We are slightly head over heels for Korean food. Sometimes I wonder if our stomachs keep us coming back to this faraway country. “What’s the first thing you’re going to eat?” Lindsay asked me right as I was about to drift off the night before our flight to Korea. Instantly, I was transported to a bustling, well-lighted Korean restaurant where soju glasses clinked in the distance and carefully arranged, colorful side dishes filled the table. I could hear the samgyeopsal sizzling over the grill, feel the steam of kimchi jjigae hit my face and taste the sesame leaf and lettuce wrap full of rice and pork. “Imo,” I imagined myself yelling to get the attention of the waitress to place my order, “I’ll have it all.”
It was with nothing short of horror when I heard from a co-teacher that Daegu is notorious for its bad food. I knew that no food could top the food from my beloved province of Jeollanam-do(see my love letter here), but certainly these native Koreans couldn’t screw up their national treasure….could they?
On day two of arriving in Gyeongsan, I was served kimchi that was still frozen. Blasphemy. It is like being served frozen french fries. Desperate, we began inquiring about restaurants in the area. Suggestions came pouring in from the veterans. “Try the galbi tent restaurant across from the bakery,” “Dae Jeong, is run by four women and you get lots of banchan,” Across from the apartment on the second floor there is a good soup place.” And just like that, the delicious food materialized.
Check back for restaurant suggestions in the Daegu/Gyeongsan area as we find them. And if you are a seasoned veteran, give us a few to try.