Thursday, December 29, 2016

Bros Kitchen and Gastro Pub in Songtan

When I first saw Bro's Kitchen, I'm not going to lie, I wasn't excited. I've had so many terrible burgers and sandwiches in my life (all over the world) that I'm rarely excited about trying a new place. I'm more interested in noodles and rice. In fact, I'd say that I arrived at Bro's ready to dislike it. It actually took TWO visits in order to work up the guts to try something. THAT'S how much I don't enjoy burgers. I was 100% sure it was going to be smothered in really weird sauce, on terrible quality bread, with low grade composite meat and I would be sick for a day.

Once again, a restaurant has humbled me and set me straight. The Earthquake burger is a delight and the fries that come with the set are cooked just the way I like it. It's wonderful that, these days, new restaurants in the area are proving me wrong more than right. New owners are upping the game and changing my views of what's possible. Thank you Bro's for teaching me a lesson to not judge a new restaurant by past experiences.

So what makes this burger stand out? Let's start with the bun. It's awesome. I've been super unhappy with the brioche bun concept that has been very popular in Korea. It soaks up all the sauce and just gets gross.  Bro's bun is the opposite of that. It's hearty (more like a European bun), well formed, and holds up the ENTIRE meal. The burger to bun ratio is also right. As my dining companion said, "It actually tastes like burger, as in the meat." They haven't tried to make you feel like you are getting "more" but hiding a small patty in a huge bun. So visually it seems smaller than other burgers, but it's not. There is just less filler.

Next, the sauce isn't too sweat and it's not drowned in it. Usually this is my biggest complaint. I get a burger and it's swimming in a weird sauce that drips everywhere, destroys the bun, gets gross messy, and makes the entire meal the worst.  I have a lot of feelings about sauce.

Sadly, what I can eat at Bro's is limited since it's a cheese heavy menu. Most of the dishes would be pointless if I had them hold the cheese so I'll have to let others review those. For now I'll just stick with eating my weight in Earthquake burgers.

WAZE ID: Bros Kitchen and Gastro Pub

*** This listing and all other restaurants reviewed by South of Seoul can be found in the South of Seoul app which can be downloaded from Google Play and the Apple App Store. ***

Monday, December 12, 2016

The WAZE App: Using WAZE ID from SOS app

Ok, so you have the South of Seoul app and you've picked where you want to go, but we all know navigation is a beast with Google or Apple maps. Well, I'm using the WAZE app to solve this problem. Here is how it works.

Step 1: Find the restaurant, cafe, or location you are interested in visiting.
Step 2: Look for the WAZE ID in the description.

Step 4: Open the WAZE App. Click on the bottom left icon.
Step 5: Search for the WAZE ID. When you see the business you are looking for pop up, click on it. EVERYTHING MATTERS here. Capitals, spacing, etc. Enter it EXACTLY like it's listed in the South of Seoul app.
Step 6: Click go. WAZE will immediately begin giving you directions.

Hope this helps you find all the places you want to go.

The WAZE App: How to enter new places

The one free English mapping system that appears to work in Pyeongtaek is the WAZE app. Sure, navigating using Daum and Naver is easy as pie, but if you can't speak Korean sometimes this can feel stressful.

In order to make WAZE work it's best, every location that is regularly used in our community needs to be added by hand by a person standing in front of the business. WAZE does this because then the location is marked by latitude and longitude instead of an address. Since the addresses in the area are constantly changing, this is a very helpful feature - but also time intensive. So I need all the help I can get.

To add to the struggle, WAZE appears to only allow a user to add 15-18 places from one area at a time. In a dense area like Korea, this proves problematic since there might be 20-30 useful businesses in one area - requiring 2-3 trips in order to completely map it. 

The best way to solve this issue is if we all work as a team and map all the places that we go on a regular basis. Which sounds easy, except that mapping is not an intuitive feature on WAZE and takes a long time to figure out... which is why I'm writing this. I'm going to give you a photo tutorial so make it easier.

The FASTEST way to enter something into WAZE

Step 1: Click on the orange button on the lower right
Step 2: Click on Place on the lower left.
Step 3: While standing outside, take a picture of the front of the building

Step 4: Enter a name. Please enter the name as accurately as possible.
Step 5: Choose a category. You can choose multiple categories if you want to.
Step 6: Click done.

You can enter more information if you are so inspired, but it's not required. Once you have submitted this information it can take a few minutes or a few days to actually register in the app and be available to everyone. It's not a perfect system, but it's the best one we have right now.

FYI: There have been issue with the fact you now need to enter a phone number for WAZE to confirm users. I've had to do this multiple times. It's a real pain in my ass because the "text" the code option doesn't work. I HAVE to request the automated call. Because of this, I don't recommend logging in and out. Just stay logged into the app.

