Tuesday, July 25, 2017

5 Pho-king Fabulous Asian Restaurants


One of the benefits of living in an area filled with foreign immigrants and expats is having a selection of wonderful - what we call - expat home base restaurants. The places were expats from a particular area of the world gather to build community and feast on flavors we miss from home. This is a list of our top fav Asian expat hangouts. Oh, and they aren't all about pho, the title just made us laugh on a day we needed a good chuckle.

1. Pho Nho Vietnamese
Pyeongtaek Food & Fun


This is like hanging out in the families kitchen while their friends come over. The food is think with strong Vietnamese flavors. It's sweet, sour, hot, cold, and magic. Understand that this isn't a fancy restaurant and it smells strongly of Vietnamese food magic which might be too much for those without an adventurous appetite. This one is so good it gets two photos.




2. Thai Buffet (No sign on the door)
Asan Food & Fun


This isn't the cheapest option on the menu but it is an amazing deal. 20,000 per person. They have both pots of daily Thai treats as well as an all you can eat shabu shabu spread. They have only advertised for Thai people, but they do speak English. This restaurant isn't in Pyeongtaek. It's in Dunpo which is a small Asan town that bumps up on the border of Pyeongtaek near Camp Humphreys.


3. Kantipur Northern Indian and Nepalese 
Pyeongtaek Food & Fun




If you looking for some home style Northern Indian treats you have found the right place. This is where we go when our friends with mom's from that region are feeling homesick. The do it right, even down to the egg hidden in your Biryani. We especially love the appetizers which could make up an entire meal on their own.


4. Chingdda-o Shabu Shabu and Lamb - Chinese
Pyeongtaek Food & Fun



This might be a little too authentic for the average person.  It's filled with Chinese workers who hangout here in the evenings, both inside and outside on the streets. Since shabu shabu (or hot pot) came from China this is a great place to eat it. Here it will be spicy. They have many other Chinese dishes as well. It's very popular for it's lamb skewers as well.


5. Chinese Street Food
Pyeongtaek Food & Fun



This super cheap corner food hut has some lovely Chinese street food treats for only 1,000 won. You can easily fill up spending only 1-2,000won. It's a favorite for me when I'm in a hurry and don't want to spend all my money.


For address and WAZE directions to anything on this blog download the South of Seoul App from either Google Play or Apple App Store. 

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.app.southofseoulz

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. 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

We Go Together Summer /Fall Camp


South of Seoul is excited to announce the first FREE Pyeongtaek City Youth Center camp for Korean and American students!

We have been working  for months with the Pyeongtaek Youth Center to create this (and another upcoming) FREE summer camp for students this year. We also added Sig Flips the Table as our personal adviser in order to make sure military parent's needs and opinions were well represented in the organization process. Everyone's efforts paid off. The first camp will be held is for grade school students (birth years 2006, 2007, 2008) and will take place over two days (8/2 and 9/9) Even though this this camp is spread over two days in two months, it's considered the same camp so students who register for this camp must be available to attend both days.

The camp is first come first serve. 
The first 15 applicants will be accepted to BOTH days of camp. Due to space, only two kids from each family can attend. Remember, these are not two different camps, but the same camp over two days.
Additional applicants will be placed on the waiting list.
  • REGISTRATION DEADLINE: 7/20
  • LOCATION: Pyeongtaek Youth Center (Near Lotte Mart. They have a HUGE amazing facility with so many resources. We are so lucky they are interested in working with US families.)
  • COST: FREE 
  • LUNCH: Included. (Provided by Pyeongtaek Youth Center)
  • DATES: Wednesday August 2nd and Saturday September 9th 
  • CAMP TIME: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • ATTENDEES: 15 American students / 15 Korean Students
  • EVENT MANAGERS: Pyeongtaek City Youth Center and South of Seoul
  • TRANSPORTATION: Provided for Free. (Transportation to and from the Camp Humphreys area with pickup locations in from on Camp Humphreys walking gate and PIEF Center.)
  • Each camp will have a South of Seoul families representative in attendance. 

CAMP DAY 1: 8/2 Camp (Wednesday) 

Children will organize into groups and get to know each other through group games and play. After lunch, children will go to the woodworking studio at the Youth Center and work on a project with the new Korean friends they made.
CAMP DAY 2: 9/9 Camp (Saturday)

Let's take everyone to the market! Children will explore a traditional Korean market, buy ingredients then make themselves lunch. Afterwards, they will try their hands at Korean and American styles of cheer-leading.

