Tag Archives: Uijeongbu

H2s Handmade Burgers

We have lived in Dongducheon, South Korea for almost 5 years. Believe me when I say it is really hard to find a good burger here. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve had some excellent burgers…..but in Seoul. Unfortunately, we’re surrounded by the ever growing monster fast-food chains such as McDonald’s, Lotteria, and soon to be Burger King. Sigh. These just aren’t real burgers, or even food for that matter.

On our regular evening walk last week we strolled by what looked to be a quirky little joint with a small outdoor patio situated conveniently right outside one exit of Jeihang subway. To say we were surprised is an understatement. This place not only met the burger challenge; they superseded it! The restaurant takes a step further and features a foreigner friendly menu, or as I refer to it, the meat-lovers masterpiece! It’s creative specialty combos are generously portioned are incredibly tasty, the staff were quick, attentive and friendly, plus the prices that won’t break the bank! To the owner the hygiene factor of this place was paramount, as you could easily see right into the open style kitchen. Also in case your curious about the origin of the meats, the beef is from Australia and the chicken is from Korea. Well done H2s Hand Made Burgers, well done!

Our group ordered 4 different burgers, the Hawaiian, spicy chicken burger, onion Eiffel burger, and the H2s special burger. The Hawaiian was a beef patty, pineapple, bacon and pineapple sauce. The spicy chicken burger was grilled chicken, tomato, lettuce, and 3 kinds of sauce. The opinion was to hold the mayo next time (non mayo lover in the group), or ask for a tad less. The onion Eiffel burger was a beef patty, fried onion, tomato, American cheese goodness. The H2s special burger was a beef patty, hash brown, grilled onion, bacon, and tomato. We ordered combos so each meal came with French fries and a drink. We also ordered a basket of onion rings to split at the table. Let’s talk about the french fries and onion rings….these were golden, crisp and cooked to absolute perfection! Mmmmm!

From the four of us, we give 8 thumbs ups for this burger joint! We’re eagerly planning a return and deciding what burger we will try next! Better yet….we’ve been inspired to create some of our own homemade patties. Stay tuned…

Now it’s your turn…describe your ideal burger. Medium-rare, medium, well-done, as our dear friend Mandy prefers…charbroiled? Also are fries or onion rings a must? Do you always order them?


Direction: H2s Hand Made Burgers is located directly across from exit 3 of Jihaeng Station. Look for the big burger as pictured above.
Phone: 070-4151-0778

Uijeonbu: Palga

From what my good Korean friend tells me, Palga is a famous family owned and operated Chinese restaurant located in Uijeongbu city, that is well-known for its Koreanized sweet and sour glutinous rice pork, also known locally as Tangsuyuk (Korean: 탕수육, Chinese: 糖醋肉). Mmmm lets talk about the word “glutinous”. It doesn’t sound appetizing but it taste oh so good! If pork isn’t your thing you can swap the meat out for beef, or even shrimp.

I know if family is reading this post, they are a bit shocked I’m even writing about a Chinese restaurant. Why? When living stateside, every single time we’d order Chinese, or go to a restaurant, I’d get ill and have all sorts of stomach issues. Later it was determined that it was because of MSG. Anywho, if you are like me, you’ll be glad to know that this restaurant passed with flying colors. Thankfully no upset stomach to report back on.

The restaurant sits out on the Main Street and is very easy to recognize with its Chinese style that starts on the outside and continues on into the dining area. When we walked inside, the decor made me feel like we were back in China for the afternoon, possibly visiting a traditional tea shop. The wood furnishings were beautiful and overall the restaurant was very clean. There are 104 items on the menu and each one is also translated into English in case you cannot read Korean. The staff was not overly welcoming, but they were quick and attentive to us. The prices were fair and the portions plenty, so much so we couldn’t eat everything we ordered. I think it was a serious case of our eyes being bigger than our stomach.

