The Girl Who Ate Everything

Blogging about food and whatever since 2004.

two firsts

The title made sense at some point.

I didn't know what to eat for lunch. Despite that my stomach was making sounds like some kind of semi-active underwater volcano ([bloopy blop gurgle hiss]), I wasn't really hungry. However, I had a lunch break and if I didn't use it, I would've just been hungry...later. Yeah. I guess that's the body's way of saying, "FEEEED MEEEE." Fancy that.

I wanted to have some more Ukrainian fare after yesterday's yummerful pierogi and blintz lunch (which I'll talk about in the next entry) but after it took me 15 minutes just to walk to the East Village, I stopped short of the cheap Eastern European eateries and decided to check out the Korean hole-in-the-wall Temple instead.

the side I didn't sit on

Okay, it's kind of big for a hole-in-the-wall, but that makes it pretty small for a...non hole-in-the-wall. One side of the room is lined with two-person tables and the other side is more suited for single-seating (you know...hermits). It's a clean, comfy little restaurant with nice decorations that are a bit on the trendy side, but not in a bad way.


While their large lunch menu includes standard Korean dishes (which is just my assumption, not being Korean) I went for the Korean Curry Rice since I'm not sure if I've ever seen Korean-style curry before (not that I thought it'd be a far stretch from Japanese curry, but I love all kinds of curry and figured I couldn't go wrong). Before I received the main dish, I was given a long, slim plate of banchan, those yummy Korean side dish thingies that fill you up before you can even eat the main dish if you're gluttonous enough to eat it all. Which I am. However, I managed to refrain from consuming all the kimchi, shredded radish, mung bean sprouts, tofu, and mushroom right away since it would've be sad if my stomach became distended before getting the chance to digest my main dish.

As I poked at the banchan with my chopsticks, I heard a man to my right ask the woman next to him if she would stop talking on her phone. And by "ask", I mean "command in an annoying tone".

"Would you mind using phone outside? You shouldn't talk on the phone while you're eating lunch."

Eh, he said something like that. The woman wasn't talking loudly at all. She didn't respond right away but at some point she said something back to the man, not that I could hear her as well as the man since she wasn't speaking that loudly. It probably wasn't a good idea on her part. His response went something like this:

"You shouldn't speak on your cell phone in a public place. Some people want to go to lunch and have a relaxing time. Have some delicacy. Stop talking on the fucking phone, bitch!"

[insert silence]

While raising his voice to uncomfortable loudness, he either shouted "fucking phone, bitch!" or "phone, fucking bitch!" but I think it was the first one. There were only three of us in there. Awkward. Reading the quotes alone doesn't give you the sense of his somewhat menacing inflection. The waitress was in the kitchen; I wonder what she would've done if she heard what the customer said. The young woman probably said something in response to the man's scolding, but as I said before, her voice wasn't that loud to begin with and alas, I lack bionic ears. My initial reaction was, "Whoa, biggest asshole I've ever encountered in a restaurant" (I suppose I'm lucky). Also, while he may have meant to say "delicacy", I feel like that wasn't the right word. Yes, I can see it fitting in, but isn't it ironic at all that the man possessed much less...erm, delicacy, than the young woman? Than most people? Of course, there was nothing to be gained from pointing out something so painfully obvious, as I'm sure this man wouldn't give a damn. As much as the woman talking on her cell phone may have bothered him, I think his outburst was much higher on the bothersome scale.

I also thought about what I'd do if I were the young woman. Honestly...I think I would've left. It's not like I could switch seats to a table much farther away from the scary guy in a room smaller than the size of my dorm, meaning I'd eat lunch in discomfort. Of course, it's not the restaurant's fault, but if wasn't going to eat their food, there wouldn't be any point in staying.

The woman must have almost been done eating, so she continued to eat. When the waitress reappeared, she told her about the incident. I'm not sure what the waitress could say, aside from being sorry, but the man, who could surely hear their conversation, stayed silent.

...Whatever, there are much worse things and people. But still. Why would anyone be that rude?

When I received my bowl of curry rice, I found out that I wasn't allowed to take photos (despite that I had already taken a bunch; HAR HAR HAR). I suppose that's alright, but then I realized that that's the first restaurant I've ever been to that didn't allow photos. Innnnteresting? I can understand a bakery or food shop banning photography (not that I find it any less annoying), but I never thought about a restaurant having the same rule. Yeah, I know the rule exists (other people have told me about restaurants not allowing them to take photographs, perhaps to the point that the proprietor crazily berates them), but I'm somewhat brainless and didn't think about it. Hohum. Maybe I should start a list of places in NYC that don't allow photos so no one gets into trouble. My list is really short so if you have any contributions, let me know.

curry rice
curry rice

Ohhh, I should talk about the food, eh? It's hard for me to rate curry rice since I love just about every kind of curry and rice combination you could scrap together (although preferably, it wouldn't actually be scrapped together; that sounds kinda untasty), so I'll just say that if you like curry and rice, you'll like their...steaming hot bowl of curry rice. The curry is thinner than most Japanese curry I've had and is of a green/yellow color rather than brown. The sauce coated every little fat, chewy grain of rice in the bowl, which I wasn't expecting (it gave me less work to do since I didn't have to mix anything...oh yeah, I've reached the epitome of laziness). Chunks of potato, carrot, and onion were mixed with the curry, along with a garnish of chopped green onion. That's some tasty stuff.

