Have you ever had real Korean BBQ? We have a wonderful place down the road from us that we discovered a year or two ago. It's always quiet, the food is subtle and very fresh, and the ritual pleasing to the senses.
There is a round grill built into the center of the granite table, and it is lit for you when you sit down. twenty or thirty condiments and side dishes are then placed in a circle around the grill.
You choose the meats, and they are brought to the table in what appears to be overwhelming quantities - huge heapings of shaved and marinated beef, ribs or hocks or whatever you have chosen. With large tongs, you place them on the grill bit by bit, and when they are ready you set them aside on lettuce leaves, fold in the condiments as you choose, and eat. This is, at least, more or less the proper method, as we have gleaned it from the waitresses, who speak a little English but are not usually fluent.
There is also a wonderful raspberry wine, if you're in the mood - light and clear and just barely sweet. Though we were just having hot tea on this occasion.
The condiments are maybe the best part - each a sensual experience unto itself. There are many different varieties of pickled items, some sweet, some spicy or sour in varying degrees. There are hot sauces. There are cold egg dishes. There is a mild apple salad that Q adored. This place makes some of the best kimchi, if you like that sort of thing, and one can walk in and order it by the tub to go.
Q, who is not usually a fan of extreme spices (though she is open-minded), really liked some of the more unusual pickles, much to my surprise.
Here, she is trying to hang a spoon from her nose (one of the "cool tricks" from her favorite show, Yo Gabba Gabba).
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