Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Palgong Sanchae Jeongsik - The Best Bibimbap in Town

Looking for somewhere classy, reasonably priced, easy to find, and totally delicious?  Anyone who considers him/herself a bibimbap connoisseur should be sure not to miss this:

팔공산채정식's  full spread + green onion pancake


 Very nice japchae (sticky sweet potato noodles with julienned veg)

Colorful sprouts

Some variety of slightly squeaky mushroom


Various greens


Put it all together to make your own dish.

Two awesome soups - one of the best Soybean Paste stews I've met, along with a thicker "tofu residue stew."  (콩비지 찌개 - This one might benefit from some rebranding).

And a fried fish each, for the pescetarians and omnis out there.

All of the above are from the 산채정식 (mountain vegetable set meal) at the top left of the menu.   

If you order the 산채특정식 for W2,000 more*, you also get your choice of some bulgogi or a side of 더덕구이 (roasted deodeok root), an awesome mountain herb.  The taste is slightly bitter, but sweetens when marinated and then cooked together with the red pepper paste. It comes out soft but formidable, quite a pleasure to chow down on:

(The out-of-focus picture doesn't do it justice)

There's a bunch of other stuff on the menu too: bulgogi, steamed ribs, stews, tofu and kimchi, etc, but order at  your own risk: the bibimbap portions are so huge that it's just about physically impossible for two people to consume anything more than just the basic platter.  

Even so, it's hard to resist a pancake like this.

Come out of Banwoldang exit 5 and take your first right.  The restaurant will be there on your left almost immediately.  Have a look at the Green Guide to get oriented.

*Price have since gone up; last I checked, it was W8,000 for the standard set and W10k for the special.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Porin Shabu Shabu, New Branches

While biking around near the Indian/Southeast Asian market the other day, I noticed yet another branch of the wonderful 폴인* 샤브샤브 Chain, which I previously wrote about this post and in another one).  A quick look at the naver map to confirm the address informed me that out there are actually also branches in:

Sangin-dong (Southwest Daegu): 대구광역시 달서구 상인2동 1332-314
Pyeongni-dong (Slightly Northwest of Downtown): 대구광역시 서구 평리3동 1094-5
Sinmae-dong (East Daegu): 대구광역시 수성구 신매동 366-4 
Bon-li:-dong (West Daegu): 대구광역시 달서구 본리동 352-1

(To see 'em on a map, check out the Green Guide.) 

As far as I know, all of these places probably offer the lunchtime buffet, where you can head up to the salad bar for loads and loads of leafy veggies, mushhrooms, gourds, bean sprouts, tofu, noodles, and rice cakes.  Some of the greens are even organic.  The lunch buffet is W6,500, but only if you bring at least one friend.  Oh, and if you're persistent enough, you can turn down the meat offerings, though of course you'll still pay the same. 


Plop them all in your stew, let them cook, and eat up:


*A friend tells me that the name is supposed to sound like "Foreign," which makes sense considering that Shabu Shabu is Japanese food.  The wesbite, though, says that it means "Fallin," as in "fall in love with the taste." Maybe not the best name for a restaurant where you have to eat in front of a sizable cauldron of boiling liquid??

Friday, February 24, 2012

Yes, This Is a Post About Toilets

Ever wonder what these little thingies are for?  If you've already tried it out, you probably know, but just in case: they let you control the size of your flush! Read closely and save a little water next time you send something down the tubes. 

English: So

English: Dae

You see the prefixes So and Dae (along with 중/Chung/, "middle") all over Korea.

For example, here it is on a menu, there in the top right:

And here's something cribbed from Wikipedia:
Daegu Metropolitan City
 • Hangul 대구광역시
 • Hanja 大邱廣域市
 • Revised Romanization Daegu-gwangyeoksi
 • McCune-Reischauer Taegu-kwangyŏksi

Which explains why it also shows up in the middle of DGL's very own logo:

Some of you may also work at Chunghakkyos (middle schools) or Daehakkyos (colleges).  

