Archive for the ‘Korea’ Category

Bulgogi Pizza


I enjoy Korean food, especially the spicy stuff.  But there’s not as much variety in the food as I’d like.  So I went out to dinner one night determined not to eat Korean food.  I only half succeeded.

I came across a pizza shop that looked pretty good.  I went in thinking I’d get something Italian traditional, but couldn’t resist trying something new.  Bulgogi is one of my favorite meals in Korea.  It’s a meal of marinated beef cooked on the table in front of you along with mushrooms and some other miscellaneous veggies.  They say is “barbecued”, but being a BBQ snob from the south I have to mention that this is not really BBQ.  Real BBQ is smoked.  Bulgogi is cooked in a pan over an open flame, but honestly it’s even more braised than grilled, since they cook it with so much marinade in the pan.  But I digress…   So I’m a big fan of bulgogi, and I see that they have a bulgogi pizza.  I wasn’t going to eat Korean food, but this sounds too good to pass-up.

As soon as I ordered, they brought out some appetizers.  There was a basket with two types of bread, a mustard & oil dip, oil & balsamic vinegar dip, and the ever present pickles.

bread & pickles

The pizza arrived looking rather delicious!  It was topped with bulgogi and potato wedges with a white sauce including mushrooms and onions.  It was very different, and that’s what I told the waitress when she asked if I liked it.  She seemed hurt and said “Oh, you don’t like it!”  No….no…it’s good, just different.  My favorite pizza is Neapolitan style.  A thin crispy crust, with minimal toppings.  With the meat, potatoes, and cream sauce…this was a very hearty pizza, but I really enjoyed it.  Hopefully the empty serving plate made that clear to the waitress.

I’m already looking forward to going back and trying some of their other non-traditional pizzas!

bulgogi pizza

Asia Trip – July 2010


I’m getting ready for a very hectic week in Asia, and have decided that I need a day at the start to recover a bit from jet lag before adding sleep deprivation.  So on Friday I’ll fly from Atlanta to Wuhan, China, via Detroit and Shanghai.  I’ll get to the hotel late on Saturday evening and will have Sunday to explore Wuhan.  I’ve never been there before, so that should be fun.  Wuhan is the largest city in central China (10M+ people).  It’s also known as one of the “Three Ovens” of China, so it’ll be nice and toasty in late July!

I’ll have meetings in Wuhan on Monday, then fly out to Beijing that evening.  After meetings in Beijing on Tuesday, I’ll fly out to Seoul that evening.  Finally after two days of meetings in Seoul, I’ll fly home on Friday, via Portland.  That’s 7 flights in 8 days, covering 16,861 miles.  Please put your seat back and tray table in their fully upright and locked positions.  And remember, smoking is…not allowed…on any Delta flight.


Travel Tip – Cash’n It In


One of the challenges I face when traveling is dealing with local currency.  On some Asian trips I need Japanese Yen, Hong Kong Dollars, Chinese Yuan, Korean Wan, and US Dollars.  At home, I use a credit card 99% of the time.  In Asia, that won’t work.  China, in particular, runs on cash.  My hotel takes credit, but I pay cash for all my meals, transportation, & entertainment.  So the question is, how do you keep up with all that? (more…)

Layover In Tokyo


I saw Mt. Fuji from the air!  :)  I love sitting by the window, so I can see the world go by.  Generally I see lots of “typical” landscapes, and a lot of clouds.  But every now and then you get to see something spectacular, like this!  Sorry the photo quality is weak.  The skies were very hazy, and this took some pretty heavy processing to get to this point.

Mt. Fuji


Headed Home


I took an airport shuttle, on my way Seoul for home. It was about 120 degrees in there, and the 70 year old driver was still wearing a jacket and gloves. I guess this is just training for Hawaii.  :) This has been a long trip, and I’m anxious to get home…but there’s still a lot of travel yet to come.

I’m writing from the Korean Air lounge, where I’ve had a spot of breakfast, and will be boarding shortly.  I’ll check back in from Tokyo.

Sausage & Egg

Snowy In Seoul


I made it safely to Seoul on Wednesday morning.  We took a red-eye flight out of Hong Kong, arriving just after 05:00.  After gathering bags and getting through customs, we waited about 20 minutes for a bus to take us into Seoul.  There are some buses that stop at only hotels, and some that stop only at subway stations.   We took a bus to the subway station just a couple blocks away from our hotel, the Provista Hotel.  We dragged our bags through the bitter cold and got checked-in, even at such an early hour; very nice of them.  They didn’t even charge us for an extra night!

I got some work done and crashed for a couple hours before heading out for business and dinner.  Time was tight, so we grabbed a sandwich at Subway for lunch.  The menu was identical to the US menu, and the meatballs tasted like I remember them.  It snowed a good bit.  Not a whole lot stuck, and it turned to rain by the evening.  Meetings were good, but cold.  Many office buildings here don’t have central heat.  They have big in-room HVAC units, and their tolerance for cold is higher than mine.  Brrrr.  Dinner was some OUTSTANDING Korean BBQ (it’s actually “grilling” not “BBQ”, but I digress).  We had beef this time.  In the past I’ve always had pork, which was rather fatty.  That made it messy to cook and eat.  The beef was heavily marbled, but grilled down nicely and was just delicious.  I also tried mixing soju (mild distilled liquor) with beer.  While I’ve never liked beer “bombs” before, the soju added some nice sweetness to the dry lager.

I got back to the room around 9:00, had a conference call at 23:00 with folks in Europe and the US, then worked till well after 01:00.  Thursday is a full day with customers.

Off to the races…

Upcoming Asia Itinerary


Flights and hotels are booked, and I’m finally starting to move past the stress of planning and into the calm before the storm.  Here’s how the itinerary stacks up so far.