Thursday, April 30, 2015

2015 Daegu Online Supporters Announcement




Alam Muhammad / Ariosa Mary Catherine / Erin Murphy / Ezra Cutas /Jaclyn Dawe
JAFARI SYED MUHAMMAD NASIR / Kevin J Buehl / Manabat, Teresa L. / Maria Denise Mascareg
Mary Joann Castanos / Parabjeet Hunjan / Reynaldo Ramos / Rica Joy Burkhard / Richie Ruba
Robert Hunter / Saeid Gholami Farkoush / Scott Tant / Sina Shadfar  /Tiev Miler / Venecio U. Ultra 


Congratulation! :)


Battle of the Buffets - Ashley American Grill


Hungry? Well, maybe not just “hungry.” More like, HANGRY? You should consider a massive buffet meal.


Daegu has a few options for gluttonous outings. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing the pros and cons of each. Henceforth, let this be known as “Battle of the Buffets.”

******************

The lower end of our buffet-spectrum is the Ashley American Grill. At just 19,900 won per person, this is a great deal if you’re looking for something to fill you up for a lower cost. For an additional 3,000 won, you can add bottomless wine to your meal. (Did you read that? Yes. YAS. I said BOTTOMLESS WINE, dude.) 


The restaurant offers two reds and two whites, though none are of any high quality. But, as you may know, wine buzzed is the best buzzed; and the barrels at Ashley’s will get the job done.

If you’re looking for somewhere to hang out for two hours and stuff your face with some pretty decent food and desserts, I would highly recommend Ashley’s. Ashley’s has a much more extensive offering of entrées and sides than VIPs had; there are more desserts to choose from and more hot dishes to check out.

Between the two locales our group has visited so far, I’m more keen to get myself back to Ashley’s for the free-flowing, cheap wine and better buffet offering.




But don’t take my word for it. In order to get a good idea of how to share this with you, I asked my friends to share their thoughts again on this visit. Here’s the quick breakdown on our visit to Ashley American Grill.



***************** 


Name:Caitlin L.

What was your favorite buffet dish?
I liked the pizzas and the lemon jelly [dessert] thing.

Bottomless wine. Yes or no?
Yes.

Rate your overall experience – scale of 1-5 (5 being high).
A 3.5. The [special seasonal offering] crepe was disappointing, as were the meat dishes.

Would you recommend this restaurant to friends?
If the want a Korean-American fusion food experience, yeah.

Anything you’d like to add?
Bottomless wine is the best, though that certainly wasn't the best quality wine. 



Name:Jaclyn D.

What was your favorite buffet dish?
I liked the smoked salmon and mango slices.

Bottomless wine. Yes or no?
For others, yes! For me, no. I think it’s a great idea, though.

Rate your overall experience – scale of 1-5 (5 being high).
4 out of 5. Ashley's was great- decor, view, atmosphere, food! And wait staff etc..

Would you recommend this restaurant to friends?
Yes, definitely. It was worth the trek up the hill [to this location].

Anything you’d like to add?
Desserts were awesome - all trillion of them that I sampled.


Name:Shea L.

What was your favorite buffet dish?
Hard to decide but I enjoyed the ddukbokki carbonara a lot.

Bottomless wine. Yes or no?
Yes.

Rate your overall experience – scale of 1-5 (5 being high).
I give Ashley a 4 out of 5.

Would you recommend this restaurant to friends?
Yes, I would!

Anything you’d like to add?
The buffet was really good with a lot of variety, which was nice. There’s something for everyone.



Name:Shannon I.

What was your favorite buffet dish?
My favorite was the fruit selection. I love that dragon fruit is always available. Other than that, almost everything from the meat area is good, too.

Bottomless wine. Yes or no?
Not for me; I don’t drink.

Rate your overall experience – scale of 1-5 (5 being high).
Maybe a 4 out of 5.Considering, the staff brought us a new crepe [after our first one was sad-looking], I'd say my normally  good experience was made even better.

Would you recommend this restaurant to friends?
Yes, I would!

Anything you’d like to add?
Nope. That’s it.


*****************

So, in Part 2 of our series, it looks like everyone would likely choose Ashley Grill over VIPs… You’ll have to try both and decide for yourself! Check out one of their many locations in town:

Inside Donga Department Store downtown

On the subway: Take the green line to Banwoldang Station. Walk to the Donga store entrance in the subway station and take the elevator or escalators up to the Ashley Grill floor.

Tower 83 at E-World
This is where our group visited and I highly recommend it!

