After a wonderful stay in Sarlat, we were heading out the next morning. We loved staying in the wonderful B&B we had booked....well...except for a couple of the paintings......which strangely kind of spooked me in some strange way.
But, here we were ready to head out for the next leg of our trip in the in the "Le Gauche.....La Droite....Sortie....mobile"
If there was any doubt as to the beauty of this part of France, all you need to do is to take short pause at the Limeuil Bridge. On a day like this; with the sun shining, the water sparkling...can you see the folks fishing?
We drove along, our objective the hill town of Domme. I'd read that some of the best views of the Dordogne Valley were to be had here. Which I believe are true.
Most folks might be too young, but my Mom used to play this old album once in a while.....
"On a clear day Rise and look around you And you see who you are On a clear day How it will astound you"
Many of the canoe trips on the Dordogne River start here.
It's quite an amazing drive. We stopped at a little shop by the side of the road and bought some duck rillette and foie gras for Sammy....yes, for Sammy. And from the parking lot you had a dramatic view of Chateau de Castelnaud.
A few kilometers down the road from La Roque is the stunning and yet imposing village of Beynac-et-Cazenac.
Walking from the waters edge, up the charming narrow, winding, cobbled streets, it seems like you've just stepped onto a movie set.
You should park in the lots at the bottom of the hill, or you'll risk the fate of this automobile, manned by a British couple, who had gotten to the point of no return and seemed trapped on in of the narrow lanes. The poor guy seemed like he was going to have a coronary, while the woman was quite amused. They managed to get the attention of one of the locals, who kindly jumped into the car and maneuvered it down the street. I told her, "you've sure got a story to tell when you get home, don't you?" And the woman cracked up and nodded.
The rest of the walk uphill was uneventful and we just took in our surroundings. Near the top there are cafes and restaurants. You can visit the Chateau, and yes, there's even a parking lot....apparently there's an easy way up the hill.
We just walked to the look-out and took in the view. Yet another fantastic sight.
The best shots of the Chateau are taken from right above the cemetery.
The Chateau was once seized by Richard the Lionheart who used it as his base of operations in the area. You can read a nice history of the structure here.
Our destination for the day was Les Eyzies de Tayac so we passed through the village of Saint Cyprien and the road was closed. It was market day, so we decided to stop and enjoy.
There were many temptations.
But in the end, we just went with some fromage.....
And a strong double espresso.....
We got out of town via a round about way and actually got to Les Eyzies quite early........
There wasn't much going on so we decided to just head up north, to Perigueux, the Prefecture, administrative "capitol" of the area. We parked in one of the lots alongside the river of this old Roman town and paid a visit to the TI and picked up a walking tour map, which started at the Mataguerre Tower right across the street.
There were once 28 towers forming the walls that protected the district of Puy Saint Front. Built in the 15th Century, this is the last one standing.
The walking tour took us up and down winding alleyways, past historic buildings like the Maison des Dames de la Foi. The façade dates back to the 12th century. In the 17th century, the structure was turned into a convent.
We found the streets to be eerily quiet. I guess Sunday is a very slow day in Perigueux.
Round the corners you'd find little alleyways which seemed to be protected by a metal gate....which was open.
Exiting the alleyway, we found ourselves in a square....which was very peaceful and sedate.
We were getting a bit hungry, so we found one of the few shops open, a bakery, and got espresso, water, a croissant....
And had a bit of our cheese.......
Funny thing about France....I could just about live on croissants, baguettes, cheese, charcuterie, and wine.
We finished things up by visiting the rather imposing Cathedrale Saint Front (Perigueux Cathedral). A UNESCO World Heritage Site with quite a long history. This area has been used as a place of worship since the 6th century.
The interior space is quite large and one of the most noted features is the Baroque altarpiece carved from oak and walnut.
The Bell Tower soars 200 feet over Perigueux.
We were starting to get a bit tired. It was time to head back to Les Eyzies de Tayac to check-in and freshen up....and maybe meet a Cro-Magnon or two.....
