Monday, January 07, 2008

Weekend Update

Any weekend that begins with a Friday evening at Pusan's is already complete...everything else is just bonus. It is and has been for years, our absolute favorite restaurant in the area. I started going there about 10 years ago with my other brother and sister and have never been able to kick the habit (not that i want to). Larry was stationed in Korea in the late 70's, learned the language, embraced the culture, and discovered his latent Korean palate.

I still remember the first time they took me there. It wasn't near the flashy, trendy, foodie place it is now. It was your typical "hole in the wall" Korean chop house. I remember the ladies faces brightened when Larry greeted them with a slight bow and fluent Korean, you should've SEEN them bolt into action and the food started flying onto our table! They buried our tabletop in small bowls of beautiful banchan. For me, it was like walking through a piquant botanical garden...and that was just the appetizer. Again, i listened to him order off-menu...and when i say off-menu i mean...it wasn't ON the menu. And again, the waitress, a pleasingly plumpish Korean woman in her 50's her jet black hair ever so gently salted...beamed brightly, bowed slightly and scurried quickly away towards the kitchen and excitedly barked the orders to the other two ladies cooking who glanced our way with the same knowing smiles. Ten minutes later...it came like a tidal wave of flavor in a steaming stone bowl packed with goodness. Thus began my love for Bi bim bap, yakimandu, and of course kimchi. Larry was right, once you get that taste in your mouth, you crave it, and nothing else will satisfy.

When The Queen made her grand entrance into my life, i introduced her to the world of Korean gourmand, and she was, like me, immmediately junkied. As evidence of the fact, hours after The Prince was born, i asked her what she wanted to eat (obviously, hospital grade food wasn't on her radar) and she looked at me smiling like, "Do you have to ask?" I made the run, just a few blocks away. She worked her way through the kimchi and about a pound and a half of bulgogi and another pound of rice, and by the look on her face you could tell that post labor pain (of a 10 lb. 4 oz. hairy coo) was for the time being, mollified.

Now, the Prince and Princesses are getting their young epicurean foundations structured correctly. Although they haven't yet taken to the gochujung (the Queen and i might as well put a nipple on the bottle) they are coming along nicely. Relegating my fears to evanescent angst. Beef bulgogi and rice, yakimandu, and they are starting to at least eye the kimchi...and ask. After being vehemently declined by Princess #1, Princess #2 stated proudly that SHE would like her birthday party at Pushans!

So Friday night, we returned. And the ladies, as always when we enter, greeted us happily, commenting on how big the children are growing, and how they've watched our family grow from, just me, then The Queen, then pop, pop, pop! They are ever so good to us. And per diem, i needed a wheelbarrow to roll me out. While we were at the register we informed them we would be bringing them a new customer in June, their faces brightened again, and "Aaaaeeeyah! another one!"

8 comments:

Buck Pennington said...

Ah! A good local restaurant is a treasure... a good local Korean restaurant is a treasure AND a rarity. There's kimchi in my fridge, as we speak. But I'd have to drive at least 150 miles to find a Korean restaurant. The downside of small-town life.

The Friendly Neighborhood Piper said...

150 miles you say...hmmmm, yeah i'd do it for a monthly fix. Cost of a barrel of oil be jiggered.

inpassing said...

Hey Piper, your "June" comment didn't go unnoticed to the trained eye of a Nana. Congrats to you, the Queen, and the rest of your Kingdom!

Doc said...

Okay, I'm going to have to stop reading this blog late at night, else I'm never going to shed the holiday pounds. Nobody else's blog makes me want to head downstairs and raid the fridge, but this one pretty consistently does. Thanks, Jay, I think. ;-)

Dawn said...

I've been there once with my siter and her husband, and yes it was an awesome meal. I can't help feeling like it would be nice to go with someone who would know what I was acually eating. So how about it Piper, think you could talk my meat and potatoes man into checking out something new?

Dawn said...

no not my siter, just my sister :)
What would a siter be anyway?

The Friendly Neighborhood Piper said...

Nana Napkins: Thankyou!! I never know any more who knows and who don't, we kept it on the low down for so long for preceding reasons which you know. We're pretty excited. We are also pretty done.

Doc: What can i say? It is the Extended Table (Kitchen being the understood locale). Its just food for thought, any actual intake of physical food or otherwise is not the sole intent of the author. No animals were harmed during the writing of this post...yet.

DP: Siter would actually work in the sense of the siter functioning as the individual who actually sees the target restaurant. As far as getting the beekeeper in the door, i can cover the meat part, mounds of it...but he may have to bypass the potatoes and make the leap to broccoli and cabbage.

Buck Pennington said...

I never know any more who knows and who don't, we kept it on the low down for so long for preceding reasons which you know. We're pretty excited. We are also pretty done.

I caught it, too. But I figured a more formal announcement just might be forthcoming and this was but a slip of the wrist (fingers?). Whatever...

CONGRATS to you and The Queen, Jay! (And I completely understand the "we're done" comment, as well.)