With my check, I was given a 3 ounce shot glass of...yellow liquid. Hm. Umm. Being one to eat things without having to know of their origins (I predict that I'll die of eating a poisoning substance that looks like cake), I sipped the glass. Firt impressions: not pee, not tea! Kind of sweet. Tastes like...honey! I figure it's a Korean thing, but beyond that have absolutely no idea what it is. Had I not been in a rush, I would've asked the waitress...but ye know, my brain works at half-speed (of a goldfish).

So. That was an interesting lunch. I'd go back to Temple if I had an insane Korean food craving, but that rarely happens. The food is pretty healthy and it's a good deal for less than $10. Hopefully the angry cellphone guy isn't a regular customer.


Jacob / February 10, 2006 5:01 PM

Wow that really is intense, especially in such a confined area. Surely this man (if he even comes into that category) would of tried a more democratic approach? Did someone say 'reason'? Ahh sounds like he was just a lonely man who had it especially rough that day. Anyway, i want to comment on food not human nature. The curried rice sounds fantastic! Since I live by myself again I'm once again becomming attatched to the simple and awesome things in life (rice, pasta, putting and light switches). This is real inspiration to treat myself something authentic.
The Magistrate Puts On His Glove. (oh im sure you know but each comment i finish with a beck line :D rock on)

luna / February 10, 2006 8:33 PM

If I was her, I would have "made" a "hole-in-the-wall"! He is in no place to talk about public manners. I wonder what the drink was. I can make few guesses as a Korean- but it really could be just water mixed with honey-_- You are so lucky to have access to good Korean restaurants!

mumu / February 10, 2006 8:46 PM

A while ago, I read on a food blog (forgot which one) about a chef from Washington DC (forgot which restaurant) threatening to sue a DC food blogger (forgot which one) for taking pictures of his meal at her restaurant. This food blogger with the camera nonetheless put his pictures up, then the chef sent him letters from lawyers, and the former had no choice but to take the pictures down. And the ironic thing was that it was a really good meal. You read about that?

roboppy / February 10, 2006 10:08 PM

Jacob: TOO INTENSE. :O Surely someone could be more polite about those things. It wasn't like "inconsiderate cellphone man" (he's a dude who appears in movie remind us not to use our cellphones). I didn't get the impression that he was having a really rough day, but eeh, that could always be the case.

FOOD! Curried rice is the win. If I lived by myself, I'm afraid I'd eat cookies and chocs. And then die realllly soon.

He SURE DOES! (I love that song. And the rest of Mutations.)

Luna: Of all people he really shouldn't have commented about manners. :P But I guess it was okay for him to not have any. Yuh huh!

Water and honey...I feel like there was something else to it, but I have NO IDEA. There are a lot of Korean restaurants here, hehe. I have no idea what's really good though.

mumu: Yup, I know exactly what you're talking about! The post is from (and another at amalah). The chef seems to be known for being...difficult. :O That's pretty scary. And the photos were taken with a CAMERA PHONE! Jeez.

Jenny / February 11, 2006 2:07 PM

I just stumbled on your site a few days ago and really love it! You're a great writer, and the photos are great as well! I think I will nominate your blog for the 2007 bloggies next year!

janet / February 12, 2006 12:06 PM

Ah. I'm going to tell you a funny story. When I was little, I found a brownish chunk wrapped in foil in the fridge. My chocoholic tendencies present since birth, I immediately popped the thing in my mouth. NOT CHOCOLATE. BLOCK OF CURRY stuff. Not fun.

The korean drink stuff - did it have grains of rice floating in it? It might have been shikeh (I don't know how to spell it in English) which is like a sweet rice punch that is often served at the end of meals and to me, tastes like honey water. Okay I just googled it - it might be spelled 'shikhye'. That looks harder to pronounce. Wow, I'm babbling. Ok bye!

roboppy / February 12, 2006 12:43 PM

Jenny: Thanks! I'm glad you enjoy reading my blog. Now just tell everyone else you know to read it and...make them tell everyone else...I WILL TAKE OVER THE WORLD. VERY SLOWLY.

Janet: HAHA, I think I read that story before! Did you write it in your blog? Or tell me? Or...unless that was someone else. I would be surprised if other people did the same thing. :)

No grains of rice, just YELLOW LIQUID STUFFFF. It almost sounds like it though, until the...uh, rice part. Hm.

Hyun / February 12, 2006 3:00 PM

I'm Korean so I think the mystery yellow liquid is something we call "shi-ggeh"~ puahaha it's sugary and really really yummy. My mom used to make it for me.

I like your blog. Every time I read it I have a craving from something in my pantry. :DD

roboppy / February 13, 2006 3:41 PM

Hyun: Thanks for the info! Sugary and yummy sounds like the drink, not that the drink was REALLY sweet, but it was sweet enough for me to like it. :D MM, SUGARY YELLOW SUBSTANCES!!!

Sukwoon / February 18, 2006 8:33 PM

Just stumbled on to your website via
Loved the review on Temple! How about doing some reviews on all the great street foods around midtown area?

roboppy / February 19, 2006 12:04 PM

Sukwoon: Thanks for stopping by! As for reviews for midtown's a smidgen too far. :) Well, okay, it's not that far, but I'd need to at least subway up there and I rarely have any reason to go above downtown (saad). If you have recommendations I'd love to check em out!

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