The Tides are Changing – Korean Style

by Karen

No, we’re not going to Korea (though we would like to!). This is a food post. Clay and I both grew up in households that didn’t really foster adventurous eating. Sure, I ate fried rattlesnake once as a child and I think I had also had alligator by the time I was 12, but overall, the food selection was pretty standard – american, italian, mexican, with an occasional asian dish thrown in for some pizzazz. Clay didn’t really eat mexican food until college and I had to introduce him to humus (!), among other food items. Now he is just as adventurous (or more!) of an eater as I am. And thank goodness he now likes spicy food.

My attitude toward food shifted when I began working at an upscale bistro the summer between my junior and senior year of high school. I was the prep chef – responsible for salads, appetizers, and desserts. The executive chef was classically trained and showed me the ropes around a professional kitchen. I ate (and cooked!) so many new foods that summer, prepared in ways that I had never experienced before. Candied onions, fennel slaw, toasted filo dough with capers and cream cheese, roasted endives, and the list goes on. I was in the beginning stages of becoming a foodie, so to speak.

Fast forward to now. Clay and I love Weston dearly. We believe that his introduction into our lives has made us better people and given us a chance to learn (much needed) lessons on humility, patience, and unconditional love. In other words, the little guy is pretty awesome. But his introduction meant no more eating out at the type of places we frequented as DINKS (double income, no kids). We ate out at least 3-4 times a week…there were just too many good restaurants not to try. As much as we enjoy cooking, we enjoy trying new food prepared by experts even more. I have only been disappointed by one adventurous meal in my life. We were in the Chinatown area of Montreal, Quebec, Canada and went to an extremely authentic Chinese restaurant for lunch. I ordered a spicy chicken dish (at least according to the menu). I was served fried chicken feet with whole dried chili peppers. Clay and I still laugh about that today. Luckily, we redeemed ourselves later that day for dinner and went to an absolutely delicious Japanese restaurant where we easily had the best jasmine rice we ever ate.

So those type of places aren’t exactly the most baby and toddler friendly. But that is okay. We knew that as Weston grew older, we would again frequent ethnic and fusion restaurants. And that is exactly what we did yesterday evening.

There is a Korean restaurant in town that has great reputation among the locals. After buying a couch (woohoo… more on that in a later post), we decided to give the restaurant a try because the little guy was in a good mood and has recently been a bit more adventurous in trying new foods. We were not disappointed. Oh. my. gosh – were we not disappointed. I told Clay that it was easily the best meal we had in Lawton. We started off the meal with two spring rolls (pictured above*). The little guy couldn’t get enough of the vegetables inside – you can see his fingers reaching into the frame. We didn’t give him the sauce because it was quite spicy, and we figure that spicy foods are best learned in baby steps.

For our main meal, we went fairly basic because we didn’t want to scare Weston away from Korean food. We had sesame chicken and bulgogi. Accompanying our entrees were also a variety of banchan (side dishes), which included kimchi, sukju namul,  japchae, pickled cucumbers, and broccoli.  The rice was amazing, perfectly starch and ridiculously easy to eat with chopsticks.

Weston wouldn’t stop eating the bulgogi. He also devoured the pickled cucumber.

Needless to say, Clay and I loved the food as well.

I tried to teach Weston how to properly use chopsticks.

I failed.

Miserably.

(source)

Life is too short not to eat good food.

Here’s to more adventurous eating with a toddler in tow. We can’t wait to see what place we discover next!

*All picture taken on iPhone. Please excuse the quality.

Advertisements