Sadly, our stash of olive oil we brought back from Granada and Seville ran out a couple of months ago.
We've tried various Spanish brands here in San Diego; the Missus loves the grassy-peppery nuances of Spanish Olive Oil, and most have fallen short. So we headed back to.....
Baker and Olive:
This little shop in the Del Mar Highlands Town Center, stocks various olive oils and vinegars.
We're really not interested in the flavored one's, but just get whatever version of Arbequina Olive Oil they have. At the time of our visit, they were starting to switch from Northern Hemishere product (i.e. Spain), to Southern Hemisphere (Chile). Here are some of the bottles we have.
Nice folks working here. One of the women is from Kailua, Hawaii, though she doesn't look it. It's always great fun chatting with her. I will also get Dea Harissa Paste here once in a while; though I usually order it from Amazon.
Baker & Olive 12925 El Camino Real San Diego, CA 92130
Back during the middle of spring; the Missus was also grumbling about how hard it was finding unshelled walnuts. She was really enjoying using the nut cracker she bought in Sarlat. So one morning I was in the Mission Gorge area and decided to stop at.....
We used to come here all the time when we lived in Mission Valley. Its been over a decade since I've last visited.
Still looks the same, with a nice variety of produce and other products for sale.
And yes, there were unshelled walnuts for sale.
Which got the Missus crackin' again......though that loud cracking sound scares the daylights out of Sammy!
Now, if She'd only clean up Her mess.....
Farmers Outlet 10407 Friars Rd San Diego, CA 92120
How does our garden grow:
Because of our travels and other things, we got a late start on the garden this year. Still, we've done pretty well so far. As janfrederick commented on in a recent post, we had quite the bumper crop of cucumbers for a while. Sometimes 3-4 a day! The funny thing was; the Missus didn't want to waste, She was determined to consume every single cucumber. Which is how it was for about 3-4 weeks!
I think it's time to plant the next batch.
It looks like squirrels have eaten all our Roma Tomatoes and kale, so that's a lost cause.
Though the leeks are doing quite well this year.
As for our peppers. Again, I was kind of late, though it looks like the Trinidad 7 Pot Douglah is doing fine.
These are very hot, but not as fragrant as Ghost Peppers in my opinion.
Speaking of Ghost Peppers; they are just starting to ripen.
Though the Scorpion Peppers are a little late.
We have Serrano Pepper plants that are getting up there in age; they are starting to produce smaller and less fruit. There's a golden lining on this however. A few months back, I was weeding the plants, when I noticed a couple of little sprouts; which, after nurturing a bit, became some fairly robust plants.
Not sure what the deal is; but these are some of the biggest Serrano I've ever seen.
Sadly, our White Ghost Pepper didn't make it. But while pulling out the dead plant, I saw a couple of little shoots. So now I'm hoping these will do ok and will bear fruit this year.
Our Chili de Arbol is doing well too.
I was surprised to see a certain chili plant when I went to the nursery to pick up some fertilizer. I just had to get it.
From our arrival to exploring the maze of alleyways of Barrio Santa Cruz, ending with a nice dinner at La Azotea, we'd really enjoyed our time in Seville so far. Still, the streets had us pretty confused. So the next morning, we'd start finding our way around further afield. Our little flat was located in a"casa de palacio", a palace house, down the small street of Calle San Isidoro. You really get the feeling you're immersed in the history of Seville as just a few meters away, you run into the Iglesia de San Isidoro. There are over 115 neighborhood churches in Seville.
At this time of the day; Plaza del Salvador was quiet and sedate, a far cry from the loads of young folks packing the square the previous evening.
Then on over to Plaza Nueva. The statue in the middle of the square is of King Ferdinand III who defeated and drove the Moors from Seville.
From here it was a walk down the side streets, then across the Canal de Alfonso XIII also known as the Guadalquivir River on the Puente de Isabel II......I know, so many names.
