Monday, June 27, 2005

Korean lunch at Dong Yang market

OK, so I had the most fabulous pictures of our recent trip to Dong Yang market for lunch, but I accidently deleted them. sigh. I'm bummed, because I was hoping that if I posted them, someone more knowledgable about Korean food would advise me as to the name and contents of several of the condiments that came with our delicious meal. Anyway....
Dong Yang is a Korean market and cafe located in what used to be the Franks Nursery and Craft in Columbia Heights. Conveniently, it's right next to a Harbor Freight, in case you need a cheap wrench or engine hoist to go with your meal. Although I've shopped in the market several times before, I wasn't aware of the deliciousness that was being served up in back. Fortunately, boy had been let in on the secret by one of his foodie friends, so at his suggestion, we stopped in for lunch after a tool shopping adventure. We ordered spicy stir-fry pork and vegetables and beef short ribs, and both were amazingly good and came with a full array of yummy, mystery side dishes.
I'm definitely not an expert, but I've been told that Dong Yang serves some of the most authentic Korean food around. Here's my only surviving picture:

Boy tells me that last time, the menu was sans any English, so apparently the English descriptions are a new (and welcome, at least to us) addition. After our meal there I'm guessing it would be hard to go wrong with any of the dishes, but it's nice for us non-Korean literate folks to have a bit of an idea what we're ordering.
It kills me to know I ate a bunch of good stuff that I have no idea about...that green saladish stuff with sesame and something spicy, the jicama (I think) and carrot slaw, those square chunks of something crunchy in a Kimchee like brine, and those tan, chewy, flat and fishy rectangles??? Oh, yeah, and the main dishes were fabulous too. This just might be one of my new favorite quick-meal hangouts. I can't wait to go back.

Dong Yang
735 45th Ave NE
Columbia Heights, MN
(cafe is located at the back of the store)

Mmmm... thanks for the tip, I've been happy with the Vietnamese selection in the TC, but have been missing other types of Asian food. Any suggestions for good Thai? I find most places are too sweet, without the complexity of flavors I'm used to. I've been told it is the Laos influence in the area, since their food tends to be sweeter... (LA transplant, only thing I miss is the food and the mountains!).
My favorite is Taste of Thailand in Fridley. I really have no idea how authentic it is and I think it actually leans somewhat toward Vietnamese as well. Boy, the unofficial Pad Thai conniseur of the midwest, highly recommends theirs, and my favorites are #44 and #47 :) I agree that local Thai food tends to be sweet, but I'm a sugar junkie so take the above advice accordingly.
Incidentally, the same friend that turned us on to Dong Yang recommended True Thai on 26th and Franklin for what he says is the best and most authentic Thai food in the cities. We haven't tried it yet but I'll be sure to post a review when we do.
splatgirl, I think we know the same foodie friend. Unfortunately for thomasina, I find that food at True Thai is too sweet as well. I must try Taste of Thailand.
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