Where can you go to get a good sandwich in Sokcho?
(photo credit to natural gas
Well, you’re welcome anytime at my place, but the state of the sandwich in this part of the country is dire, to say the least.
There used to be a small sandwich shop, Greenwich, just up the street from Annam Plaza in Kyo-dong, with an impressive array of healthy and reasonably priced lunch choices, from sandwiches to subs to bagels to salads. They even had a clever marketing scheme where one could schedule a regular delivery of sandwiches to the home or office. Unfortunately, Greewich has fallen on hard times, or perhaps on it’s own butter knife. During our first summer vacation here, we ran some morning classes at our little school, and hoping to simplify our lunch hour, we ordered home delivery for the entire month, with a different sandwich every day of the week. The first week was fine, but it got old pretty fast, and began to get annoying when we started receiving the wrong order, usually substitutions of sandwiches we didn’t particularly care for, or the same sandwich several days in a row. The last straw was the Wednesday sandwich, the BLT, the most expensive on the menu. I was looking forward to the smoked taste of bacon after two days of Korean ham. What I bit down on was not ham, though. It was cold samgyupsal – meat from the same part of the pig, but thickly sliced, chewy, and without that ever-important smoked taste.
The fast-food scene isn’t much better.
The other night I went down to E-mart to get a chicken burger from Popeye’s for my pregnant wife.** I placed my order and waited 17 minutes for the sandwich. In that time, there was only one other customer, and he was waiting when I left. I didn’t see any of the four employees doing any managerial duties, and none of them seemed to be busy at all.
I have had similar experiences at the MacDonald’s in Gangneung, and haven’t had the heart to press them on the “five minutes or free” rule. They’re a bit busier, but equally disorganized. At least they’re nice enough to offer a complementary mini drink if you’ve waited over ten minutes. They seem to go through a lot of them. I wonder if any of the trainers from Seoul have been out to check why the sales don’t match the traffic.
Korea is famous for it’s bballi-bballi (hurry up!) culture, but out here on the East Coast, fast food is for those who like a slower pace.
(A note to you who may find yourself faced with a pregnant wife with cravings: Do all within your power to grant that wish, even if it means special-ordering a $20 bowl of imported strawberries out of season. Your wife won't forget!)