The place I wanted to visit was Mercado de Triana. The Triana District, though it is part of Seville has its own distinct vibe and personality and the Mercado is a nice place to get acquainted.
Built on the ruins of St. George´s Castle this market was a fun stop for us. Triana is historically famous for its "azulejos", tile work, which reminded us of places we visited in Portugal. You see them used as signage for each booth.
There's definite semi-touristy vibe to part of the place as there's a lot of restaurants, even a sushi place. But still, it seems that locals come here for the wonderful looking produce.....
And other stuffs......
We actually returned to this stand and got the Jamon Bellota Summum - "summum" is a designation from the province of Huelva of the highest quality Jamon.
Not cheap at 31,5Euroes for 100 grams, but it was cut perfectly.
There's a lot to see in Mercado de Triana and the museum next door....there's even a craft beer bar; which was sadly closed on both our visits. Well, I guess that just gives me reason to return, right?
We left the market and walked around the area a bit. The Missus and I really needed A caffeine boost....most of the little shop were quite full, so we just stopped into a little chain restaurant.
The Missus got some espresso and I got an Americano....we needed something small to tide us over....all the tourists were getting really bad looking tapas....the locals were getting simple slices of bread.....which is how we ended up ordering tostadas de tomate. Toast with tomato and olive oil.
Being that we love the grassy-peppery Spanish olive oil, this was such a nice fit! As in "why didn't we get this before".....who cares about the tomato.....tostada de aciete....that was the way to go. Toast with good olive oil.....breakfast of champions.
This was kind of a spooky one. I drove by around noon this past Wednesday and noticed the place wasn't open. I went in and took a look. There was a hand written "thank you for the support" note. Kind of sad considering I first visited here back in 2001 and first posted on the place in 2005. Over the years they seemed to have changed hands not less than three times.
What really made it spooky was that an hour or so later, I had "FOY" Sage tweeting me, letting me know Do Re Mi House had closed down.
While I thought the quality of the food at Do Re Mi House had fluctuated over the years, they had always provided a reasonable lunch option. I'm sad to see them go.
Do Re Mi House 8199 Clairemont Mesa Blvd Ste M San Diego, CA 92111
Dede's Becoming "Facing East"......
Or Something like that. I went into this strip mall because I saw the Notice of Ownership Change posted for the former Convoy Noodle House. I was shocked to see that Dede's had closed.
While over the years; I thought the food at Dede's had really gone downhill....I'm more of a quality over quantity kind of guy; it was sad to see the windows papered over. then I also read Faye's post as well. It looks like this place will become a Chinese Restaurant named "Facing East"?
4647 Convoy St San Diego, CA 92111
Meanwhile Convoy Noodle House is Becoming "Submarine Crab":
Or at least that's what the sign says.....
Which is yet another, I think....crawfish chain from the OC?
4647 Convoy St San Diego, CA 92111
So 99 Ranch is really going into the old Haggen Site on Balboa:
In spite of what Eater San Diego said, I always had my doubts since it seems they would be competing with themselves. But on a recent (I really don't shop there enough these days) visit to 99 Ranch Market I saw this sign:
It's great that Taisho is doing so well. I found out that Taisho was an experiment in more refined, upscale yakitori for the owner (who also owns Yakyudori and Hinotez). They've done so well, that from what I heard Yakitori Hino is going to be fairly similar when they open.
Yakitori Taisho 5185 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. San Diego, CA 92117
Some Kale Pache and Garlic Paste from Harvest Market:
Recently, they expanded their offerings a bit and put in a dessert counter, have samples during the weekend, and lo' and behold, they had Kale Pache! Which I had to try.
This very rich version is lamb feet, head, and a whole lot of lamb tongues. The Missus was kinda grossed out at the lamb tongues, but I peeled back the membrane and She loved the rich and flavorful meat. The broth is super fatty though, and it needed a good bit of salt. I'll probably have it again....
The okra stew was not very good though; overcooked, very mushy, and lacking in flavor.
