Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day Memories Part Deux: Seoul Garden Keeps Its Doors Open

Posted By on Tue, May 26, 2009 at 12:11 PM

click to enlarge kimchi.jpg

Like the Fox family, I had best laid dining plans that were thwarted by yesterday's holiday. In preparation for my departure, I'm not only trying to eat the stuff that tastes the best, but to visit the places that I instinctively love. One of those places is Siam Café off Nolensville. (My companion and I were trading texts about Hung Ray Curry all afternoon.)

But when we pulled up, we were dismayed to find the place closed and had to have an impromptu strategy session. We decided on another favorite down the street: Seoul Garden. We were relieved when we saw that this strip mall wonder was open for business and surprised to see that the place had been slightly remodeled--with the left section of the dining room divided up into private rooms (great place for your next birthday party perhaps?).

I ordered the vegetable dolsot bi bim bop: veggies and rice served in a scalding hot stone bowl (this one was especially piping--the rice achieved some seriously delicious crunch), topped with a fried egg and hot sauce. It's a filling, healthy meal that manages to surprise me every time with its beautiful simplicity.

The traditional Korean side dishes (banchan) that come free with every meal also didn't disappoint. And we had about eight of them! There was kimchi, marinated tofu, spicy pickles, marinated shredded beef with hard-boiled eggs, fried zucchini (delish), bean sprouts and two varieties of crunchy, spicy pickled vegetables. The place is not a "cheap" meal (my dish was around $11), but in terms of the quantity-quality-variety-dollar ratio, it's hard to beat.

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