I wanted something unusual that I'd never had before. And standing at the corner of Rutland and Lamar, having not eaten since the 10 peanuts on Wednesday morning, I looked around 360 degrees and I saw a whole bunch of "meh". Eventually I came upon Airport and Lamar and I remembered the mention of Somunanjib for Korean Fried Chicken and pulled the Emergency Food Cord that signaled the bus to stop. It was about 3:30 on Friday PM
An order of fried chicken will run you $16, 17, or 18 for plain, sweet, or spicy fried chicken. I got a half sweet and half spicy for 18-something with tax. To go. Oops. Let me say that this is not traveling food - it does not travel well, especially if you're hungry and need to eat. This stuff defies all magnitudes of stickiness. You have too peel the pieces off your fingers. But it's not overly sweet at all. It hard to tell where the crunch stops and the bones begin. I threw a mostly spent piece to a bird and when it tried to eat it got stuck on top of it's beak and it it had to scrape it off with it's foot. I only managed to eat three or four pieces the way home while using up 20 cocktail napkins. It is seriously messy stuff. The lady did offer me the choice of chopsticks or fork and I looked at open container and said, "uh - neither" (as I grabbed a handful of useless napkins), They were oddly cleavered pieces of chicken(?) that probably come to about 3/4 of a whole chicken - about 15-16 pieces in all.
After I got home I could really dig in. They were still oddly crispy even after 2 hours and even stickier now. I starting analyzing the pieces and I was kinda joking to myself, "I wonder if this is even chicken". After cleaning a few more of bones of meat, and wondering where the skin is, I started examining the bone structure and thought maybe I'm not kidding afetr all. I've boned and spatchcocked at least 200 chickens in my years, but some of these small pieces made me question my knowledge of chicken anatomy. I started to save the pieces, but then deiced it's not something I need to pursue and kept on eating. There were two identifiable wing drumettes in there so I was happy just half-suspecting they were decoys ;-)
In the end I ended up having KFC for dinner, as a midnight snack, and as part of an 8:00am breakfast. Still crispy in some spots. I'm still undecided, the shards of bone were my biggest complaint. I may need to pick up another order, but it sure fit the bill of what I was craving at that moment.
The chicken took 15 minutes, while I went over to Han Yang to pick up a half gallon of cucumber kimchi (which I ate in 26 hours flat) and I perused the rest of the unusual menu. The Korean staple dishes here are reasonably priced, but the rest of the menu seemed to priced on availability in Austin. Beef rib bulgogi was $14.95. OK, but the chicken bulgogi is $25 and the Octopus is $30. The price should decrease for those other items, not increase. Default bibimbap is $9 IIRC, But there is another style that will run over twice as much. And then we have the most expensive soup in Austin: Kimchi jaegee is normally priced, but pork neck bone soup will cost you $25, IIRC. There were asome other expensive soup dishes as well. The menu was also heavy on "house made special sauce" with practically every non soup entree. And there were at lot of things that are "prepared at your table" that didn't make much sense. A couple of them may have been hot pots, but a stew? If anybody has more info on the way these dishes are presented and why they cost so much I'd be interested in hearing that. I grew up in Santa Clara CA which seems to be the Korean Capital of California and this menu just threw me for a loop.
Anyway - sorry if I'm too verbose.