GOOD LUCK! and happy mapping :)

Friday, December 9, 2016

The New South of Seoul Pyeongtaek is HERE!

Living outside Seoul can be a challenge for foreigners  The language barrier is a complicated hurdle, Google maps rarely works well, information in FB groups gets buried, and there aren't many bloggers who stick around. When you need something, it's often easier to just follow the information and catch a train to Seoul rather than find what you need close to home.

However, wouldn't it be nice if it didn't have to be like that? If you had all the information you needed to solve your problems in your own community? Well, South of Seoul has done just that for foreigners living in Pyeongtaek. 

We have gone neighborhood by neighborhood and documented what you need to know to make living life close to home easy and fun. In addition to restaurants, bars, and clubs to make life more exciting - we also have special sections for pet owners and parents to help meet their unique needs. Kids making you crazy? We have over 20 places listed that cater to families. Doggies going crazy in your small apartment? Go check out one of the dog cafes or dog parks and let them get all the energy out. We are also going to be adding much more as time goes by, this isn't the end it's just the beginning.

The calendar of local events is especially helpful. The app is focused on not only foreigner specific events, but also the free arts events funded by Pyeongtaek City, local festivals, and much more. FINALLY, a place to see what's happening around town. No more searching through FB groups and pages. If you have an event you want included on the calendar, please email the information to

Since Google maps doesn't work well near the US military bases (where many of the best foreign restaurants exist) or in neighborhoods with lots of construction, we have walked through each neighborhood and added important locations to the WAZE app and included this information in the South of Seoul app. This makes navigation easy and efficient. This is an on going project, but one that will make everyone's life much easier.

You can also watch LIVE facebook videos that South of Seoul posts from around town to help you get comfortable and learn about what's up. There are live tours of restaurants, parks, community arts centers, festivals, and more. Watch videos and discover new things.

You can even share your own adventures and see what others are up to. All of us at South of Seoul are super into building a community, sharing stories. and telling about adventures. However, sometimes we don't want to tell the world, just each other. That's why we included a way to share the love of life outside Seoul that doesn't include logging into facebook.

There are, of course, many other awesome parts to the new app and we will share more of them over the next three weeks. If you are excited about exploring with the new Pyeongtaek, click on one of the following links and download it today:

Thank you to these restaurants for supporting the launch of this new app. We could never have done it without the support of our Pyeongtaek community.
  • Braai Republic
  • MANNA the Kitchen
  • Hangari Galbi
  • Louis' Bar & Grill
  • Tailgate Tavern
  • The Stoop
  • Pub 210
  • Loft33
  • Boiling Crab & Shrimp
  • Ceviche 210
  • Attractive Coffee
  • Bear Paw
  • JJ's Diner

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Rules (and fines) for Your Doggies In Pyeongtaek

Many of us here in Pyeongtaek are raising fur babies, but sometimes it's hard to be sure exactly what the rules are.  Here are the ones that Pyeongtaek is most focused on right now. Following these laws and rules will help ensure and easier life for you and your pet.

Pyeongtaek Pet Rules / Laws:

- Be considerate of others and understand not everyone loves pets. Some people are scared of them.

- Pets must be leashed. Should be decent and appropriate in length  FINE: 100,000 won 

- Pets must be tagged. The tag must specify the owner’s name, contact number, etc.  FINE: 200,000 won

- Residents must pick up after dogs (so carry bags with you). FINE: 100,000 won

- You are required to care for the pets you adopt for their life time. Abandoned pets FINE: 1,000,000 Won.

- All pets must be registered by 3 months old. They are registered with the Pyeongtaek City Livestock Division at your nearby animal hospital. Korean's use chips to register their animals. FINE: 400,000 won. (learn more at

If you need more information than this: Contact the Pyeongtaek City Livestock Division at phone number 031-8024-3840~4

Friday, December 2, 2016

Pyeongtaek Subway, Trains, Buses

Let's say that you are somewhere with friends and you want to go home, but you aren't sure what the closest subway is. Or imagine you need to catch an intercity bus but don't know where to find the closest terminal. Or maybe you want to know what subway stop has the E-mart or which station has the KTX trains (opening December 9th).

Well, South of Seoul app has your covered. We've created a detailed listing of the main transportation hubs. Just open search and click on the Subway, Trains, and Buses.

When it opens you will see the different options which will organize themselves based on what is closest to you at that moment. So this list will reorganize while you move about town. SOOO nice when you are new and still not oriented to the area.

Next, when you open the transportation hub of your choice, it will give you a list of important places located near that hub.