Or, affix 소 or 대 to the character 便/변/byeon, which means both "comfort" and "evacuation' (in that special sense), to make the words for number 1 and number 2, respectively.  Thus, the logos on the flesh lever/button above are ambiguous: do they refer to the size of the flush, or to what variety of "byeon" you're flushing down?  I'm content not to know.  

PS, I think it would be wrong of me not to mention that regulating flush sizes (and frequency!), while awesome, is one of the least effective ways to reduce the amount of water you consume.  Surprisingly, almost all of the water we go through, we never even see.  Far more potent strategies include: 

 - eating less conventionally-produced meat, since the enormous amounts of feed given to the animals require unimaginable amounts of water to produce
- eating crops that naturally grow locally, without much irrigation
- eating organic, since fertilizer and pesticide runoff poison water and ecosystems
- buying fewer/used clothes, since cotton is a water hog
- buying fewer/used electronics, since mining for minerals and materials pollutes bodies of water.

Other suggestions welcome!  Do you have any particular water-saving strategies?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Organic Farms, Beomeo.

Update as of sometime in May, 2012:

Organic Farms no longer stocks the stuff listed in the original entry.  Some time ago, they switched to a beef restaurant specializing in Hanu (Korean-raised) beef.  I don't recall whether the beef is certified organic, grass-fed, or even antibiotic free.  There is still a small selection of organic fruits and sauces. 

People who live near Beomeo sure are blessed!  Just a few minutes' walk from exit 1 of Beomeo station is

Organic Farms!

Though it sells mostly the same stuff, the wood and brick interior give it a slightly more upscale feel than other chains like Chorok Maeul or iCoop.  

Usual assortment of grains, beans, and snacks.

Vegetarian ramen...

And, unlike other places, you can get fresh meat (I didn't confirm, but I'm confident it's local and antibiotic-free, though probably not organically fed or raised free range.)

There's a lot more that I didn't take pictures of: fresh fruits and vegetables, loads of snacks and sauces, jams, coffee, chocolate...pop by and have a look!  Come out of Beomeo station exit 1, head straight, and take your the 3rd right, which will be at a giantish intersection.  Walk north for a minute or two and voila, you're there!  Or, plan your route out in advance on the Green Guide map. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Eco-Film Night: Forks Over Knives

Hello hello,

It's already time for another film night!  This week, we'll be showing the 2011 Documentary "Forks Over Knives."

From the official website:

"What has happened to us? Despite the most advanced medical technology in the world, we are sicker than ever by nearly every measure.

Two out of every three of us are overweight. Cases of diabetes are exploding, especially amongst our younger population. About half of us are taking at least one prescription drug. Major medical operations have become routine, helping to drive health care costs to astronomical levels. Heart disease, cancer and stroke are the country’s three leading causes of death, even though billions are spent each year to “battle” these very conditions. Millions suffer from a host of other degenerative diseases.

Could it be there’s a single solution to all of these problems? A solution so comprehensive but so straightforward, that it’s mind-boggling that more of us haven’t taken it seriously?

FORKS OVER KNIVES examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting animal-based and processed foods. The major storyline in the film traces the personal journeys of a pair of pioneering researchers, Dr. T. Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn..."

This time, the screening will be held at Biche, a recently opened local/organic restaurant and market that also shares space with the Daegu Green Consumers Network, the Daegu Eco-Feminists Network, and the Body and Culture Center.  Biche will be preparing a special organic vegetarian meal for the occasion. 

Biche is located at 대구광역시 수성구 황금동 132-5번지 (Suseong-gu, Hwangeum-dong, not far from the Daegu National Museum).  As the shop is a little bit off the beaten path, the plan is to meet as a group at Exit 2 of Suseong Office Station between 5:30 and 6:00PM, then to make our way over to the restaurant  together, either by shuttle, by bus, or on foot if weather permits.  If all goes according to plan, we should be able to eat at around 6:30 and start the movie at 7:15 or so.  Feel free to come late and attend only the movie if you'd like.  