On the subway: Take the green line to Duryu Park Station and take the E-World exit (Exit 15). You can either take a taxi and ask them to take you to Tower 83 (also Woobang Tower or Daegu Tower) or walk to E-world. If walking, stay to the left and walk around what seems like the back of the park, toward the car park. From here, you’ll need to trek up the very steep hill to get to the tower – no need to pay park admission to get there!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Looking for Special Gifts? "Micake Cake Decorating Studio"


If you’re looking for something special to give someone as a gift for a holiday or birthday, the only thing better than a handmade gift might be dessert! At Micake Cake Decorating Studio, you can have the best of both worlds. Micake is one of a few shops in Daegu where you can decorate your own cake or cupcake. 


The first step is to choose whether you want to decorate a cake or several cupcakes. Micake has traditional circular, dome-shaped, and heart-shaped cakes in various sizes and flavors. They range in price from 14,000 to 23,000 won just for the cake itself. The most expensive cake is really nine pieces of cake in different flavors arranged together. Some cakes also have filling, and you can even decorate a cheese cake. At Micake, you also have the option of decorating the top of a cheese tart. Micake has four flavors of cupcake to choose from: green tea, strawberry, chocolate, and vanilla. You can choose 2, 4, 6, or 9 cupcakes to decorate, and they don’t have to be the same flavor. Chocolate and vanilla cupcakes are 2,000 won each and strawberry and green tea cupcakes are 2,500 won each. 


The next decision you have to make after choosing your cake or cupcake is what color and flavor of frosting you want to use. Cakes already come with some frosting on then, but you get to choose two or three extra frosting flavors to use as decoration. You can choose white vanilla, green mint, brown chocolate, purple grape, yellow banana, or pink strawberry frosting. What’s even better is that you can also choose what tip you want on the end of each frosting piping bag. For this unfamiliar, a piping bag is the bag you squeeze all the frosting out of to decorate a cake. The metal tip of the bag comes in variety of shapes, and the frosting will take the shape of the piping bag tip when you add it to your cake. The menu has pictures that show what the frosting will look like when it is squeezed out of the piping bag to help you make your decision. The allows you to be more creative with your final cake and cupcake designs. 


Micake is quite a large shop with plenty of seating for customers and decorating space. Each table comes with a circular rotating block at the center so that you can make sure your cakes are beautifully decorated all over. The shop is also very clean, and customers are encouraged to wash their hands prior to decorating. Grab a pair of tweezers and a plate from the sterilization case and choose whatever decorations you would like for your cupcakes.


Micake boasts a wide range of decorations, including those made of sugar and chocolate. There are decorations for practically any occasion. Chocolate decorations can be found inside a large cooler along with several types of fruit, which you can also use for your cake or cupcakes. For cakes, they even have several stencil designs; put the stencil on the cake and dust cocoa powder over it to imprint the words onto your cake then just carefully remove the stencil. If you need inspiration or assistance, the bakers at Micake are more than willing to give you a few pointers, or you can look at the many photo idea books at the shop. 





You could have a whole birthday party at this cake studio because they even stock party hats, birthday sunglasses, and candles. For a unique and delicious treat, head over to Micake Cake Deocorating Studio where you can decorate a cake or cupcakes especially for that special someone. 



★ cafe.naver.com/daegumicake ★
★ 053-253-2816 ★ 


Friday, April 17, 2015

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Try food for all over Asia : Panasia

 
You could argue that Daegu is lacking in the foreign food department, but there is one restaurant downtown that is attempting to change all that. Panasia is a restaurant that serves delicious cuisine from a variety of Asian countries, including Thailand, China, Indonesia, and Singapore.
 

 
If you’ve spent any amount of time in Korea, you will know that Korea has its own kind of Chinese food. American Chinese food is something you can hardly ever find, but it is on the menu at Panasia. Get a taste of the Chinese food you’re used to with Panasia’s cashew chicken or general tso’s chicken. Entrees are typically between 10,000 and 20,000 won, but portions are very generous, so you’ll probably want to share.
 
 
Thai food is also very uncommon in Daegu, but Panasia does it really well. The pad thai is tasty and satisfying. Panasia even have sweet and refreshing Thai ice tea served in a metal bucket and meant for sharing. There are a few flavors of mojitos that are served the same way and are even hand-mixed at your table. The large drinks cost about 8,000 won. Panasia also has a good selection of Asian beers, such as Chang, for around 5,000 won a bottle.
 
 
Other popular dishes include curry and Singaporean chili crab for entrees and spring rolls and steamed buns as appetizers.
 
