Sunday, March 26, 2006

Fogo de Chopsticks?

As you may know, my dad and I are on a mission to eat food from all over the world. I'm not just talking eat some Mexican here, some Chinese there. I mean, see a hole-in-the-wall restaurant called "(unknown non-English word) (name of foreign country) Cuisine" and we're most likely going to stop there. I've eaten Ethiopian yogurt-based bread and raw meat, Peruvian octopus rice, Turkish lamb and pita... you get the idea. For the first time, I had Korean barbecue yesterday, and it's clear that the Koreans know how to eat.

Maybe you're familiar with the concept. If not... maybe you're familiar with the concept of Fogo de Chão. If not, you're being seriously deprived of an amazing culinary experience. It involves gauchos coming to your table and carving you slices of meat, over and over again. But rather than resorting to singing the praises of Fogo de Chão (which is all to easy to do), I'll instead describe Korean barbecue. Think of it as a cross between the aforementioned Fogo de Chão and fondue. Basically, you can go up to a buffet and grab pieces of raw meat (you can grab other things, too, and you'll find that those conform to the general Asian cooking tradition of being almost but not quite Chinese. Very good, but that's not what you come for.) and bring them back to your table. Then--I'm not making this part up--someone will come to your table, light a small grill either built into or sitting on your table, and throw your raw meat onto the grill. The waiter will continue to attend to your meat, turning it, cutting it, etc. until it's ready to eat.

It's an excellent way to dine.

A few mysteries remain, though. A Korean family that was sitting next to us (and you know you're in a good ethnic restaurant when people of that ethnicity actually eat there. Unlike a few places my dad and I have ended up in, though, there were other white people in the restaurant as well. That Peruvian place... I think we were the first two white dudes ever to set foot inside, except for maybe the health inspector. But I digress.) got glasses of steaming beer-colored drink. My dad and I were not able to determine conclusively if there was any alcohol involved, nor what the drink smelled (much like tasted) like... all we know is that the Korean dude next to us was sure guzzling it down. Secondly, next to a fairly good selection of fruit on the buffet, was a tub of brownish liquid labeled "cinnamon drink." It was, in fact, cinnamon-flavored. I have no idea what its real purpose was. I in turn drank some and dipped my fruit in it, and I cannot say if this was correct or not. But it was delicious.

A preview of coming attractions: the already-promised Oblivion review, a couple of thoughts on Star Wars, a discussion of to what degree various religious wars have been motivated by religion (oh yeah), and Ms. Penn's ideas on similarity and oversimilarity. If I have time for all of that.


Andrew said...

Don't even tell me about gray weather, my friend. Although I must say. We have a blue sky right now (a first in Rochester history, I believe).

I only wish that I was still in the hood to partake of the ethnic experience (specifically the food bit...) with you. I'm getting kind of homesick reading your blog. LoL.

We gon' git krunk this summer.

Matt Pavlovich said...

Fair enough about the gray weather.

Krunk this summer? Oh, most certainly.

::Alejandro:: said...

Nice to read about your adventurous eating habits--not everyone in this country has that same attitude. I'd be interested in hearing more about that Peruvian restaurant. Happy eating!

Peru Food