Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Suicidal Koreans use gastronomy to kill themselves...

... very, very slowly. 

Courtesy of Daniel Gray's Seoul Eats, this is the burger at the H-Diner in Itaewon, near the Capital Hotel. 

Kushibo's actual stomach is getting smaller and smaller, so seeing this monstrosity evokes a painful sensation in the belly region, followed by thoughts of what one, two, or three people I could invite with me to eat this. 

As I mentioned at Seoul Eats, this burger is causing a flashback to a "Simpsons" episode ("Bart's Friend Falls In Love"), in which Homer views a commercial for the most decadent form of meat-and-bun imaginable at the time:

It's the Good Morning Burger!
We take eighteen ounces of sizzling ground beef, and soak it in rich, creamery butter, then we top it off with bacon, ham, and a fried egg. We call it the Good Morning Burger.
That was in 1992, when such things were seen as preposterous.


  1. I have a feeling most of the customers who order that burger are Westerners. Have you seen the movie Fathead. In response to Morgan Spurlock's Supersize Me, Tom Naughton did his own fast food diet, but instead of gorging himself on thousands of calories, he ate normal food portions with lots of fat and protein but few carbs. He lost 15 pounds and improved his blood lipid profile. Ditch the bun, made from bleached white flour, and cut the burger in half, and you have a decent main course.

    I can't wait to try this bacon I bought from a local farmer who pastures Tamworth pigs, a heritage breed that thrives on forage, yielding a superior meat. Bacon and greens...the perfect breakfast. Will be an appealing change from the ham and eggs I've been having the last few days.

  2. Please mentally insert a question mark after the second sentence.

  3. I guess that's good advice. When my mom and I go out to eat — which is often when I visit — we usually split meals.

    You will probably find this sacrilege, but I actually like some of the McDonald's salads. They're a bit pricey for fast food at $5 or so a pop, but they're very green and the ones where I occasionally get it appear to be as fresh as you get in Honolulu.

    While on the road recently someone told me to get a side salad off their $1 menu and it was actually very good. All very fresh — quite amazing since it was at an Interstate junction in the desert. When I tried the same thing in urban areas in California, though, I had mixed results: not as full of deep green stuff and not as fresh, especially if purchased in the evening, but still a better choice than whatever else I might buy quickly.

    I only hope the McD's in Honolulu have this side salad.

    As for bacon... I never really liked the stuff much. I like ham, but the opening of "Dexter," which I've been watching on Netflix lately, has turned me off the stuff for a while.

  4. Most chain restaurants use highly processed ingredients with lots of flavor additives and preservative. The "grilled" chicken strips in a McDonalds salad contain about 25 ingredients and the grill marks were tattooed on. I only ever eat out when invited and try to steer our group to authentic ethnic restaurants or reputable health food cafes that actually prepare from scratch.

    I used to be all gourmet but got tired of all the prep work, so now I keep meal preparation simple by baking a whole chicken or large chunk of bone-in meat, removing the meat, and simmering the bones to make broth, yielding enough meat and broth for about four days worth of lunches and dinners. If there's not enough meat, I stretch the meal with high-fiber, low-carb legumes like lentils and black turtle beans and dry roasted nuts. I use the chicken broth to saute my veggies. Easy, healthy, and delicious. The variety comes from different vegetable and spice combinations.

  5. Do you have a link to the stuff about dyeing the grilled chicken? That seems nasty.

    I should note, however, that the side salad contains no meat. And I had one today, and it as quite green.

    As for gourmet food, I wish I had the time and the ability. I should take a class at the local JC or something. But fresh ingredients are molto expensive in Hawaii, more than my grad student with a mortgage self can typically afford.

  6. Scroll down to the fifth paragraph in this review of KFC's new grilled chicken. It's not only KFC. Most fast food, chain restaurant, and fresh or frozen food products with "grilled" chicken brand grill marks on ordinary cooked chicken. Unless the chicken arrives at your table sizzling and juicy, it was probably branded.

    If you get a chance, I'd highly recommend reading former FDA chief David Kessler's controversial new book "The End of Overeating." He explains how the food industry uses science to get consumers to eat as much as possible. The food industry isn't evil; they're just businesses, and the only ways to grow are to increase market share or get people to eat more. After reading how a chipotle chicken burrito is made, I never want to eat again at Chili's, TGIFridays, Olive Garden, or any other chain restaurant ever. The food doesn't taste that good anyway, at least to a palate not primed to eat processed foods.


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