 
The restaurant is conveniently located on bar street right near Thursday Party.  Go out of Jungangno Station exit 2 on the red line and take a left towards 2.28 Memorial Park. Walk straight as far as you can, and when you get to the park, make a right. Continue walking along the side of the park. Take your second left to get to bar street.  Walk straight for a few minutes, and Panasia will be on your right on the second floor.
 
 
Panasia is a great asset to Daegu, giving guests the chance to try food for all over Asia.
 



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Monday, April 13, 2015

Korean-style waffles with various topping options ; Waffleria



If you go downtown often, you may have already noticed the new waffle shop, Waffleria, that opened up across the street from the YMCA. It’s hard to miss because there’s usually a line out the door. Although waffles are already a popular dessert in Korea, Waffleria seems to be a new trend, so I wanted to check it out and see if it is worth the hype. 




Waffleria’s sign calls their products “American Big Waffles,” but any American knows that Korean waffles, at any shop in Korea, are distinctly Korean, not American. In the US, you’d be hard pressed to find waffles like the ones sold in Korea. That being said, these waffles are no less delicious. Korean waffle shops sell the large, Belgian waffles typically eaten for breakfast in Western countries. The waffles are then dressed up with a range of different toppings, including whipped cream, fruit, nuts, and chocolate chips.




Waffleria sell waffles overflowing with delicious toppings. In terms of their menu and prices, Waffleria is very similar to the other waffle shops you can find throughout the city. Most of their waffles have whipped cream on them, which is typical of waffle shops. But the toppings make a few of the menu items more unique, like the cinnamon, caramel sauce, and cream waffle. Fruit puree is a favorite waffle topping, and Waffleria has blueberry, strawberry, apple, and even mango. At Waffleria, you can also get a half-and-half waffle with two different menu options. Waffles are an inexpensive treat at just 2,000 or 3,000 won each, and the waffles are large enough to share. 




One interesting menu item that makes Waffleria stand out is the yogurt and waffle parfaits: layers of frozen yogurt and chocolate or fruit sauce in a large cup topped with bite-sized pieces of waffles. The signs are posted on the door if you want to try one. 




Where Waffleria differs from the rest is in their freshness. At Waffleria, there is a fleet of waffle irons and staff members working all day, making waffles to-order. You can be sure that you are not eating a waffle that has been sitting out for hours. Waffles are made in front of you and served hot.




Waffleria is located just across the street from the YMCA. Simply walk straight out of exit 13 of Banwoldang Station, and you’ll see the tiny shop that is Waffleria on your right. Be aware that if there is a line, it will be set up slightly to the left across from the entrance, leaving space for the many people walking around downtown to get between the door and the line. You will be called one party at a time to order. The line moves fairly quickly. 

Waffleria sells the same Korean-style waffles that are very popular already, but they expand on the topping options and value freshness above production speed. It’s a great place to try a Korean waffle if you’ve never tried one before or to grab a cheap dessert.   

Friday, April 10, 2015

[Restaurant] Enjoy the essence of Korean cuisine~ Dongseong-ro Kimchi Jjim!



It can be uncomfortable just wandering into an unfamiliar restaurant in Daegu. You don’t know if the waiters speak any English or if the menu will be offered in English. Sometimes, you may not know where to get the food you want. It’s hard to get out of that comfort zone and try a new restaurant, especially when if you are also trying a new kind of food for the first time. That being said, there is one Korean dish that is well-worth the hassle and awkwardness you may experience while trying to find it: kimchi jjim. It’s like a kimchi pot roast. Kimchi jjim is slow-cooked meat marinated and served with kimchi. It is one of the best traditional Korean dishes.





If kimchi jjim sounds like something you want to try, look no further than Dongseongro Kimchi Jjim. The restaurant has just two menu items that you can either take-out or eat-in. They serve kimchi jjim and kimchi jigae (kimchi soup). Both cost 7,000 won per serving to eat-in and 6,000 won per serving to take-out. Both dishes are delicious, and portions are generous. For four people, ordering two servings of each should be plenty.



The kimchi jigae cooks at your table and comes with ramen noodles that you can add yourself. There are pork strips in the soup, so if you order both dishes, your meal won’t lack for meat and will be very satisfying. The kimchi jjim is just a piece of meat served next to a large chunk of warm kimchi that you have to cut up yourself. It looks pretty average, but it tastes incredible. You will not be sorry. The meal, like all Korean meals, is served with a good amount of side dishes as well. And make sure you order some rice as well to help with the spice.




