9 (Sun) January 2011
at Seorak Rest Stop Korean Restaurant Buffet
-Inje, Gangwon, Korea-
with MtG, CBD, Backcountry Camping
While the Backcountry Camping group had camped out overnight, KIT and I joined them the next morning for a snow-bound trek along the Seorak mountain range. Having been told that parts of the trail would be long stretches of downhill, we brought sleds and carried them on our backs for over 6 hours of hiking up and down and across sometimes treacherous terrain, through ice and snow and fallen foliage, but no real sledding opportunities came up.
Lunch was fun. The sleds came in handy as tables.
Our camping trips typically conclude with a meal at a restaurant that serves some local specialty, so the decision to eat at a cheap buffet in a roadside rest stop came as a surprise and disappointment to most of us.
Maybe it was the hunger, or maybe the food was just that good, but each of us had at least 2 bowls of rice along with 5 heaping helpings of the many items available, every subsequent helping seemingly better than the rest. Amazing value at 6,000 won per person.
Hansik (한식) simply means “Korean food.”
Just 4 meals into the new cycle, the aim of which is to eat 365 meals distinctive from one another, I’m already faced with a quandary: how to categorize a buffet? Does the specific combination of items define the meal? Or is the format per se the essence of the meal? If so, would a Korean buffet be differentiated from a Western one? What about a so-called “seafood buffet”? Or a cafeteria that offers a variety of food, buffet-style?