So what did our eyes order? Of course a plate of Tangsuyuk, Jajangmyeon (Korean: 자장면, Chinese: 炸醬麵) – steamed noodles served under black bean paste (if you recall we ordered when we were moving into our new place last summer). Jjamppong (Korean: 짬뽕, Chinese name: 炒碼麵) – spicy noodle soup flavoured with onions and chili oil and various seafood and creatures (we eat this often when Mr.B is scuba diving on the east coast). Oh! can’t forget the FREE banchan! You know, the free little side dishes served in Korea that make it feel like Christmas when they are sat on your table. We had pickled radish and toasted peanuts, both dishes equally addicting!

If you are ever in the area and Chinese is striking your fancy that day… stop in and give it a try.


Address: Uijeongbu, Gyeonggi-1-dong 201-11
Phone: 031-847-8988
Hours: 10:00 – 22:00

Shop Local: Avenue Flower

You know me, I’m always out and about in search of a great new find. Tonight I think I’ve found another great little gem to add to my collection. A locally owned flower shop!

I know what you are thinking…another flower shop… what is the big deal? The big deal is that to me finding the perfect little local flower shop is like drinking a tall glass of straight happiness concentrate! There is just something about the feelings I get when going into locally owned flower shops, local farmers’ markets, and even perusing the floral section of grocery stores to see what’s in season. Have you sipped on that same Kool-aid and can relate to the feeling?

The owner is young and super sweet, but don’t let her age fool you into thinking she’s inexperienced. The hand tied flower arrangements are gorgeous and stylish! She’s turning out some modern and hip bouquets, baskets, wreaths, teaching arrangement classes and has a nice following of customers buzzing in and out of her shop too. I cannot even express how refreshing it is to not see just some baby’s breath or basic carnations thrown together for some astronomical price.

Speaking of price, just name it and pick out a few flowers that you’d like to base the arrangement around and she will work her magic.

^ Above is my flower arrangement and below is the sweet purple flower that she threw in for service.


Address: Avenue Flower 410-1 Jinshan Plaza 1F Uijeongbu Minrakdong
Phone: 070-4173-1633
Website: Here

Views in Ilsan, South Korea

Recently I took my very first public trans bus adventure from Uijeongbu Station to Ilsan to spend the day with a good friend of ours. Thankfully the journey was quite uneventful and I made it there with no hiccup (THANK YOU KATYA AND THE SEOUL BUS APP).

Ilsan is a beautiful city located just northwest of Seoul in Goyang city. I visited Ilsan twice prior when I first got to South Korea. Once was to visit the gigantic convention center called the Kintex, and the other time was to go to Costco before one was built much closer to us. Both trips never really awarded the opportunity to get out and see the city and explore a bit.

When I stepped off the bus I immediately took notice of a beautiful lake surrounded by walking paths and park. I lucked out too because Katya was just as eager to get out for a walk around the park as I was. Katya explained to me that the lake park is a very popular spot in the city and is known as the garden city. There were so many people out being active walking, jogging, spending time with their families, biking, skateboarding, snapping photos for blogs and magazines and yet it didn’t feel crowded one bit. It was a feeling you’ll seldom get to experience in Asia.

It was a wonderful fall day spent strolling around the lake park admiring the views, checking out the local Cafés, mall, restaurants and indulging in some frozen yogurt. I highly recommend a day trip to the area if you ever are looking for a new place to explore while in South Korea.

Thank you for hosting me this weekend Katya you are such a dear friend!

On Eating With People I Adore

^^Love these few little guys holding on for dear life.

The past three weekends have practically begged me to snap photos it in all its brightly orange and deep burgundy gorgeous glory.

Would you look at those colors? I mean goodness!

As I get out and walk with the leaves crunching underneath my boots, I think to myself how I truly have a Pennsylvanian soul. There’s something about us girls from the North. I look forward to my four seasons. Scratch that… I LIVE for my four seasons. Just about the time I am almost ready to throw my hands up and surrender to the season, it sparks a magical little hint that something new and exciting is on the way. On the way, dare I say precious little white snowflakes? Eek! (Hot drinks, cheerful little dancing flakes, a Charlie Brown Christmas, Christmas tunes, and twinkle lights!).

Okay, let’s get back to the weekend.

I haven’t had much time to really breath and enjoy the past few days. I feel like I NEEDED this weekend to be open, go with the flow, no plans, the feeling of rejuvenation!