A quick heart-to-heart about being a no show at free events:
It's VERY important that if you register for ANY free events that you attend or at LEAST give 48 hours advance notice so that others on the waiting list can be included. Many highly organized free events for foreigners hosted by other organizations have up to a 70% same-day no show rate. It puts great stress on the organizers who lose hope and a desire to serve the US military community.

Honestly, between us, we all have a social responsibility to honor both the work and generosity of area organizations and the tax dollars used to fund them. It's a huge undertaking to host these free events for foreigners while dealing with the culture and language barriers. We can fulfill this responsibility by simply showing up as promised.

For this particular situation, if everyone who signs up followings through, there will be more and more free camp opportunities. So please help a wonderful opportunity grow by simply showing up for the free camp you signup for :) 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Sign up for a Family Tour of Seoul


We started with the Summer Pyeongtaek Beach Buses and now we are expanding into family trips to Seoul! Diana from Brooklyn English Used Books presented us with a plan to create relaxed, comfortable bus tours lead by local Korean Volunteers and we couldn't say now.

The first trip Diana is planning is to the ever stunning and culturally relevant palace area of Seoul called Gyeongbokgung. This an absolutely must see spot that can be complicated for families to get to due to traffic and/or transportation issues. Not now!!! Now you can simply join a very affordable volunteer tour (19,000 won per person) and spend the day enjoying the sights and relaxing with your kids.

You can learn more CLICKING HERE to see our FB EVENT :)



Thursday, July 6, 2017

Fire Cooked Lobster

 

This is another one of those places I expected to hate and didn't. There are so many ways a Lobster Roll can go wrong and I've tried most of them. Even when I had one in Maine the lobster was tasteless, barely there, and it cost like $15 while not filling me up. (Even remembering it makes me sad). But enough about them. Let's talk about this Fire Cooked Lobster joint.



Last night on the way to TacTac I was totally seduced by the affordability of this Lobster Roll (9,000 won each) and the fact they were cooking the tails with a blow torch. Honestly, if you light it on fire or put it on a stick I'm going to eat it even if it's food I normally hate. I'm paying for the experience. Can't tell you how many crappy things I've eaten because of this. (I don't actually love everything I try. I just only write about the things that make me happy for some reason.)



Much to my surprise and - maybe even - annoyance. I completely loved the Lobster Roll. It's so douche and gimmicky buy it was also good and reasonably filling (on a hungry day I might eat two). The weird sauce they put with the chips was even fun to eat. Weird, but tasty.  I can't wait to go here again. I'm so hoping they keep up the great work keeping the lobster tails cooked to perfection. It made such a difference. (I really don't like rubbery lobster or crab).



This is a wonderful addition to Pyeongtaek. I'm hoping they are super popular so that they can maintain their quality and focus on doing what they do right.


For address and WAZE directions to anything on this blog download the South of Seoul App from either Google Play or Apple App Store. 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. 


https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.app.southofseoulz

TacTac


First of all, completely NOT Mexican food and I totally don't care. I'm not selling you on this because it even resembles a taco - it's more like a burrito you make at home when you are cleaning out the leftovers and you think, "Hum?? That's pretty good. Also kind of strange... but I like it." I mean, it was a total mess but I scarfed it all down and felt good about it (maybe because it's a lot like the "Mexican" food we made in Alaska in the 80's & 90's). Didn't regret it. Will totally eat there again and think, "What am I eating?" but still be totally ok with it.


If you are a super picky eater where everything has to be "authentic" and just like home please don't go here. This isn't for you. Just keep walking. To go McDonalds or something. For everyone else who like a fun little adventure you might just find a delightful little place to eat some weird Kor-Mex food. Personally, I don't care if people from other cultures experiment with food and flavors. That's how we come up with interesting, inventive new things to eat.


Plus, it has Jarritos and you can't go wrong with Jarritos in a cute lunch stop with an adorable owner eating food wrapped in a tortilla. Maybe it's my seven years in Korea, but I was a content little waegukin.



It's not terribly cheap but not horribly expensive. One "taco" (which is more like a small burrito) and a Jaritos was about 8,800 won or something like that. Can't really remember. Didn't break the bank, but did make me scream "I should have gotten two". They also haven't made their menus yet so if you have zero Korean skills it might be hard to order.


For address and WAZE directions to anything on this blog download the South of Seoul App from either Google Play or Apple App Store. 

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.app.southofseoulz

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.