Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Original Pancake House, Seoul

Original Pancake House
523-20 Sinsa-Dong, Gangnam-Gu, Seoul

Telephone: 02.511.7481

서울시 강남구 신시동 523-20

Monday - Friday: 11 am to 10 pm
Saturday - Sunday: 8 am to 10 pm

The Original Pancake House is a restaurant chain that started in Portland, Oregon, which obviously prides itself on its pancakes. It's located in Sinsa-dong (sometimes spelled Shinsa-dong), a dong* in Seoul.

I was in Seoul and have been missing American food something fierce, so a friend took pity on me and took me to have breakfast for dinner, which I always love. I have a strange love affair with eggs, I must say- my best friend hates eggs and refers to them as dead baby chickens, but even that didn't make me love eggs any less.

Wow, weird tangent. This is what happens when I blog so infrequently that I forget how to keep my train of though focused. The Original Pancake House is located just off Garosugil ("Garosu" (가로수) means tree-lined and "gil" (길) means street, which is appropriate because Garosugil is lined with gingko trees; I can't wait to go in the autumn when the gingko trees are all golden and pretty!). It's a bit hidden, but plenty of people were there when we stopped by.

I might have gotten a little carried away when I ordered (my buddy let me order, seeing as how he had no idea what to get), but we somehow still managed to eat everything on the table. The spirit of the food was American, but the execution was Korean- no pools of grease on the plates, the food arranged prettily, overly-attentive servers- very Korean.

An Italian omelette, which had garlic, onions, bell peppers, and ham wrapped around a ton of melty, oozy, gooey mozzarella cheese and topped with olives and marinara sauce. It was really good, though way too buttery for my taste. I guess they used butter to cook this thing rather than olive oil.

As you can see, the omelette was ginormous. There had to be at least six eggs in it, if not eight!

At the edge of the photo are buttermilk pancakes, the traditional Original Pancake House staple. They were good ... I'm not a huge pancake fan, they're just ... cooked bread. I don't know. I don't love them, I don't hate them, they're just pancakes. These were fine, they were cooked well, and I used them as a delivery system for butter and syrup.

Salami hash with two over medium eggs. I've never seen hash made of salami before, just corned beef. It tasted a lot like corned beef hash. I like corned beef hash, so I liked this salami hash, but I wished there were more crispy bits. I like my hash fried a bit more, I suppose. Those crisped, charred bits are the best, but Koreans like perfectly formed hash, I suppose. The eggs were lovely- again with my love affair with eggs!

Potato pancakes. Really much too buttery! I know there's no such thing as too much butter, but there was too much butter here. They need to cook these things in a mix of butter and oil so it's less buttery. It was a shame, because these were otherwise really good. They came with a small dish of sour cream, which cut the butteriness a bit and which I appreciated because I really love sour cream. (The Korean friend was doubtful about the charms of sour cream, which meant more for me!)

Overall, thumbs up to the Original Pancake House for giving me my American grub fix while in Korea. Yum!

There are some big changes afoot for me. I'll be relocating from Ilsan to Seoul, to the Gangnam neighborhood (yes, "Gangnam Style"). I'm going to think of it as an opportunity to explore a whole new neighborhood in Korea. More Gangnam posts to come!

*dong (동), is not pronounced the way it's spelled. The "do" portion is pronounced like the beginning of "dough"-- Korean is such a tough language to Romanize! Dongs are neighborhoods here in Korea, usually about the size of five city blocks. They're the smallest administrative divisions and are used in conversation to refer to location. In LA, when someone asked where a new restaurant was, we'd either use the neighborhood- Mar Vista- or cross streets- Overland and Venice. In Korea, dongs are used in the same way. Whew. Enough Korean geography for now!