Beef Flap is back on the menu in the household. I grilled up a bunch along with other veggies and meat to last the Missus most of the week. This time I did the Cumin and Sichuan Peppercorn thing. The next day, I picked up some garlic paste and flat bread on the way home. We had cucumbers from the garden, some Roma tomatoes, and Vidalia onion. And I mixed some Labneh with mint and a touch of lemon juice. I also had some thinly sliced Berkshire Pork basted with garlic olive oil. Talk about a quick and satisfying dinner.
Harvest International Market 4220 Balboa Ave San Diego, CA 92117
I've found that the bottle prices at the Poseidon Project are even cheaper than most markets and liquor stores. Here's a few items I've had over the last couple of weeks.
Not too impressed with the NG Native Ale; pretty boring, not quite a brown.
This was an odd one:
Really just tasted like a standard San Diego IPA....really foamy. Don't know what the "Shojo" part is about.
The Missus just loved the Tusk & Grain Coconut Stout.
Though at 13.4% ABV, a couple of sips was all she wrote for Her on this one. In case you didn't know. T&G is Saint Archer's "artisan" line of beers brewed in Bourbon Barrels. They don't mess around; everything I've from T&G is at least 12% ABV.... yikes!
Poseidon Project 4126 Napier St San Diego, CA 92110
At least the SoCal stores. As of July first. They replaced my card with one that acts like the typical supermarket discount card, but also allows you to accumulate points. Not sure for what, but I guess I'll find out.
Also of note, I was told that Marukai in Hawaii will be using a different system....so we'll see what happens when I travel back "home".
Marukai Market 8151 Balboa Ave San Diego, CA 92111
Hope you're having a great Saturday. I thought I'd share what our Saturday morning was like in Sarlat. It started with a huge breakfast at our B&B.
Man, there's no way we'd be able to have lunch after this!
We left the B&B and headed up Avenue Thiers, which, after crossing a pedestrian only stretch, became the main street of the town; Rue de la République. It was still a bit early at 8am; the vendors usually open at about 830. Still, it was a nice and relaxing stroll up the street.
The Missus actually bought a little wooden nut cracker in the shape of a mushroom. She loved the walnuts in Dordogne and would crack them one-by-one savoring each bite!
The market actually takes up the entire length of the street and then stretches into Place de la Liberte and up side streets.
I can see why this market is also popular with the local residents; you can get it all here.
By 9am, things had picked up significantly.
And the crowds kept on growing.
I took time to stop and smell the fromage!
Behind the huge doors of the former Church of Saint Marie resides another covered market and a panoramic elevator which wasn't in service yet when we arrived. Plus, there were too large a crowd here anyway.
We took our time, exploring the side streets and alleyways; which looked totally different from the previous day.
You could make out a literal buzz in the air! It was only 10am and we needed a break. So, using a technique we learned in Rome, we sought out the Cathedral of St Sacerdos also known as Sarlat Cathedral, to escape the crowds and noise.
The TI is steps away from the Cathedral, so we decided to take a look and grab a map.
This is where I really started getting an understanding of folks in, at least this area of France. We stood in line and the very pleasant young man got us a map. As we were turning to leave, I happened to ask the young man for a dinner recommendation; a place he enjoys. He smiled and opened another map and started going over his favorite spots in town, cheerfully pointing them out. I looked at the line forming behind me with some concern. He smiled at us and said; "do not worry, I take my time with you, and all our customers." I got it! We'd have this experience a couple of times more during our trip. Ask a question, and many times, the folks in France will want to give you the most perfect, complete answer. The young man actually called one of the places to make dinner reservations for us, but there was no answer. He then marked the way to the place so we could walk over at our leisure and make reservations. Coming back to the states, it seemed that we're in too much of a rush and when someone has a question we'll often give, not the best answer, but the easiest and the shortest.
By now, things were going full tilt.
Remember the bronze statue of a boy sitting named "Le Badaud", the Onlooker, that I mentioned in my previous post? I was wondering what he was looking at. Well, I'm pretty sure it's the crowds on market day (see above photo).