What:  Forks Over Knives
When:  Sunday 26 February, from 5:30PM
Where:  Biche
Who:  Everyone! Bring a friend!
How much:  The movie is free, W10,000 for the meal.

*If possible, please RSVP either in the comments section or on the facebook event page so that the Biche staff know how much food to make.

**  In the event that we don't manage to complete the Korean subtitles for Forks Over Knives, we'll instead show the oldie-but-goodie, Fast Food Nation


안녕하세요! 또 다른 에코필름을 상영할 시간이 다 왔어요! 이번에 2011년에 나온 "Forks Over Knives"(칼말고 포크)라는 다큐를 상영하겠습니다.

미국은 세상에서 제일 발전된 의학적 치료 기술이 있지만, 거의 모든 기준으로 다른 나라 사람보다 많이 아프다. 요즘 사람들은 옛날보다 과체중이고, 당뇨병에 많이 걸리고, 의사의 처방전이 필요한 약을 많이 먹고, 관상 동맥 바이패스 수술을 많이 받는다. 암과 다른 병들 늘고 있다. 무엇 때문인가? 티 콜린 캠블 의사 칼드웰 에슬스틴 의사님의 연구에 의하면, 육식과 가공음식을 너무 많이 먹는 식습관 때문이란다. 완전 채식을 하며 모든 동물성 음식품을 피하는 것을 통해서, 이런 문제들을 풀 수 있다고 주장한다.

이번 상영은 유기농 식당과 매장인 비채 (비움과 채움)에서 하겠습니다. 같은 건물에 대구녹색소비자연대하고 대구여성환경연대, 그리고 몸과문화 센터도 있습니다. 관람하실 분들을 위해 비채에서 유기농 비빔밥을 제공합니다.

비채의 주소는 대구광역시 수성구 황금동 132-5번지이며 대구국립박물관에 가깝습니다. 찾기 어려울 것 같으면, 오후 5시반에서 6시사이에 수성구청역 2번 출구에서 만나서 같이 셔틀 밴이나 시내버스 타고 같이 이동하시면 됩니다. 6시반쯤 식사할 예정이며, 7시15분쯤 상영이 시작됩니다. 늦게 와서 다큐만 보셔도좋습니다.

무엇:  Forks Over Knives (칼보다포크)
언제:  2월26일 일요일, 오후5:30에서
어디:  비채 
누가:  누구든지 환영합니다!친구를 데리고 오세요^^
얼마:  관람료 없음 / 밥값은 만원

*페이스북 행사페이지나 아래 댓글로 예약을 부탁드립니다.  그래야 주방팀은 음식량을 맟출 수 있습니다.  

**한글 자막을 만들겠습니다.  혹시 완성하지 못 한다면, 한글 자막이 이미 만들어진 패스트푸드 네이션을 상형하겠습니다.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Korean Food / Vegeterian Buffet!

I was biking around about a year and a half ago and I came upon this place:

"Wellbeing Vegetarian - Korean Food Buffet."
"Over 70 kinds of food.  The Best wellbeing food.  The healthiest food.  Chemical-free vegetables!"

Vegetarian buffet?  Chemical free*?  A dream come true!  And the cost...a paltry 5k or so, if I recall correctly.

Mixed grain rice, barley rice, and plain rice.

Care to make some bibimbap?

Steamed greens and other sides

Stir-fried and other sides.  Particularly awesome: garlic stems there on the bottom row, second from the right. 

Acorn jelly, tofu, etc

To my slight dismay, yeah, there was also a meat section.  

Dessert drinks: shikye and plum juice

And there's a lot more that I didn't get to take pictures of.  Or rather, I tried to take pictures, but it's kind of hard to do at a buffet. Thanks for your understanding. 

This buffet is located at  대구광역시 수성구 2ㅜㅇ동 322-14, about a 15-20 minute walk south from exit 2 or 3 of the Daegu Bank subway station.  Look for it on the Green Guide.  