Mr. B’s been pretty busy lately- which is fine, so it’s fun to be able to spend 2 1/2 solid days with my two lovely lady friends!

Coffee Date? Loving up on one of the sweetest baby girl’s, Taking a short train ride into the city of Uijeongbu? A Pasta and wine dinner date at Padella? Such a novel idea!

I hope your weekend was just as rejuvenating!

빠데라 Padella
Address: 경기 의정부시 의정부동 155-19 2층
Address: 155-19 Uijeongbu-dong, Uijeongbu-si, Gyeonggi-do ‎
Phone: 031-856-1216 ‎
Hours: 11:30 – 24:00 Last Order 22:00


Crunch, crunch, crunch

Greetings from my kitchen, again!

Do you ever start the weekend thinking that you are going to accomplish all sorts of things? Only to realize that you have no motivation, or inkling in your body to get out and do it. Well, that was me. It’s now Sunday and I’m a bit ashamed to report I only left my cave this weekend once, recycling. Hey, at least I’m keeping it green! Haha!

Anywho, I guess I shouldn’t shortchange myself. This weekend wasn’t completely a flop. I did clean up and move around Mr. B’s office space, make Dak Dori Tang, and this yummy granola. Mmm gosh was it yummy! …You know I’ll share with all of you.


5 cups Oats (I used steel-cut oats)
5 cups Cereal (I used heritage flakes)
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup mixed nuts
1 1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons milk powder
1/2 cup oil (I used coconut oil)
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup hot water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix all of your ingredients up. Spread ingredients on greased cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes

Stir after the granola is slightly cooled. Seal up the mixture in an airtight container.

Enjoy with your morning milk, on top of Greek yogurt, or handfuls at a time afternoon snack….not that any of us here know anything about that…crunch, crunch, crunch.

I can’t describe the amazing aromas wafting through our home this afternoon!

What are you waiting for? Get mixing! Don’t forget to share your wealth, and recipe too!

Fresh Tofu and Bean Paste

Without giving out to much of another good thing… we met some undisclosed friends at another undisclosed location near our home that served fresh homemade tofu and homemade bean paste. Forget the typical Christmas dreams of sugar plums dancing in our heads, we are now envision kimchi pots filled with fresh homemade tofu and bean paste. Mmmmm!

What I can disclose is that our bee bellies were both very pleased by the end of the meal. The location is fairly new and makes the homemade tofu and bean paste on location for ordering or to pickup and take home with you. The view was excellent! I could picture the backdrop with a fresh covering of snow in the winter months or the lush dark green trees in the spring and summer months.



From an outside perspective, what do you think about all the side dishes that accompany a traditional Korean meal? Are you thinking what I’m thinking…Dang, who is doing all those dishes? HA HA!

Tree Lighting

It’s hard to get over that it is December already, the very last month of the 2012 year. Goodness, what a full year it has been.

Tonight the sounds and smells of Christmas were in the air, it was absolutely wonderful! Perhaps even the best time of the year? Our small community held a tree lighting and wouldn’t you know it the big man in red even stopped in for a visit.

This past week we even had our first  snowfall of the season in our little town of Dongducheon. The backdrop from our living room windows are snow-covered fields, hills and trees. It’s so magical! I truly don’t believe it gets any better than this.


Christmas Market

Good evening! Ah, today has been such a beautiful and awesome day! To jump start the festive season I ventured into the city to check out a Christmas Market with my dear friend Mary.

The Christmas market was a bit smaller than what we were expecting, however it was something different and Christmasy so we were both pretty excited. It was really easy to find, located at the Seongbukcheon Fountain Square (성북천 분수광장) just off Hansung University Station (exit 2). Seongbuk Global Village Center hosted the event, the tents were all ran by the European embassies each selling goodies and treats from their home countries.

There was Gluehwein, sausage, chocolate chaud, Roesti, Raclette cheese, lasagna, Italian coffee, crepes, a heavenly divine slice of cheesecake, and holiday cookies too. Children could write a letter to Santa for Christmas, there were a few Christmas decorations, and a live band. We arrive right before noon and had the chance to walk around to each tent before the larger crowd moved in.