It was just past 11 now and we were feeling a bit peckish. We decided to grab some cheese, a baguette, and find the quiet place to eat.
There was one fromage stand that was doing great business, so I decided to get into the queue and pick up some cheese for us.
After getting our cheese and bread, we decided to walk on over to the restaurant the fellow in the TI recommended to us and make dinner reservations which was located in the tiny side streets west of Rue de la République. Things were a lot quieter here. As we left, I mentioned that there was a brewery nearby; located one street above République.
The place was quite easy to find; just follow the signs.
And you'll literally walk into; well; for lack of a better phrase, a medieval nano-brewery.
I was told that they make all of their beer on premises! No bright stainless steel kettles here.
What the heck; we bought a bottle of the Blonde. She got us a bottle without a label and charged us less.....
Bière Artisanale de Sarlat 2 rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau Sarlat-la-Caneda, France
We skirted the crowds by heading south, around the market areas, finding the Jardin Public, above the busy parking lots, this was a nice, quiet little oasis.
We had our baguette and cheese; one a typical, light Cabécou, the other two, aged, one of them with a fine coat of ash and mold. Both were nice a creamy; though not too pungent. Quite easy to eat.
We wrapped what we had left and saved it for later.
We took a 'roundabout way back to the room. Taking time to enjoy the architecture.
And to meet some of "the locals".
We stopped by our room, freshened up and headed back out. It was time to pick up our car rental. Now things were going to get interesting.......
After sampling a few brews at Otaru Brewery we walked back to the JR Station. Just to the right of that station stands a rather nondescript street and a very discreet doorway. Behind that door is Sankaku Market. It really doesn't look like much from the outside, but walk thru that door and you'll enter a bustling little market.
Full of some of the most wonderful seafood I've ever had a chance to see.
Opposite the stands are restaurants....more like stalls with tables. One of them had a crazy line of people waiting to eat. I looked at the menu and saw that it was the cheapest place in the market.
Right before that stood another shop, this one was also busy, but we decided to just take a chance. The woman in charge gave us a paper with a number and we stood off to the side to wait.
I went for a walk to the loo....which is how I noticed that the crowds here gather around the area where the restaurants were.
After about 15 minutes, the woman in charge found us and we were seated and a little bowl of ika; which looked like it was colored with squid ink was placed before us.
We were given menus and here's where I'm glad I took a photo of the menu since folks here don't believe the prices we paid for lunch.
Not realizing how much rice was in these bowls we ordered three! Later on during the trip, Kat mentioned that we could order half portions of rice. Which we'll do when we return.
We shared the three bowls. The first to arrive was the most expensive one (2000¥) a bit less than $20. Geez Louise, look at all of that sweet crab!
Which I thought was the weakest item in the bowl. The salmon was nice and mild in flavor, fatty, with a wonderful texture. I've had Hokkaido Uni before and thought it to be very briney and intense in flavor, but this was so creamy, slightly sweet, with the wonderful flavor of the ocean. Like you took a bite of the cleanest, sweetest, water of the Pacific. The ikura were perfect, briney, not overly salty, with a wonderful snap to them. For around twenty bucks!
We also ordered this which cost 1300¥. More of that wonderful ikura and those scallops were super sweet.
The ebi were tender, but very mild in flavor and not particularly interesting....but that ikura.
I was curious what a 980¥ (about $9.50) bowl of salmon would look like. Sheeesh......
10 pieces of fresh and delicious salmon. I'm very cautious about getting salmon in restaurants; but the stuff in the market looked so fresh and of good quality. We really didn't need the wasabi as everything tasted clean and fresh, just a bit of soy sauce for the salmon. We did feel bad having so much rice left over, but we'll know what to do in the future.
This was one heck of a meal for under forty bucks....remember, there's no tipping in Japan. I came back and mentioned how good the Hokkaido Uni was to Tommy at Catalina.....which he wasn't too happy about, but what the heck.
