Sunday, December 19, 2010

Bongcheon Redux

I took my 친구 Chris, The Stumbling Engineer, on the grand tour of Bongcheon 양꼬치, 막걸리 and 서을대 last evening and I think it's fair to say the experience exceeded our expectations.

Apparently, and I was informed of this soundly by all concerned, it's been far too long since I came round these parts--I was greeted like a long-lost son at every turn! Now, Andy and Nick were there with me when we saw the 양꼬치 (yang ggochi lamb skewer) place go up in flames. We simply adjourned to a similar shop a few doors down. Admittedly, we had been back to Nohwang Yang-ggochi at least once since then--Baseball Opening Day. In the meantime, we experimented with oter locales for our lamb skewers, including Daerim and Guro Digital--but for my money, Bongcheon is still it!

After a delicious and filling encounter with Nohwang's marinated lamb, we went down the road. Where I was shocked to hear from our cool-ass makgeolli-house owner-dude that it's been il-nyun since I put in an appearance for 막걸리. One year? No way--I think he's forgetting the afternoon when the gang went indoor fishing ...

Still, many of my visits here have been memorable--and not just seeing the restaurant we were planning to dine in reduced to embers. For instance, there was the time some drunk asshole didn't like the way Nick looked (or something else, but we prefer to think it was about Nick ...) and there followed a hour-long drama long of scuffles, take-downs, incompetent police interventions, and even massages. Then there was the time a patron serenaded us with a tune I like to call "The Led Liver Valley":

If you're so inclined, you could see all my blog posts (though not all my experiences) on the "Bongcheon lamb skewer, magkeolli and Seouldae/Sillim tour" by clicking here.

Well, sharing the tour with Chris turned out to be totally boffo! Not only did we receive the royal welcome, but when we sat at the magkeolli-jib, eating Korean omelette and sipping unfiltered rice wine from well-used metal bowls, another patron decided to do our portraits in pen-and-ink. The owner-dude is a retired graphic arts teacher, so perhaps, as Chris speculated, his establishment draws local artists. I don't know.

Still, bold, sure strokes on the reverse of a jewelry store notepad, and after five minutes, he gave me this:

A flattering likeness, and yet another reason to love Bongcheon!

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