*I didn't see any organic certifications around, so I'm not sure how true this claim is...

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Used Furniture Galore!

New to Daegu and looking for a cheap and way to fill up your pad?  Not satisfied with the the rickety furniture your boss gave you?  Just get a raise and ready to upgrade?  Whatever your situation, check out the used furniture section at Chilseong market.  Gathering, processing, and transporting all of the wood, metal, and leather that goes into your furniture all have huge environmental costs, whether in terms of water, chemicals, destroying habitats, or whatever else, so buying used is one of the best things you can do to reduce your own footprint.  Plus, it's cheaper, gives you more hipster cred, and keeps you out of overlit stores filled with overly friendly (read: pushy) employees. 

Come out of exit 3 of Chilseong Market subway station and hang a left at the crosswalk.  (To see it on a map, check out the Green Guide.)  You'll know once you've arrived:

If you don't see what you want, ask.  The owners will (sometimes gladly, sometimes skeptically, sometimes resentfully) take you to their warehouses, which are often up or down sketchy staircases like this one:

In the warehouse, feel free to poke, prod, sit down on,  lie down on, stretch out on, or otherwise try out whatever tickles your fancy.


Not that it's always physically possible.

Keep an eye out for the keyword: 중고 (Jung-go, "used"), since lots of these places sell normal stuff as well.

Usually, delivery fees are included in the price, provided you don't live too far away. 

Remember to say 깎아 주세요!  (Gga-gga chuseyo, please give me a discount!).

Best yet, you can often sell the furniture back after a year or two!  Some stores will pay you almost half-price. 

Don't forget to venture into the market for a snack.  This bibmbap came from a self-serve buffet, included barley and beans, and cost only W2,000.  What a deal!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Biche (Fasting and Filling)

Say hello to Daegu's newest organic restaurant, Biche!  Biche is brought to you by the same people who run the Biche Organic Market, the Daegu Eco-feminist league, and the Body and Culture center, and is conveniently located in the same building.

Biche's spacious, bright interior.

With a slight touch of the eclectic

Everything Bichae serves is organic and local, good for us and for the world around us.  I went with the Bibimbap:

Fresh vegetables, whole-grain brown rice, glass noodles with burdock root, and salad with Chinese quince dressing. Everything was calm, clean, and, of course, quite tasty.

Biche's promises, to ensure health for you, for the producers, for the land, and for the animals:

 - We source all produce from local farms that have been using exclusively organic cultivation techniques for at least 10 years.
 - All eggs, chicken, pork, and beef come from animals raised organically.  No GMO feed, no antibiotics, no growth hormones.
 - We cook with five-grain rice syrup and various methods of fermentation.  No MSG - only healthy raw foods and foods cooked at low temperatures.

Other menu items include a seasonal set meal, rice steamed in lotus leaves, a raw vegan platter, cream spaghetti made with soy milk and noodles from domestic grains, tofu and acorn jelly, seasonal vegetable pancakes, steamed pork, steamed beef ribs, and chicken soup. They also serve group meals at prices ranging between twenty and seventy thousand won, as well as a selection of fruit juices and alcoholic beverages. For a look at the whole menu, click on the above photo and explore the album.  The prices may come as a bit of a shock, but try to keep in mind that they reflect the true cost of eating local, seasonal, and healthy food while paying farmers fair prices for their work.

Biche has also kindly offered to host and cater Daegu Green Living's next Eco-Film (yet to be chosen, but anyway...), to be held on the evening of Sunday, February 26th. Add it to your calendar! 

Biche is located behind the Hwangeum-dong Taewan Honors Apartments about 1.5km south of the Suseong-gu Office subway station and 2km southwest of Mancheon subway station.  The closest bus stop is Dongdo Middle School (동도중학교), which is served by the 349, 414, 427, 449, 순환3, and 수성1 buses. Check out the Green Guide map for more details.