day and a half, now, so my vision is still not at 100%, but at least the pain is gone.  Let’s just say cooking was still easier than reading this post as I type it.  I’m hoping the last of the fuzziness clears up pretty soon, and I am looking forward to steadily-improving distance vision.  Even with some blurriness now, it’s better than it was pre-surgery without my glasses, and yesterday/today were supposed to be some of the worst in terms of visual clarity and my eyes arbitrarily deciding to go in and out of focus.

(Update as of March 30: My vision is now better than 20/20 and holding pretty steady!  The pain went away after the first few days, and my eyes got tired pretty easily for a week or two, but it didn’t slow me down for long. Definitely pleased with my vision now, and enjoying the freedom to not worry about glasses fogging up all the time.  I definitely recommend the procedure, if you’re on the fence about it, and the clinic I went to was very professional and well-organized, with staff and doctors who spoke great English and could answer my questions.)

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In Search of the Perfect Bowl of Chili

2 Oct

I had a Monday off work, due to the Harvest Festival here. It’s one of the two biggest holidays on the South Korean calendar–the other is the Lunar New Year–and one of the few times I can rely on my friends also getting a day off.  The weather’s starting to turn a bit nippy here, especially at night, and for some reason, holidays among our crew of ex-pats seem to invariably mean Tex-Mex food makes an appearance.  Chili was the logical conclusion.  And before anyone starts, I know that “real Texas chili” doesn’t include beans.  However, I’m not Texan, and the way I grew up eating chili, it never lacked them.  To me, a pot of chili without beans seems more like sloppy joe topping than a filling meal in its own right.

Preconceptions about beans aside, this hasn’t stopped me from experimenting with different spices and blends to find the perfect combination of spicy-sweet-rich for a bowl of chili.  Monday’s, I think, was a success I’ll keep on permanent file.

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