Man, we left fat and happy. We managed to get back to Sapporo and squeeze in a nap and a nice walk before dinner, which was to be at the oldest crab specialty restaurant in Sapporo. We sure were eating well!
Our flight from Seoul to New Chitose Airport was perfectly uneventful. The airport is about 30 miles from Sapporo. It might easily be one of my favorite airports....there are a number of shops selling; well, everything! It's not a large airport and easy to maneuver....and good lord, the samples! We ended up buying a load of snacks for my MIL.....so much, that we ended up mailing it Sapporo! As regular readers will know, I'm not much of a snack person, but I was totally taken by this Hokkaido corn snack, which was light, refreshing, and not too sweet. More on that in a later post. After sampling a load of stuff and buying some snacks, we activated our JR Pass and got to Sapporo Station in no time. Our good friend Akiko had made our hotel reservations at the Hotel Monterey Sapporo, telling me that I'm "going to love the breakfast buffet". It was a nice choice, just a five minute walk from the station.
After checking in, freshening up, and relaxing for a bit, we headed out. First stop; the ATM at 7-11, the easiest, most convenient ATMs in Japan. Be it 7-11, Lawson, or whatever; the snack selection and prepared food at these shops are something to be reckoned with.
In spite of it being close to Thanksgiving, it wasn't too cold....yet! So of course the Missus wanted to walk to our lunch destination. Which wasn't so bad after putting in all those miles walking in Seoul. That's the Sapporo TV Tower located in Odori Park.
Strangely, we didn't come across too many people during our walk....perhaps it was a bit cold? Or perhaps folks were just a lot smarter than us and used the subway, which ran just a block from our hotel.
I'd read about Nijo Market before our trip and it was along the way to our destination so we decided to take a look around.
Seeing all that seafood and knowing we'd be around here for a couple of days really got the Missus excited.
The prices were no joke!
But it did get my heart beating a little faster since I knew we'd be looking for some crab for the Missus.......
The Missus had declared this to be a "discovery of ramen and yakitori" trip. Our last stop before leaving Narita for Seoul was for some Seabura (pork backfat) Ramen at Miyamoto. So it only made sense that we'd try some ramen here in Sapporo. It only made sense that we visit a place famous for what I heard called their "flame torched chashu", Ramen Zero, which, being in the Tanukikoji Shopping Arcade was really easy to find.
We entered......and of course came across the ramen ticket machine!
As with most places in Japan, the folks here were really nice......most of the labels didn't have kanji characters, but a young lady came out and we made it through punching the right buttons with a combination of really bad Japanese...at least I know what we wanted and could order it in Japanese......it was a matter of finding the right buttons.
We were in Sapporo; so it was only right that we get a Sapporo Classic "Only in Hokkaido". A light Pilsner, easy to drink, great head, with a sweet finish.
So, like I said, Ramen Zero is known for this......
Will you look at that piece of pork belly. This obviously wasn't one of those one thin slice of chashu places. I really liked the pork, which was tender, but not falling to pieces, smoky, with a nice pork flavor. The Missus thought they put too much black pepper on the beast. She also got a nicely soft boiled egg and some rice, which was just perfect.
Since this was Sapporo, I got the Miso Ramen....with the pork of course!
Man, that pork...plus the bowl was about $11 US and totally worth it. The noodles were nice, of the thicker variety,, curly, and firm. The broth was the most un-miso, miso broth I've ever had. It was very mild, slightly thick, with a touch of sweetness, and we made out what seemed like a rather strong ginger flavor. In other words, everything took a back seat to that pork.
As you can tell, we didn't leave hungry. It seems we lucked out as I heard the place often sells out of items early in the evening.
Sapporo Noodle Zero Minami 2 Jōnishi Chūō-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaidō, Japan
Due to the season, night was falling like a curtain as we left. Still, we had a bit of exploring to do before heading back for the evening.
