My last night in Seoul was an adventure in its own right. A trip to the Noryangjin Fish Market. Tough fish ladies wore rubber aprons and boots, fishing giant lobsters out of the tank. Fish mongers yelled to get our attention, promising the best prices and freshest products.
Walking around Seoul was so much fun at any time of the day. Vendors peddling all sorts of goodies, from sweets to boiled fish cakes, could be found in all sorts of busy streets and corners. Catering to a clientel of fleeting passerbys in a hurry, the vendors were ready to the nines to take them on.
Though I stuffed myself silly with delectable treats at every opportunity, my favorite food moments were at the hands of two of my aunts. The irreplaceable warmth of hospitality that accompanied their food is forever cast into my happy memories of Korea.
Jang nal in Yesan was one of the highlights of the trip for me. Jang nal is a farmers market that takes place every five days. There were rows and rows of vendors, mostly grandmothers selling a few specialty items. Every corner and turn had a new scene to observe, new characters to note.
My brother and I stepped off the plane onto Korean soil on a chilly October evening. Cloud, wind and rain greeted our first return in twenty-three years. Anticipation grew as we fled the gloomy scene of Seoul for Grandma’s, with the sleepy moon shining through the haze.
Boy’s and my second day in SF was full of beer and fun. It started at 11AM at Anchor Brewing where we went on their popular brewery tour. The brewery has history way back to the late 1800’s which is pretty amazing. It’s been through a list of different owners and in 1965 it was purchased by Fritz Maytag (of the Maytag appliances family) who saved it from going under. We even saw Fritz working in his office!
The tour was informative and fun as we got to walk through the whole brewery checking out each process in the beer making. And it ended with the highly anticipated beer tasting. I was surprised at how generously they were pouring their pours. Six beers about 8oz each. I didn’t get through all six – it was too much. The first beer poured was Anchor Steam and man was it good. So cool and fresh straight from draft. It was definitely a nice morning treat.
After our fun little brewery tour we were off to our lunch destination and Boy suggested we stop by City Beer Store saying “it’s on the way.” Beer establishments are often “on the way” it seems. Anyhow I’m glad we stopped by because it’s a cute little store with over three hundred beers for sale along with a few beers on tap for you to sip on while persuing their selection. An ingenious idea. I had a glass of Marin Brewing’s White Knuckle from their draft while gathering a bundle of lambics and gueuzes not readily available in LA. White Knuckle is Marin’s double IPA and we were pretty lucky to come across because Marin Brewing is distributed only in a few places these days. It was so frickin good and now I’m sad we can’t drink it in LA.
After lunch we had to stop by at Toronado, possibly Boy’s favorite beer bar ever. A few years ago when we were hanging out here sippin on our La Folie we witnessed the awesome beer drinking dog. I was hoping we’d see him this time around but no such luck.
However we drank some quality beers. I had a glass of Russian River’s Pliny the Elder, one of my favorite beers, and Moonlight Brewing’s Reality Czeck. Pliny the Elder is a double IPA. I’m a big fan of IPAs and DIPAs. I was hoping Toronado would have Pliny the Younger which is a triple IPA (although generally catergorized as DIPA). Both the Elder and Younger have an intoxicating hops aroma, floral and piny. The Reality Czeck was great too – nice malt flavor. It really reminds me of Victory Brewing’s Prima Pils, an excellent pilsner.
While I have my food needs Boy has equally important beer needs. After Manresa (my need) we stopped by 21st Amendment Brewery for a beer (his need). They are the brewery that makes that not so tasty watermelon lager. However they brew some damn good IPAs too which are right up my alley. I went with their double IPA, Hop Crisis. It’s got hops and it ain’t shy about it.
It’s also got some alcohol. At 11.8% ABV it was going to put me over for the night. I couldn’t finish my glass. After all I did have a few beers and twelve courses of wine beforehand. The Hop Crisis was tasty but I wouldn’t recommend it as a night cap.
It’s hard to believe now but having the Hop Crisis at the end of the night kicked up both Boy’s and my appetite! Unfortunately at that hour we could not successfully locate anything good to eat. Or even anything bad to eat. But it was a fun end to our first day in SF!
Okay so I’ve been lagging on the last of the Paris posts, but here it is – my trip to the Pierre Herme store. I didn’t even know what a macaron was until last year or so, or even who Pierre Herme was. I’m not too much of a dessert or baking person nor someone who knows too many chef names and such. But after I kept seeing these beautiful macarons all over food blogs I started becoming intrigued.