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Saturday, August 1, 2009

Brunchin' on a Saturday



There are certain things that make life in Korea just that much more pleasant.

Having the perfect song come on your iPod at the ideal moment, as if technology and your brain are intertwined.

Getting a smile and "Annyeong haseyo" every time you walk through the market from a produce vendor who recognizes you because you're probably her most frequent -- or only -- waegook patron.

Enjoying a three-hour weekend brunch with a good friend and having a truly meaningful conversation about everything from travel and food to books and politics. Those types of discussions are surprisingly -- and sadly -- rare here, believe me.

Yes, brunch is one of my favorite weekend activities but unfortunately, my job doesn't always give Saturdays and Sundays off meaning that when those two days are free (rarely consecutively, but still) they must be embraced.

Natalie leaves Korea in two weeks for the wide open spaces of Colorado so we planned a final get-together today. Since we met at church and often got brunch or lunch after the service, it was natural that our goodbye would take place over a delicious meal.

Cute menu

Suji's (at the far end of Itaewon) was one of the places we'd always talked about going and never been, so we met there today for brunch. It's one of those places you walk into and immediately feel like you're back in America -- even the smell is reminiscent of any casual restaurant back in the States. Maybe it's the fresh-brewed coffee...?

The all-Western menu is huge and varied, dishing up home-style comfort food with flair, including dozens of varieties of omelets, pancakes, waffles, French toast and more.

Iced cafe latte. A perfect muggy day pick-me-up.

It took some time to make the final decision -- I hate that feeling when you order and immediately regret your choice -- but the end result was perfect and exactly what I was craving: the California omelet, an egg-white omelet stuffed with broccoli, zucchini, onions, carrots and mushrooms, served with whole wheat toast and home fries.


Deeeeeeelicious.


I absolutely wiped the plate clean -- definitely should have taken some "after" shots. It was nice to have the option of egg whites, too, as you could substitute them into any dish for an additional 3000 won (they were standard for the California omelet).


Brunch at Suji's, as at many other Western brunch places around Seoul, doesn't come cheap. Most main dishes are around 20,000 won but consider what you're paying for: great atmosphere, an authentic American brunch (the owner used to live in New York), quality ingredients, food cooked-to-order and not just dished out of a generic pan....

Plus, no one seemed to mind when we finished eating and stayed around to chat for another hour-and-a-half. It was nice to have that post-meal girl talk without feeling rushed out the door.

All of the dishes and tableware are so cute and colorful.