Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Places to Eat in Jinju

The last post on this blog is a tribute to my friend's blog "IndiJinju," which is about "Independent" places to eat and drink in Jinju.  I have tried a few of the places on that blog.  Of course I have been to "Sound garden."  Sound garden is the hip joint in Jinju.  If you are a person who is visiting Jinju from out of town, it is the place to get krunk.  I don't want to call it a foreigner bar, because I don't think that the owner wants it to be a foreigner bar, but it is a place where non Koreans like to go.

The point of this post is perhaps to introduce some other places outside of gajwa dong that are pretty cool.  I find "Indi-jinju," to be a bit too centered around the Gyeongsang university area.  Most people in Jinju actually live in Do-dong.  Do-dong is the massive area that encompasses sangdae 1,2 dongs Hadae 1,2 dongs, sangpyung dong, and Chojundong.  

While the Gyeongsang university area is up and coming, I think that it is fair to say that Do-dong is the real "Manhattan of Jinju."   Down in the silk and steel factories of Sangpyungdong, you can find a lot of Russians, Central Asians, and Vietnamese people.  There are so many Vietnamese people that there are actually two Vietnamese owned Restaurants in the area. 

The first one is Que Huang, which means "Hometown."  You can get a bowl of pho here and some Vietnamese beer.  The pho is pretty good because it has cilantro and dried onions in it.  Vietnamese wives of Korean dudes like to go here to hang out and play cards. Que Huang is in the backstreets behind homeplus.   I introduced the place to my co-workers.  I believe that I am the first English teacher to have gone there.

I also believe that I am the first to have gone to Thay Quan.   Thay Quan is in Sangpyungdong across the street from the old education center.  This particular back alley is pretty awesome because Asia mart is there.  So is a Pakistani restaurant (Never been there) and power mart.  Power mart is pretty cool because it serves all of the countries represented in the area.  You can get Russian vodka, Thai beer, Vietnamese chili sauce, Pakistani curry and a lot of other stuff.  

Anyway I went to Thay Quan yesterday.  I thought that Thay Quan would be a Thai restaurant.  Now I don't know.  The owner or cook was some lady who didn't speak any English or Korean.  When I showed up she smiled at me and called to some guy who could speak Korean....I don't know if he worked there or not because he disappeared later.   I talked to the guy for a few minutes and I ended up getting some pho similar to the style that you can get at Que Huang.  This leads me to believe that Thay Quan is Vietnamese.  It doesn't matter, the pho was delicious.  The main difference between this pho, and the one that you can get at Que Huang is that this one had some kind of leaf in it that tasted like licorice.  It was fantastic. 

Enough of the foreign food though I want to talk Boon Shik.   I like my job, but the shitty thing about it is a shitty schedule.  I have to work a shitty split shift that makes it difficult to see my family.  Bandal Gom boon shik has come to my rescue many times.  This place is like a Kimbab Cheonggook but it is independent.  It is tucked back in Dong Bu market.  Despite it being out of the way, it seems to do some decent walk in business.  It also seems to do some thriving delivery business.   What makes it different from a kimbab Cheonggook is the amount of side dishes one gets.  When you order delivery for two people they bring a big tupperwear container that is filled with all kinds of na-mool and fruit salads.  The food is pretty good too. 

Also in Do-dong is Jang ha-ru.  This place is easy to overlook, because it just looks like some shack where you get a bunch of fried shit.  That's true, you can indeed get a bunch of fried shit there, but the inside opens up to a soup restaurant that specializes in beef soups: So gogi gook bab, Jangtuh gook bab, and seolung tang.  I have just had the Jang tuh gook.   It makes me smile, the stuff is great and the beef is really tender in it.

Finally I'm going to close with one bar that is in Do-dong called "Bino-pub."   I don't really frequent bars that often, but I do try to slip out for a sneaky beer every once in a while.  Bino-pub is owned by the local VIPs impersonator called "Babino."  At Babino, it is possible to get a pretty good steak and a competent oven spaghetti, both come with a salad bar.  The original Babino opened up across the street from the Hadae dong dunkin donuts.  Babino then opened a few other branches around town, and the Hadae dong branch moved across the street to from the Hadae dong top mart, to the second floor of a different building.  The restaurant that used to be there was this huge and awful Chinese restaurant.  Anyway the old location of the Hadae Babino, became Bino pub.  This also moved.  It moved next to the new Babino.   Anyway the Bino pub in the new location is pretty nice.  Standard Korean and import beers with some whiskeys by the bottle.  The bar food looks pretty good.  You can get fried chicken and pizza.  They are also having a sale on Kirin beers now.  You can get a bottle of Kirin for 4500 won.  The bottle comes with a 500 won coin strapped to the top.  When I went there last Saturday, they also served me some pretty awesome home made potato chips.  Bino pub was pretty good. 

That's all.

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