Our time in Seoul, and Korea, for that matter was coming to an end. The Missus and I discussed the possibilities for a last meal and we decided to give KFC (Korean Fried Chicken) another shot. This time at a place that was more highly recommended. I had a place on my list....which one of my coworkers called a "Hof"??? A Hof? Like "Hofbrau"? Well, she wasn't sure.....the term "hof" is used for various places that serve beer/drinks with food and to my relief had nothing to do with "The Hoff". So it was off to the "hof".
The shop was located in the Gyeongbokgung area, west of the Palace. The Gwanghwamun Gate of Gyeongbokgung looked especially striking on this clear evening.
Finding Mirak Chicken wasn't too difficult; especially with pocket wifi, called an "egg" in Korea, and a photo of the exterior.
Mirak Chicken's popularity is in part due to being shown on a very popular Korean Food Show named Tasty Road, which is how we found out about the place after having two people mention Mirak and the show to me.
The interior has a dark and kind of pub-like feel.
As is typical with these places, there's the all-you-can eat popcorn....which I found a bit odd. You obviously need a beverage of choice; we went with some Hite, which seemed a bit sweeter, but very light, and not as bitter as the versions here in the states. Perhaps it was being on holiday....... After ordering, some shredded cabbage dressed with a somewhat fruity mayo and the standard condiment of KFC, the water kimchi arrived.
Mirak is known for their Garlic Chicken, which of course had to order.
The chicken came with a ton of glazed whole garlic cloves, which of course I loved, but made me socially unpresentable for most of the evening. As with other glazed/sweet/spicy chicken of this type, the glaze was very sticky and way too sweet for me. They really had the batter and the cooking process down as the crust was thin and light, and the chicken very moist. It was just hard to get over the sweetness, for which I was thankful for the radish.
Hedging our bets, we also ordered the regular fried chicken which was quite good.
Crisp, light, and moist. But again, for some reason we both found the seasoning to be on the very mild side. They sure had the cooking process down though.
We were glad to have been able to try a couple of Korean Fried Chicken places.
Mirak Chicken (미락치킨) 17-1 Jahamun-ro Seoul, South Korea
After dinner, we decided to take a walk around the area. We hadn't been around this part of Seoul so this made for an interesting walk. We came across a shopping arcade and decided to do some exploring.
There were quite a few food stalls......
One stall was especially popular.
It made tteokbokki, not my favorite food item in the world, but this looked different. Bright red, stir fried in oil, so I had to try some.....
The was quite good....nice chew, a slight crunch, a good amount of spice, not very greasy.....I really liked it. It changed my opinion of tteokbokki.
After returning home, I tried to find out the name of this place and learned that it is Tongin Market, which was originally set-up by the Japanese in 1941 during the occupation. I also learned that one of the most popular stalls in the market makes Gireum tteokbokki, basically a fried in oil version.......lines rarely lie, right?
Walking back was a pleasure.....we really enjoy Seoul at night.
Before heading back to the apartment, we decided to head on over to the Cheonggyecheon Stream area. A few nights earlier we'd come across the Seoul Lantern Festival. I'm guessing this night must be something special, because folks were really enjoying the sights.
The theme this year was an "Illuminated Tour of Seoul", which was very cool. We saw lanterns of many of the sights we'd seen during the previous days.
Under the bridge folks were gathered, putting together lanterns to be released in the stream.
People were having a great time. It was a nice way to end our stay in Seoul.
As we walked back to the apartment along the alleyway parallel to the main street. Apparently, the huge building we were staying at was built over the Pimatgol, parallel to the main street of Jongno. Because the lower class residents were required to bow down to the nobles everytime they came across them, this parallel alley; the "alley to avoid horses", was created. There's a couple of very nice stories to be found here.
And while there are quite a few anecdotes I haven't told about Seoul; like the Missus complaining about not seeing a branch of Cocohodo, when there was one on the other side of the building. Just like Japan, it seems like there was a story around every corner.
We dozed of easily on this evening. We'd be rising early, then heading off to the airport, via Seoul Station. Next stop; Sapporo!