Monday, November 20, 2017

5 Places for Craft Beer In Pyeongtaek

Craft beer is never about drinking on a budget, especially when you live in Korea where it's a brand new industry. Only a few years ago we often only had two or three choices of local brews and the rest just didn't exist. Budlight and Miller were considered the fancy import beers.

During that time, the country was filled with expat bathroom brewers making delicious concoctions that shared with one another. It was like the wild west of alcohol. At our house, we used to make batches of Jamaican style ginger beer in kimchi pots that knocked us out after one glass. We don't even want to know what the alcohol percentage was, but it sure tasted good. However, times they are a changing and we no longer need to mix our drinks like potions and sip them out of recycled bottles while telling stories of the last time we had a burrito. The world has come to Korea.

Pyeongtaek certainly hasn't been left out of the new craft beer craze. Here are five craft beer pubs/bars worth checking out on your next night out. Remember, if you are trying to save money don't drink craft beer. Go to the CU, grab a bottle of soju or makgeolli and do it right. These pubs are for when you want to wear your good shoes and be fancy for the night.

Craft Beer Market
Bijeondong Sosabol, Pyeongtaek

Daily Beer
Bijeondong Sosabol, Pyeongtaek

4Frost Bar
Bijeondong Sosabol, Pyeongtaek

Portlandia Craft Beer
Bijeondong Sosabol, Pyeongtaek

64 Ally Tap House 64앨리스탭하우스
Pyeongtaek City, Pyeongtaek
For address and WAZE directions to anything on this blog download the South of Seoul App from either Google Play or Apple App Store. 

Why we do this:
We made the app to accompany the blog because it's easier to keep update with current information. In the past we've tried keeping the information on the blog but it's too hard for us to maintain the information in two places at once over time. Since we compile and write blogs around a full time jobs without compensation, we need to do it the most efficient way possible with as few steps as possible. 

Monday, November 13, 2017

5 All You Can Eat Meat Buffets Under 15,000

These restaurants aren't about being fancy. It's about getting the most bang for your buck (while consuming large amounts of cheap beer and soju).  They are a gift from the gods for all of us less-than-rich people. A good all-you-can eat meat restaurant can make you feel like a king while being   oh-so-kind to your pocket book.

These magical restaurants cost between 10,000 - 15,000 won per person (but you will need at least two people in order to be seated as they don't allow eating alone). You can have all the delicious grilled meat you can muster, as well as sides. These places are often chains (brands) and are favorites with poor college students and foreign teachers on a budget.

Keep in mind, you aren't going here for the epic quality and perfect service. You are going here because you are on a budget and you like to eat delicious things in abundance. Sometimes the french fries might be cold or the lettuce a little limp, but that doesn't really matter after you have grilled your weight in samgupsal and/or galbi.

IMPORTANT TO KNOW before you go. Each all you can eat meat restaurant will have different rules that you need to go by. For example:
  • Don't waste food: Many will charge you a 10,000 fee for wasting meat or food, so be sure your eyes aren't bigger than your stomach.
  • Pay attention to time: Often "all you can eat" means all you can eat in an hour. Be sure to keep your eye on the clock and don't stay too long. It's basic politeness to keep them in business.
  • They will charge for ALL adults at the table: This is not where you want to go if you just ate and are tagging along with friends. It's the rule that if you are sitting at the table, you will be on the bill.
  • Don't expect a kid's price, but ask if there is one: Sometimes kids are a different price, and sometimes they are not. Be sure to clarify if there is a difference between kid and adult cost if that is important to you.
With that... drum roll please... our top picks for all you can eat meat under 15,000 won per person. The restaurants mentioned are all listings in the South of Seoul app.

1. Free Cafe 
Seojeongri / Pyeongtaek

2. Ongteori Meat Restaurant 
Pyeongtaek City / Anjung Eup / Seojeongri

3. N Shabu
Pyeongtaek City

4. Sam67House

5. Dutum Galbi All You Can Eat 두툼갈비

This is NOT under 15,000 won per person, it's under 20,000 won per person, and it's all you can eat beef. The deal is too amazing not to mention. The restaurant is out in the countryside and completely worth the drive.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

RECAP: Fall Middle School Camp

For our last magic trick of the year, we partnered with the Pyeongtaek Youth Center to create a - dare we say - epic overnight camp for local and foreign English speaking residents in Pyeongtaek. It was two days of non-stop action that started at the MooBong Youth Camp in Northwest Pyeongtaek and ended at Fall Fest at Camp Humphreys.

The first day of camp started off by picking up the kids at 9:00 a.m. and then heading off to MooBong Youth Camp where we spent the morning in small groups getting to know each other and planning some simple team building games. It was the perfect low level start needed to bring the students together and encourage participation.  The counselors were very good at their jobs and coaxed out the best in all the students so that they easily and quickly worked together. You could feel the stress and anxiety of being in a new place just slip away as the kids came out of their shells.

During lunch, the Pyeongtaek Community Center was also very relieved to see that our foreign students seemed to enjoy their curry and pork cutlet and ate well. In Korea, food is a big part of the culture, so when everyone can share a meal and be happy, it's a wonderful feeling for everyone. We really appreciated the student's good manners.

After lunch, students moved from the auditorium to the lower area of camp to paint pottery that will be fired and delivered to them in a few weeks. Kids learned about the full process of creating pottery before getting to paint both a cup and plate for home. For the creative types, this was the activity highlight of the day.

