28 (Wed) March 2012
-Yangjae, Seocho, Seoul, Republic of Korea-
My yearly Costco membership renewal came with a voucher for a free hotdog and a beverage from the food court. The set normally sells for 2,000 won, which has to be the single best meal value anywhere in Korea. Incidentally, I haven’t paid for a hotdog since Gray’s Papaya about 5 years ago, when I was in New York to attend a cousin’s wedding and in the Upper West Side to buy wine for the rehearsal dinner.
Even better, Costco upgraded the product with a sesame seed bun and a much longer sausage. Both the darker color and flavor suggested beef – they’d switched to pork during the mad cow scare several years ago – so I went back to confirm, but the manager told me that it was pork, “of course,” and looked at me like I was nuts.
I’ve decided to relinquish a long-held attitude borne purely on self-righteous snobbery that ketchup is unfit as a hotdog topping. And yes, I realize the irony of being a snob about what may be the most pedestrian of all American fast food items. For decades, I maintained that the only proper way to eat any sausage is with mustard alone, supposedly in the European fashion, dark or dijon mustard, mais oui, certainly not the bright yellow American kind, such as that made famous by the most inappropriately-named brand French’s, which I still don’t like very much. Mustard + saurkraut remains my favorite condiment combination. But, in all honesty, ketchup is actually pretty good, especially with raw onions.
With a total charge of 701,310 won this evening, I broke the personal spending record of 699,040 won that I’d set on my previous trip (see 3.047 Chicken Quarters) – a difference of just 2,270 won, I couldn’t have planned it that way. Most of it went towards wine for – by sheer coincidence – a cousin’s wedding tomorrow (more on that tomorrow).
(See also FOODS)
(See also PLACES)