After leaving the marketplace we wanted to grab some lunch together before heading home. We strolled up the street to check out the area and see where our tummy and noses lead us. As we strolled we found multiple fruit stands all with delicious displays of persimmons, clementine oranges, apples, and pomegranate. We couldn’t help ourselves we had to grab a little bag of persimmons and clementines.  Both Mary, I, and our families really enjoy the fruits of the Fall and Winter months here in Korea.

In the end our tummies and noses lead us straight to a budae jjigae restaurant. We were outside discussing the sign and picture of the stew when the Korean women inside came out to explain in her best English what the restaurant was. I have had budae jigae many times before but Mary had not. The woman was very convincing, the restaurant looked really clean, “sure why not” Mary said. What a free spirit this woman has, I just love it! In the end she said she loved the stew. I was so happy that she got a chance to try another new Korean dish that she enjoyed.

 Enjoy the rest of your weekend folks!

Winter Kimchi

As  you can tell, we are huge fans of Korean cuisine, we like to think of ourselves as foodies. So much so that my  grandfather joking said when we come home for the holidays they can prepare Sauerkraut or sour cabbage in our honor if we’d like. Isn’t he just a little comedian? HA-HA!

As we continue to travel around Asia we try various kimchi’s. Each with its own distinctive taste. Region to region will differ in taste with what ingredients they use, even family to family differs with their own little touches or traditions. I’ve often thought how fun it would be to make our own kimchi while we lived here with all the ingredients so easily at our fingertips. In the end I’d convince myself that there was no way, the kimchi business has got to be a complicated one! Plus the thought of the word fermentation scared me!

Earlier this month I saw an advertisement for expats to learn how to prepare winter kimchi, or Gimjang. I couldn’t let the opportunity pass me by. I immediately signed myself up and told a few friends too.

At work the ladies were discussing weekend plans. I quietly added in that I’d be making kimchi. They all stopped and said, KIMCHI? Us too! Mind you these were my Korean co-workers. Yes, they too would be making kimchi with their families to have enough to make it through the winter months. Of course they insisted that I bring in my kimchi for them to all taste. Okay, I agreed. EEK! Pressure! Nothing like feeding the staple food of the Korean culture to older Korean woman who have been preparing the stuff all of their lives.

I asked why the kimchi was such a big deal in the fall/winter months? I mean, why couldn’t you just make it in the summer and spring too? I found out that years ago the vegetables that are needed to make winter kimchi were only available in the fall/winter months. Basically if you didn’t get yourself together and prepare your kimchi during the gimjang months you and your family were not going to have any kimchi until the following spring.

Today the vegetables are readily available throughout the year, however Korean’s are big on tradition and their heritage. It’s one thing that I really admire about their culture, quite refreshing to know somethings are not lost as their family continues to grow into the future.

In class we had the basic ingredients needed to make our winter kimchi. Baechu (napa cabbages), moo (radish), pa (green onion), garlic, sesame seeds, Korean red pepper, sea salt, and brined shrimp.


While we didn’t get to prepare the beginning steps of the kimchi process due to time constraints, we did get to pick up at the fun part! Stuffing the kimchi!

Yes, we filled, smeared and stuffing our cabbage leaves. We were instructed to stuff as much as one leaf can hold between each leaf. Once we stuffed our entire cabbage we had to tuck it under and wrap it up with one long outer leaves. The wrap completed our process of making one whole head of napa kimchi.

We learned that the most important part of winter kimchi was the storing of the final product. To allow for proper fermentation, gimjang kimchi is best kept near 0℃ with little temperature fluctuation. Years ago, Korean men would dig large holes in the ground so that the kimchi jars could be covered and buried. Today, almost all Korean households have two refrigerators. One refrigerator is just your average everyday one and the other is used exclusively for kimchi storage, or in our case used to store wine and other adult beverages.

I love that I’ll get to look back at these pictures and remember all of the fun I had learning how to make kimchi in South Korea. I giggle looking at the photos of my two girlfriends too. No matter what the environment is we always have a great time, love surrounding myself with people like that!

Now, If you’ll all excuse me, I’ve got to go invest in lock & lock container, seal all the kimchi smell into the container and not our refrigerator.