Next, we moved further down the hill to the Survivor Course where students and teachers played two games of paintball. This was so much fun! In fact, all the kids who asked not to play paintball completely forgot they didn't want to play by the time we got there and charged out onto the course. That's when you know you've won their hearts. When they completely forget to hate things.

After paintball we returned for dinner in the park, which was a feast of Korean BBQ, and then back to the gym for another few hours of playing and games before we headed to bed at 9 p.m.  We have no idea how the kids lasted so long without completely melting down, but they did and it was awesome.

Honestly, we have rarely been to a camp where the kids have found their way so effortlessly. We think the fact that there was so much diversity, and that no one in charge felt the need to go too fast or be overly controlling, created a positive atmosphere where the kids could just be themselves. If they wanted to run fast, sit still, or dance, or talk - nobody was mad. It was a group of event organizers and counselors who truly loved kids.

On the second day we all got up early, showered, and at 8:15 a.m. headed off to Camp Humphreys where we met with parents who had created a US style Halloween party complete with pumpkin carving, face painting, slime making, playing games like "Red Rover", and eating too much sugar. This was like the icing on the cake. It was heartwarming to bring the Korean students and center staff on base to see into the culture that many of us at South of Seoul come from. It felt like bringing our Korean friends home for the holidays. Thank you for the warmth you brought to the party.

After we had played all the games, carved all the pumpkins, and had eaten all the food, we hopped on the bus and moved the party to Fall Fest where the kids were set free to eat even more food, mingle, and play on the rides. We think the kids liked this time of freedom after a lot of structured play. It was a chance to cement the friendships that they had made and to have some quality time together before they had to say goodbye.

South of Seoul would like to thank the following organizations and people for their outstanding work on this camp:

The Pyeongtaek Youth Center for offering us this incredible opportunity to help create our dream camp. You have been exceptional to work for and we look forward to doing more with you in the future.  Special thanks to Director Mr. Lee, Camp Manager Mr. Kim, and Camp English Coordinator Ms. Eunice for listening to us and going out of your way to accommodate foreign students.
Left: Sig, Center: Director Lee, Right: Camp Coordinator Ms. Eunice
Sig from Sig Flips the Table for coordinating all the efforts on Camp Humphreys. Without your knowledge and organizational ability we could not have done this. You are our ideal partner and we value your effort and hard work. 

DODEA Humphreys Middle School for allowing us to host our event. We are a non-military and non-government volunteer organization, with no-budget, so finding a location was incredibly difficult. Special thanks to Dr. Kpinkpin and Mr. Elliot who saw value in our project and believed in us.
Left: Mr. Yu, Middle: Mr. Om, Right: Mr. Lee
There aren't words big enough for the U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys PAO office who never even skipped a beat when Sig emailed them out of the blue for help bringing the students on base. Mr. Yu and Mr. Om took the stress out of the day for us and made the students and Pyeongtaek Youth Center staff feel welcome. Soon, you will be able to see more camp images in the USAG Humphreys Flicker feed: Also, thank you to Mr. Lee who will be covering this event in the Pyeongteak Culture Newspaper. 
Parents and SOS Volunteers
The amazing parents that planned the party and made it look easy to decorate in an hour and have it all packed up within 15 minutes. We felt so loved and encouraged.

Then we have a special shout out to the SOS volunteers who helped with the brainstorming and connections needed to keep the project moving forward.

To the inclusive and joyful students who showed up and made the experience wonderful. We spoke all weekend about how impressive the students were and how they included each other and cared for each other. It's not often you have a middle school camp filled with happy teenagers. It was an honor to be your camp leaders.

Finally, due to everyone's diligence and teamwork, the biggest issues we faced were that some shirts were too small and not realizing we needed to bring our own towels.

But don't just take our word for it, let the students speak for themselves:

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Let's Feed Those Puppies!!!

SOS Asan Shelter Volunteers present a new way to make a difference.
Want a puppy but don't have time or work too much? Then the Adopt-a-Bag program is perfect for you 😁You can put all that love that's bursting to get out to good use 😜
♥️Small Kibble Only Please♥️

🐶What is the Adopt-a-Bag? 
Since shelters in Korea are privately managed and funded, there is always great need. When dogs go hungry they develop food aggressions which can make them VERY hard to adopt. We are starting a new program for our local Korean animal shelter where area residents can "Adopt-a-Bag" of dog food each month which will be delivered to the Asan Shelter in their honor.

🐶Our goal
Provide a stable supply of 150 bags of food a month (that's 5 bags a day) to keep 300 dogs from going hungry.

🐶Why create a program like this?
Right now dogs are going hungry because the shelter doesn't know where the next meal is coming from.
That means volunteers can't focus on adoptions, they have to only hustle to find food. By creating a system where they can count on how much food will arrive each week we can free up volunteer time to work on placing animals in loving homes.

🐶How long is the commitment?
We are asking people to commit to 3-12 months. We still welcome random food deliveries but the goal of the Adopt-a-Bag program is to create stability over time.

🐶How much does it cost?
One bag of food purchased through local channels is 22,000 won. You can choose to adopt 1-10 bags.

🐶How can I donate?
We currently have three ways to get involved. The specifics for each of these options can be found in the Signup form.
1. Deliver bags of food to a drop location and volunteers will deliver the bags to the shelter
2. Donate to a PayPal account run by a volunteer
3. Transfer money to a Korean bank account designated only for food.
Click the link to make and Adopt-a-Bag commitment. You can also share this form and information with friends who want to make a difference in the lives of animals.
If you choose to drop of your donation, please remember to always buy small kibble so that dogs of all sizes can eat comfortably