Unlike most people, who go through life oblivious to the external forces that bend and sway their fates, I can pinpoint the exact moment when the trajectory of my existence derailed from its course and set me on my current path: the first time I tried kimchi.
Oh, the PKP (Pre-Kimchi Period) was sad and grey, and all flavors seemed to blend together into a dull sensation similar to chewing on ash. And then came that fateful day when I discovered Korean pickled cabbage, a bright red beacon of hope on the end of a glittery silver fork. It was as though I was seeing the world in color for the first time, like baby Jesus himself had risen from his cradle or whatever and said, “Hey boo, I’ve got a low calorie snack that tastes dank as shit, and it’s all for you.” I slurped it down and I have never looked back.
If you’re like me and can’t go more than a couple days without some Korean flavor infused into your meals, you should download one (or all) of the Korean Restaurant Guide apps for destinations around the world. Judging by the fact that all the apps have a Korean language setting, I assume they were created for travelers from Korea looking for a familiar menu while out on their various journeys. However, I feel no shame as a lowly American with a hankering for bibimbap and plan to use the handy iPhone tools anywhere I can, starting right here at home in New York City.
Each app categorizes local Korean restaurants based on their location or price range and provides a brief synopsis on each establishment, including a breakdown of the general vibe and special menu items you shouldn’t miss. Currently there are seven apps covering thirteen countries (Italy, Greece and Spain, as well as most of Northern Europe, are lumped together for some reason), and even though New York is the only destination in the United States with coverage, many of the other locations have guides to multiple cities – the German version, for example, has recommendations in Frankfurt, Munich, Dusseldorf and Berlin.
I had a clever closing paragraph all thought up for this, but then I started looking at pictures of the kimchi stew known as Jjigae and completely forgot my witty remarks. So just go to the app store, download the ones you need, and never eat anything but Korean food ever again.