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Restaurants & Bars 7

Sokongdong Tofu House

Eric Eto | Jan 3, 200207:35 PM

It took a couple tries before I found one of the Korean tofu places that my sister thought was suitably vegan. We came up to Sokongdong Tofu house in a strip mall on 6th Street near Normandie/Vermont, that looked a little too clean and cafeteria-like. What we had, however, was some really good inexpensive food. I ordered the house original soon tofu hotpot with beef, and my sister ordered the tofu hotpot with mushrooms. As we sipped on the barley ice tea, the panchan came to the table -- a cold vinegary soup with daikon, chili marinated raw crab, fish cakes, kim chee, cucumbers, squid, daikon, and two small whole deep fried fish that looked like mullet. Then two individual stone pots of rice were placed on the table along with two eggs. I was filling up on the panchan since my sister could only eat the cucumbers, daikon and soup. Then came the boiling hot pots. I cracked an egg in the boiling cauldron of tofu and let that simmer to a solid state. The same server emptied the rice into the metal rice bowls and poured hot water into the rice pots with the rice crusted along the side of the pot. We had to eat very slowly since the heat and spice were well contained in the hot pot. The empty panchan placed were replaced through the meal. When we were close to done with our hot pots, another server scraped the sides of the rice pots down and poured the contents into two more rice bowls -- a rice porridge to finish the meal. How clever. Then came the kicker. A cold sweet tea that tasted of cardamom. What a perfect treat after scalding my palate with the hot tofu. And the best treat was that everthing was included in the $7.45 price tag of the tofu hot pot. The total for the both of us didn't exceed $15. Amazing.

Beware, however, hot tofu burps are lethal. Keep some tic tacs or something nearby.

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