Formerly known as "Cruzers in Korea"

Friday, February 19, 2010

Wooh! Taco Night!

Friday, February 19, 2010 0
Mexican food can be tough to find in Busan. I've heard about a tiny Mexican restaurant in Haeundae Beach that only has a couple of seats. You have to go through some back alleys, say the secret password and enter a time warp aka Jack, Kate and Hurley to get there. I hear the food is pretty good though.

An easier trek to mexican food is the Fuzzy Navel:

The Fuzzy Navel is next to the Seacloud Hotel in Haeundae Beach. The food is decent. My favorite is the chimichanga. The Fuzzy Navel is more renowned as a foreigner hangout bar than for its Mexican food. You'll see things happen here that you just won't see in bars in the US because of safety standards - things like a tall stack of glasses getting lit on fire for a specialty drink. You really have to keep your distance when this drink is rendered. If you care about keeping your eyebrows that is. On one particular visit, there were a couple of Korean girls getting temporary tattoos in the boob region at the table next to us. Not that I was paying attention.

Jake is a fan of Mexican food - especially tacos. If he had his way, we'd have taco night every night in the Cruz household. That boy loves him some tacos. See for yourself:

Jake showing off his taco inhalation skills

CJ can be a picky eater but not when it comes to tacos.

Here's a quick story on one of the most memorable taco nights we've had. At a mini family reunion at our house in Miami, we celebrated my older brother Beanie's birthday. It was his choice for dinner - go out, sushi, Chinese, whatever. Beanie decided that we should stay in and have taco night just like back in the day with the family. Taco night was always a nice family memory. Much better than reminiscing about one of Dad's rampages or getting kicked out of the house. It was always a source of pride that we were able to polish off 4 or 5 tacos, whatever our personal best was at the time. Dad would be the only one to put onions into his tacos. I've since graduated to putting jalapenos in mine. I just don't remember a bad taco night.

So on this birthday taco night, after scarfing down some El Paso tortilla shells filled with meat and veggie goodness, Beanie opened up his birthday present - a Ric Flair "Nature Boy" action figure. Back in the day, the Nature Boy was one of the most boisterous and charismatic wrestlers out there. If you're not a natural lip-reader, let me assist you. In unison, Beanie and CJ are both yelling out a big "Wooh!"

Whenever something good happens, it's always appropriate to do the Nature Boy strut (as depicted in action figure form) and yell out a triumphant "Wooh!" Got an "A" on your math paper? "Wooh!" Promotion at work? "Wooh!" Taco night? "Wooh!"

If you don't have any dinner plans tonight, go ahead and get your taco on. C2

Sunday, February 14, 2010

More Garlic & Onions

Sunday, February 14, 2010 1
So here's a follow up to older posts on garlic and onions.  Check out some of the interesting items available at Dunkin Donuts:

A kim chi filled pastry.  Nothing like a cup of joe and a kim chi donut to get your morning started.  

A different type of garlic roll.

This rice donut has walnuts and a popular red bean paste inside.

Kentucky Fried Chicken gets into the garlic act too.

After living here for a year and a half, I'm a believer of the health benefits of garlic and onions.  This country is filled with slim and very healthy people.  They swear by their garlic and onions.  Let's hope the addition of 24 hour McDonald's (with delivery) and the delectable fat pills known as Krispy Kreme donuts doesn't sidetrack the overall health of South Korea too much.

Happy Lunar New Year to everyone!  C2

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Korean Restaurants

Sunday, February 7, 2010 0
The language barrier can be challenging to navigate in Korea.  To order food, Carol and I end up doing a lot of pointing at pictures with restaurant staff. At least the pictures on the outside of many restaurants make it easy to identify what type of restaurant it is.  Here's what I mean.

Pictures of pigs means this is a pork restaurant.  Samgyupsal is one of the family's favorites.

This place specializes in puffer fish.  The poisonous puffer fish has to be prepared properly, otherwise you could die, or at a minimum, feel like you've eaten a mouthful of your dentist's novocaine.

This is obviously a chicken and beer place.

I think you get the picture.  This is a crab restaurant.

This one is a little tougher to decipher.  Pink body, bulbous head, tentacled legs, multiple appendages - yup, it's an octopus place.  Spicy octopus is one of my favorites, by the way.

With most of the animal pictures on restaurants, it seems like the animals are always smiling, as if they're happy to be butchered and eaten.  I guess it's more appetizing to see happy expressions than big dead "x's" across their eyes.  It's definitely a different strategy from the Chic-fil-a cows back in the US, where the bovines' whole point is for us to eat the other guy.

I do miss a nice Chic-fil-a sandwich.  Best chicken sandwich ever.  BTW, not sure if the Chic-fil-a cows advertising campaign would've been so successful in Korea.  Koreans were pretty sensitive about US beef and the whole mad cow disease thing.  Cows painting signs might not have gone over so well.  Just saying.  C2

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