You can find Dongseongro Kimchi Jjim on Dongseongro Street, the main street between Banwoldang and Jungangro stations. Go out exit 14 of Banwoldang station and continue walking straight for five minutes. Take your second left, and Dongseongro Kimchi Jjim will be on your right. There are three white signs with black and red writing on them around the outside of the restaurant. Dongseongro Kimchi Jjim is also pretty close to the yangyeongsi bus stop. If you head back towards the YMCA and Banwoldang station from that stop, take a right to head down the alleyway, and it will be on your right.




Branch out and try some delicious Korean food without having to worry about finding a good restaurant on your own. Dongseongro Kimchi Jjim may not seem very special from the outside, but the food is amazing.





Dongseongro Kimchi Jiim
7-3 Dongseongno 3(sam)-ga, Jung-gu, Daegu

Thursday, April 9, 2015

[Culture] Daegu Art Factory!




You may have read recently here on the Touch Daegu blog about the monthly Saturday artisans flea market at the Daegu Art Factory (DAF). Did you make it out? If not, here’s a few highlights from the market and more information on the DAF.




*Photo courtesy of Daegu Art Factory,
http://www.daeguartfactory.kr/eng/artFactory/history.action

The Daegu Art Factory has an interesting history. Originally built as a tobacco manufacturing plant in 1949 (the manufacturing company’s history goes back to 1909), the plant remained in operation until 1999. Beginning in 2007, plans began to repurpose the warehouse into a place of resource for Daegu’s artist community. After several years of planning, fund raising, and collaboration within the city, the “Culture and Art Creative Belt Development Utilizing Local Modern Industrial Heritage.” was born and opened in 2010. In 2012, it was renamed with its current moniker, Daegu Art Factory.




“Daegu Art Factory starts anew as a genuine space for creation and communication through which the cultural energy of Daegu can erupt. Daegu Art Factory will grow up to be a power plant for culture and art, leading the culture of Daegu.” 
-Vision, Daegu Art Factory,

The aim of the DAF is to “foster an environment for artistic creation by providing a space for artistic creation and by operating various residency programs for artists.” The DAF boasts several galleries, a reference library and art information center, an information and history room, a Kids Space, as well as a 120-seat black-box theater. For more information on current exhibits and performances, head over to the DAF website: http://www.daeguartfactory.kr/eng.action.










As mentioned, the DAF hosts a flea market for local artisans to sell their creations on the last Saturday of every month. The market takes place on the first floor and has about 30 separate vendors. You can shop for handmade items of all sorts – jewelry, fashion items, small purses/bags, floral arrangements, paper crafts, and more for very reasonable prices.













If you’re in need of refreshment, a small café on the ground floor also offers drinks and a few snacks.






While there, I picked up a small coin purse and a few kitchen scrubbies to send to my mom. All the vendors were very friendly and I will definitely visit again.

What was my favorite thing about my visit? Aside from the goodies I purchased, the DAF information and history room also has a couple of stationary bicycles positioned in front of screens that, when you peddle,  take you through a virtual tour of some alleys in Daegu. I was too tall for the bikes, but still managed to peddle a bit to get a taste of the experience. I highly recommend it – if for nothing more than a photo opportunity!




I hope you make it out to the Daegu Art Factory – either to see the monthly flea market or to take advantage of this cool space the city has created for local artists.

Location and Hours:
10:00 AM – 6:00 PM, Tuesday - Sunday (Closed Mondays and National Holidays)

31-12 22-gil, Dalsung-ro, Jung-gu

How do you get to Daegu Art Factory?*


On the bus:take off the bus from one of 3 destinations below and walk approximately 5mins 

Dowon Apartment: 101, 101-1, 420, 420-1, 618, 808, Bukgu#2
        o In front and across from this stop

Suchang Elementary school: 300, 414, 427, 808, 939, Donggu#2, Bukgu#2, Bukgu#3.
        o Walk toward the new subway line 3 Dalseong station. Take a right turn at the next intersection; you will see three large posts with colorful frog sculptures at the top. Walk straight and you will see the DAF in front of you in about two blocks.

Kyungjin Tech Vil: 651, 653
        o In front and across from this stop

On the subway:Take the red line to Daegu Station. Come out Exit 3 and walk 10 minutes to the Taepyeong junction (walking westward). 

*Beginning next month, you can also take the new yellow line to Dalseong Station, which will put you right where you need to be and may be the easiest way to find the DAF.

**Directions to the DAF are a bit difficult to explain; I found my way by taking bus 427 to Suchang Elementary School and walked toward the new subway line 3 Dalseong station. Take a right turn at the next intersection; you will see three large posts with colorful frog sculptures at the top. Walk straight and you will see the DAF in front of you in about two blocks.



*Map courtesy of Daegu Art Factory,