Thursday, April 7, 2011

Bapcha Korean Cuisine Cart

Today I wanted to go to the Schnitzel and Things Truck on 52nd and 6th for lunch but when I got there there was a huge crowd, many of whom had already ordered their lunch, and I was told that most of them had been waiting for 20+ minutes.  I'm not into that.  Although, the huge popularity of the truck must be a testament to its great food, which I haven't been lucky enough to try yet.  Next to the schnitzel truck there was the little Bapcha cart with a Korean menu-- bulgogi ramen and udon, kimch, galbi-- and when I stopped to look at the menu one of the women working there cornered me.  I went down like a sinking ship. 

I ordered the Dak Bulgogi Ramen, which I understood to be marinated chicken bulgogi with ramen noodles.  I was offered a free dumpling to try while I waited, which I found a bit greasy but pretty tasty.  I then saw the empty bag of dumplings in the trash, indicating that they were possibly frozen at some point and purchased already made.  Won't be wasting my money on the dumplings.  I waited about 5 minutes for my meal and then walked back to my cube with a sinking feeling that I had been conned.
Anyway, the soup had its highs and lows.  The noodles were reminiscent of instant ramen noodles, and in fact I did spy packaged dried noodles at the cart.  The broth was mediocre-- tasty, yet nothing special.  It was very spicy though, even though when asked if I liked spicy food I said no.  It was so spicy it made my nose run.  There was a good amount of scallions, sliced peppers, corn, and sprouts, however the corn and sprouts seemed like cup of soup quality.  There was also a fish thing that I didnt eat.  The bulgogi, however, was delicious.  I'm not sure if I did in fact have chicken bulgogi because to me it looked and tasted like beef, but it was sweet, peppery and tender.

I wouldn't necessarily order the ramen again.  I have since read on Yelp that the galbi and the kimchi are really authentic, so I guess I would go with either or both of those next time.  I won't go back soon though, even though the workers were so sweet and friendly-- I mean, the woman asked me my name.  When it comes down to it, I was justly skeptical of ramen from a truck and I should have followed my instincts!

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