Sunday, June 30, 2013


We ate at two great little restaurants in Austin this week, and it just now occurred to me that they were actually on the same street -- Lamar -- though nowhere even close to each other. Lamar is a very, very long street! Henri's, the one we stopped at after John's doctor appointment the other day, is way down on the south end of Lamar, near Oltorf.

It's actually a wine and cheese shop, but they do great sandwiches as well, including my favorite...

the best grilled cheese sandwich EV-ER, with caramelized onions and roasted tomatoes on it!

Then, yesterday, we drove waaaaay up to the north end of Lamar, to meet up with Austin and Areej and to hand over some mail that had come to our house by mistake (including his paycheck!). They had us meet them here, at the Korean Grill.

Our son's best friend when we lived in Plano was Korean. His mom adored our Austin since, unlike most the other little boys she had come across in Texas (who sneered at pretty much anything other than burgers and pizza), he was willing to at least try most anything she set in front of him. He has been a huge fan of Korean food ever since, but this was my first time to have it.

Hubby ordered Bulgogi (fire meat), the most popular type of Korean barbecue. It's just thin strips of meat marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, garlic, and pepper, then cooked on a grill.

Each table gets Banchan -- an assortment of little side dishes, including various pickled vegetables, fish cake, little frittata-like egg strips, and of course, Kimchi (the infamous fermented cabbage dish). I tried them all, and you know what? Kimchi is not bad. Not bad at all!

The kids shared an order of Sambob. (Don't you just love that name? Sounds like a great name for a Texan, no?) Basically, it's an assortment of several kinds of Bulgogi and some additional condiments that you wrap up in those gorgeous lettuce leaves (the one that looks sort of like a grape leaf is actually a sesame leaf, and has a slightly minty taste).

Me? I got Bibimbap, which is rice in a bowl, topped with a variety of seasoned veggies, thinly sliced meat and an egg, which you then mix all together with a bit of red pepper paste or sambal. (A lot like the Indonesian dish Nasi Goreng, now that I think about it.) You can get it served in an ordinary bowl, or you can upgrade to a heated stone bowl, which I highly recommend. That way the rice and egg continue cooking at the table, and you get this great crusty layer around the outside, which is the very best part!

Anyhoo, if you ever happen to be cruisin' down Lamar, in Austin, Texas, keep your eyes peeled! Who knows what delicious delicacies you might stumble across?

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