Recently I joined my good friend SP on a mini road trip northeast of Dongducheon to the city of Chuncheon. The city is known for its stunning views of Lake Soyang and Lake Uiam, and the filming location of a popular Korean drama.
Mr. B and I took my best friend Rebecca to the area when she came to visit us in Korea, but it’s been a year or so since I had been back. This time It was awesome to have someone along that could tell me a bit of history and facts about the area. Thanks SP for letting me play a million and one questions with you!
After traveling quite a ways, we arrived at our destination where SP shared an old traditional Korean restaurant with me that she and her family have frequented for years. SP described the food as always being very fresh, delicious and known as being healthy and healing for your body. EEK! I was sold at the words “traditional korean restaurant”! I’m always eager to indulge in the Korean culture and to have this little gem of a place shared with me was quite special indeed.
I felt that most foreigners might be taken back by the look of the restaurant, but to me it was just rustic charm and immediately took my mind to my days of accompanying my husband and friends in the coal region near our hometown for screamers or dead burgers at Tony’s Lunch. (Tony’s Lunch: A very simple, been there for years, wallpaper and tables haven’t changed, diner located in Central Pennsylvania). Ahhhhhh such delicious memories.
We feasted on the local specialty, Makguksu. Makguksu is a dish of buckwheat noodles served in a chilled or hot broth. Once served, SP prepared the dish at the table for me by taking the various condiments on the table of sugar, mustard, sesame oil or vinegar. I know it sounds strange reading those ingredients off together but it was out of this world delicious!
Just like typical korean style, we were served what seemed like endless banchan (side dishes). There was boiled pork, gamjajeon (potato pancakes), and memil jeonbyeong (stuffed buckwheat crepes), and hot buckwheat tea.
We left with our bellies almost filled to full capacity, almost being the key word, but we switched over to dessert stomach. We started to head back towards home and drove up through the mountains and stopped off at a newer coffee cafe, Cupola.
Cupola had a great atmosphere, served a decent latte and gave us the most incredible views of the lake with the sun setting off in the distance. As I sat there talking with SP I watched some of the couples take in the views and sip on their coffee too. I’d absolutely go back again, just look for yourself…
I don’t know if I’ve mentioned before or not, but because we live outside of Seoul we are lucky enough to have easy access to the local farmers that are selling their produce at roadside stands. We live near a very famous mountain that sells grapes. We stopped off and grabbed a few boxes from a popular organic farm. Twenty thousand won, roughly twenty dollars, for a nice big box of fresh organic grapes.
Whew! What an incredible day!