Last weekend while navigating to a housesale, we passed an L-shaped strip mall at the intersection of Willow and Pfingsten Roads. My friend mentioned there was a Korean market in there. A surprise to me as I pass this area often. So after spending a few bucks purchasing someone elses memories, we headed back to check it out.
This is principally a Korean market with other asian ingrediants included, such as Philippino pastries, ect. This place was definitely a find for us. Instead of making bulgogi myself from scratch or picking up some in the city, I can now buy ready-to-cook bulgogi relatively close to me.
My friend bought thinly sliced meats to make Mongolian Hot Pot promised to her family. We both bought Ready to cook Bulgogi, which both our families enjoyed. She bought what seemed to be a gallon container of kimchi for roughly $5.99. I took the quart container which sold for $3.99. In her case, it is a 2-3 month supply, for me perhaps a year or more. Later in the day, when we were on Argyle the same gallon container was 1-2 dollars more.
They also have a small lunch counter with a menu consisting of maybe 11 items written in Korean with an english transliteration. Because we already agreed on eating Pho on Argyle - we suburbanites get around Mike G - we didn't partake that day.
Later in the week to fulfill our families desire for bulgogi, we returned for lunch. The only item I recognized was bibim bop, everything else was Korean to me. We asked a patron in the store to explain the various items before we approached the counter.
Initially at the counter, nobody was there either cook or patron. We were even wondering if any food was being served, though we were somewhat encouraged by steam coming off a pot. The shop manager approached inquiring about our intentions. She seemed pleased and surprised at our desire to eat there. Then she advised only two menu items are prepared per day. Today it was Bibim bop for $5.99 and a soup with rice for $4.99. We took one of each.
My first knowledge of bibim bop came from a library book. IN fact, most of my knowledge for korean food - beyond bulgogi - has come from this same book. In the illustration, it is a bowl of rice with neatly arranged vegetables, fried egg and bulgogi, which I have had since in various Korean restaurants.
The Hyundai Super variant had a separate rice bowl, then a large soup bowl with bland vegetables, ground beef and a fried egg. Not real super tasting. My friend's rice soup was bland to be pointless why it was offered. There seemed nothing flavorful to it, so she doctored it up with condiments to make it passable.
We did have an entertaining conversation with a caucasian customer who was simply shocked we were eating at the counter. He was picking ready-to-heat soup for his lunch, a regular option for him, but it had never occured to him to eat there. Too bad he didn't linger, I could have told him to maintain his current modis operandi.
Eating at the lunch counter is not something we plan to repeat. However, we were definitely satisfied with the selection in meat, fish, panchan and other asian exotica.
Yes MikeG, people do eat in the suburbs! And all the time I find new suburban sources to preclude a quick trip to the city! ;-)
2837 Pfingsten Road
Glenview, IL 60025