Tuesday, April 1, 2014

My Cocky Korean

Boston Market has provided my go-to meal for the majority of my adult life...and by 'go-to' I mean when I need something quick, hearty, and relatively healthy (meat, starch, and veggie w/ multiple colors represented). Unfortunately, when I last moved, I didn't base it off of the closest Boston Market location. Fortunately, I've been forced to branch out...

...resulting in my new go-to meal: bibimbap (비빔밥). Again, meat, starch, and veggie w/ multiple colors represented. There is a pretty good Korean restaurant up the street from my apartment where the owner makes most of the food herself...kinda close to homemade! Being a creature of habit, I order the same thing every time I go. So after craving a hearty go-to meal all day today, I walk into the restaurant, get bold, and announce that I don't need a menu. "I already know what I want." I was directed towards my table and confidently tell the waitress that "I'd like the beef bibimbap." That's it. No other questions asked. She wrote it down, and I felt a sense of accomplishment as she walked away to put in my order.

I munched on my banchan (반찬 - defined in a previous post) and waited patiently to hear that familiar sizzling sound from behind me announcing that my hot, delicious meat, starch, and veggie had arrived. I was hungry and had a craving...so while I waited, I could see it and all but taste it already.

Well, I didn't hear any sizzling. Then, the waitress startled my thoughts when she came over with a big, white, COLD bowl of...bibimbap. I felt disappointed and stupid. She gave me exactly what I ordered, so what could I say? I had ordered the wrong thing. See, the thing I love most about bibimbap is that it can come in a piping hot stone pot...hence the anticipated sizzle. The rice gets crunchier and crunchier up against that hot stone as you progress through the meal. That is DOLSOT (돌솥 - stone pot) bibimbap. THAT is not what I ordered. I cockily ordered straight-up bibimbap. I was disappointed. While it was still good, I didn't get that sizzle nor the crunch. I overlooked it. My basics. I now know better. That's what I get for slacking off on my Korean lessons and sauntering up into the restaurant thinking I know WAY more Korean than I actually do. Time to hit the books again!

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