4th Street Eats

April 7, 2016

I found myself today in a corner of downtown I rarely go to—way up on the north side (4th Street, a whole two blocks from my usual 2nd Street haunts). I had about 20 minutes to kill before meeting Jim for lunch so strolled a bit.

Wandered into Kim’s to look around…


The guys above bought a bunch of freshly made sushi, which I’ve had before, liked, then forgot about. It’d definitely been awhile since I’d been to Kim’s, though I don’t know why, there’s some great looking stuff in there.  Lots of products that look interesting, and definitely some hard to get produce..


I was curious about these..


… so looked it up when I got home. Found this fascinating little blurb about soju on adventurousappetite (blogspot):

Soju: A distilled beverage native to Korea, often compared to a weaker, slightly sweeter vodka. It was originally made from rice, but most brands now supplement or replace the rice with other starches such as wheat, barley, sweet potato or tapioca. The first bottle was supposedly distilled in the 1300’s.

To say Koreans love this stuff is a huge understatement. According to the world’s leading soju manufacturer, Jinro, Koreans consume nearly one billion bottles of Jinro Soju every month. Wikipedia reports that the average Korean adult (older than 20) consumes 90 bottles a year.

I found out that Chum Churum is a popular brand and I’m tempted to try it one day. A little more from the above blog about Korea’s drinking culture:

It’s considered rude to decline a drink. You’re not supposed to pour for yourself. You hold your glass with both hands when receiving, and place your hand under your right elbow when pouring. You turn away from the eldest when he or she takes their shot.

I couldn’t wait to experience all of it for myself.

My first week here, roaming the streets of my neighborhood, I noticed a bar on every block. People were drinking outside convenience stores. Empty green bottles littered the tables in the restaurants. Businessmen were puking in alleys.

“This is insane,” I said to my co-teacher, who was showing me around.

“What can I say,” he replied. “These people love their soju.”

The aisles in the store are narrow, the shelves are jam-packed and the place was crowded around noon. And a guy was delivering more great stuff:


It was fun for me to look at labels in Koren, Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese… because I’ve been proofreading those languages for the last six months. (Am I going to miss this job??)

Moving a door or two down, I wandered into Farmer’s Kitchen..


… and wondered why I don’t go THERE more often! Some great looking baked goods, a bazillion vitamins and healthy-looking things I should probably be consuming, and a very inviting dining room..


I also noticed some progress on the space formerly occupied (for about a hundred years) by Silver Dragon. I detect a theme along this block of 4th:


Thinking it’s time to expand my dining (and maybe drinking) repertoire.


2 Responses to “4th Street Eats”

  1. Michael Ann Says:

    I love that store. Whenever my mom comes to visit from Oregon, we make a trip there so she can by Panko and other things. She loves to cook Asian food (she is an amazing cook). Farmer’s Kitchen is where Jack and I were headed that day we ran into you and Jim!

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