So Gong Dong

I’ve turned into a blogger slacker. Sorry. I’m still eating food, and I’m making another attempt at that no-knead bread. This time it’s a whole wheat bread. I’ll try to take some pictures mid-way and not eat half of it before I remember to take a final snap shot. As you probably noticed, the photo above isn’t bread. It’s banchan, the stuff they bring you to snack on before the meal starts when you go out for Korean food. I used to think it was all called kimchee, but apparently not. This particular banchan is at So Gong Dong. If you live in the tri-state area and don’t have a car, you’re probably out of luck because it’s here in Palisades Park, New Jersey. If you have foodie friends with a car, be nice to them and start hinting about making a trip here.

First of all, this strip of Broad Avenue in Palisades Park is all Korean — shops, restaurants, markets, people — and it’s fun just to walk around and explore. But if you ask Korean people where to get the best tofu hot pots (not the real name, just what I like to call it), they’ll probably tell you about So Gong Dong. The specialty here is that thing above, a fiery hot pot of soup with soft tofu and seafood. It’s served with a bowl of rice, and you actually get a choice of how spicy you want it. Unless you’re a wimp, I suggest “more spicy”. It’s served to you so hot, it’s still boiling when it arrives, and you crack a raw egg into it. Stir the egg a bit and it cooks in the soup. Cool.

Their other specialty are these ribs, served with scissors for cutting. Also very cool. I’m not a rib eater, for the most part, but these are really popular and probably not to be missed if you’re willing to make the trip. As for me, you can find me on many rainy nights at So Gong Dong sweating my way through a bowl of bright-red tofu soup. Important last note, just to see if you’re still reading: the restaurant is located upstairs. Enter the “mall” at the address specified, walk up the steps, turn right, and you’ll find it.

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