Friday, September 15, 2023
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HomeKorean Foodkorean restaurant / Yeongdong snack bar - 194

korean restaurant / Yeongdong snack bar – 194

Knight Diner Road

Episode 3

<풍문으로 들었소, 영동스낵카>

When I was a student, the distance from my home to school was roughly over 1 kilometer. It often took about 30 minutes to walk, and it took about 1 hour to eat snacks and scissor rock climbing on the stairs with friends who live in the same direction. Sometimes the trampoline guy who used to be called pompon came, or when the smell of sugar melting in a briquette fire near the school came, I couldn't resist the temptation, and I spent my time without hesitation. (I'm proud that Dalgona's 3-year career hasn't worn away yet) Now I'm aware of the saying that time passes quickly as we get older. On the other hand, if you think about it again, I think my school years were the time when time went the slowest. Where did you go out of school like that even after finishing school… Right now, just thinking about it makes me feel tired… ^^;;

While it was so much fun on the road, I was always sleepy on the back road, so I rode the bus with puffy eyes. The bus card is only active now, but at that time, I issued a paper voucher for students (I have a faint memory of making 11 cards by cutting 10 printed vouchers a little too short…) It didn't take a few stops to get to school, but when I focused on something in a shaky space, I felt very dizzy, so I usually went looking out the window. It's the same outside scenery I see every day, but I still liked the outside of the bus window. The old and charming buildings and the people passing in front of them. Also, sometimes every time the bus passed by the car next to me, I enjoyed my own game while thinking to myself, “Will the license plate of the next car contain 8 or not?” Therefore, even now, I prefer the bus even if it takes a little longer than the busy subway.

At that time, the life of a bus didn't end with carrying people. Even in the 80s and 90s, the driver's seat was converted into a kitchen to sell udon and gimbap, and there were quite a few snack bars that served as food stalls at night. When I found a snack car while riding my bike, I still have vivid memories of going in to buy and eat ramen, but at some point they disappeared one by one, and recently they disappeared. However, there are still places that serve memorable meals along with sparkling buses. This is 'Yeongdong Snack Car'.

A snack bar in Yeongdong, in the middle of Daechi-dong, Gangnam, just takes a seat on a golden floor. The Lotte Department Store seen in the back has held this position since it was a “Grand” department store. The parking lot is very spacious and full of taxis, so at first glance, it looks like a small kiosk attached to a taxi garage. I visited around 10 a.m., but taxis came in without a break to help office workers get to work and have a late breakfast. This place operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and is a consideration for drivers who don't have a day off. There are considerations for drivers all over the store, such as preparing change to be changed in advance, selling washer fluid at a reasonable price, and setting up a space to throw away empty cans.

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| Unique scenery created by department stores and Yeongdong snack bars

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Like a scene from Answer Me 1994.

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| Even if it's quiet in the early morning…

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After it's time to go to work, it quickly becomes full of taxis like this.

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Coffee and soft drinks are essential after meals. Bong Bong stands out.

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Since most people eat alone, they all sit facing the TV.

There is a snack car, the symbol of this place, in front of the store. The window is shining brightly with a cute sunshade to hide the sunlight. Now it has a rustic appearance due to many years of age, but when it was purchased in '85, it was the latest Asian car model. This snack bar outside the restaurant was amazing, so when I looked around, it was just decorative at first (?) I thought it was, but they were also serving meals here. It is not open on weekends and holidays, and it is said that it starts after 10 o'clock when drivers flock on weekdays.

The story of this snack bar dates back about 30 years. The snack car business first started in Yeouido. In '73, when former President Park Chung-hee was in office, the development of Yeouido had just begun, and there was a time when there were many working people but not enough places to eat. In order to resolve this, the government granted mobile food stalls to aid recipients to help them do business near the construction site. It is said that it was very difficult to work all day selling hamburgers and gimbap in a small space. Then, in the mid-70s, when the development of Gangnam began, they moved to Gangnam. Up until this point, the bus just before it was scrapped had been randomly restructured and used, but the government proposed it just before the Asian Games in '86.

“The city of Seoul will guarantee it, so do your business in a clean, real snack car!”

As a result, with the help of Seoul City, they requested that Asia Motors (now Kia Motors) in Gwangju make a custom snack car. Looking at drawings of snack car facilities in the US and Japan, etc., and paid attention to hygiene aspects such as toilets, 13 real snack cars were created.

Each snack car wandered around Seoul and did business freely from place to place, and when there was a big event such as the National Games, they rushed to the area as called by the government.

“There are plenty of places to eat at baseball stadiums and gyms, but until then, eating was the biggest problem. So we had our snack car to use for such a special purpose.”

Thirty years have passed since the snack car, which is steeped in the boss's life, was released, but it's still as popular as new. In order to prevent it from rusting, it is said that it is often maintained by waxing. With a total driving distance of just over 1000 km, the child is proud that the engine and parts are still as good as new (?) The boss's words are memorable.

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Disgusting snack car

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The entrance to enter. It is open for a limited time during weekdays when there are many customers.

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Clean interior even though many years have passed

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The chair on the part where the bus wheel was located is cute.

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| Only those who have eaten it know the taste of udon eating while looking out of the window during the winter season or on a rainy day.

After looking at the snack bar, I went inside the restaurant. I was sitting in an empty seat where there were no people, and I had a strange feeling that everyone was staring at me, so when I looked at it, there was a TV above my head. Most of the drivers come alone, and they all eat while watching TV. So when I sit under the TV, I keep making eye contact (?) Difficult situations may occur where you have to do it. One impressive thing is that when I visited a single-person restaurant alone, I remember eating while looking at my smartphone, but I felt lonely and had a different feeling of loneliness here when everyone was eating while watching TV.

When I first visited this place, I was scrambling to choose a menu, but the drivers opened the door and walked in and said the menu at the same time. It sounds like “Come here!” Then, before you even sit down, grab a side dish at the self-service side dish bar. The side dishes are different every day. The menu comes out as soon as you put the side dishes on a plate and bring them to your seat. It's the speed at a fast food restaurant. Even if you pretend to look at the kitchen, there were more than 4 aunts, and the serving speed was fast. For taxi drivers, “time is money,” so there's no time to delay.

The menu is simple but varied; for breakfast and lunch, oden rice that is easy to eat and doesn't get bloated is popular, and steamed pufferfish and bulgogi are popular in the evening. (The name of the menu called oden rice was a bit awkward, so when I asked, it meant oden soup and rice ^^;)

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| Yeongdong Snack Bar's menu

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| Self-service side dish bar

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| Kimchi stew and side dishes. Like a knight's restaurant, food is served on a one-person meal plate.

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~ Freshly cooked kimchi stew

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Contains meat, tofu, mochi, etc.

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Another popular dish, pork ribs

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The sauce has a rich garlic flavor. It also has vermicelli, so I'm not bored.

The reason this place is popular among taxi drivers is probably because of the trust built up by running a driver's restaurant for a long time, even though it has a spacious parking lot and reasonable prices. The driver and employees were as close as a family after being together for a long time. I wanted to take pictures of many of the menus, so I asked for your understanding and took a picture, and the owner of the menu asked.

“Aw, please give it to me as soon as possible~”

“I'm sorry, boss. Today, guests are coming to take pictures.”

“A picture? I think the rice I took the picture would be even more delicious, hehe.”

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| Steamed drumfish topped with a slice of pufferfish and radish

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| Fried rice topped with a cute omelette

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| A hearty bibimbap to eat when you're busy

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Snackers' trademark. Oden udon

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Convage is the most expensive ransom at 6500 won.

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Familiar flavor of jajangbap

While leaving after the meal, I met a driver who was taking a break while drinking coffee in a paper cup outside. The driver answered the question of why he was visiting this place in one fell swoop.

“Since land is expensive in Gangnam, the good knight restaurants are almost gone, and there are only a few left. The parking lot is large, and food is cheap, so it's a habit to look for it. There is a belief that no matter when you come here, you won't be disappointed. I'm glad there are still places like this.”

Unlike the knight restaurant I've been looking for so far, Yeongdong snack bar was filled with drivers 99% of the customers. Since it was a food that could be enjoyed at a reasonable price in the middle of Gangnam, it wasn't a flashy appearance or a luxurious taste. However, a meal eaten at a snack bar is imbued with simple feelings and memories that cannot be felt in expensive restaurants.

Tips for eating

•Address: 765-3 Yeoksam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul

• Menu: Oden rice 4,500 won, pork ribs 5,500 won, steamed drumfish 6,000 won, udon 3,500 won

•Opening hours: 24 hours 7 days a week

•Add rice: free

•Vending machine coffee: Not free (vending machine)

•Parking space: Approximately 40 cars



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