Last night, after a semi-successful afternoon of shopping, as it neared dinnertime and the sum total of my food consumption for the day was a grilled cheese sandwich at home and a late afternoon snack of kalbi mandu from Mapo Mandu, I was desperate for something to eat. On top of this, it was starting to rain. While on line 2 heading towards home, I thought of something.
Some time back, a coworker of mine had recommended a goulash place in Hongdae, on the hill next to the park where the Free Market is held on Saturdays, in one of the alleys there. At that moment on the subway, tired, hungry and wet, it sounded perfect.
At G&B (Goulash and Bread), for 3,500 won (they used to have a sign advertising 2,500 but everyone in the place last night was paying 3,500...) you get all-you-can-eat rolls, goulash, and coffee. I was full after two bowls and rolls.
The rolls were large, crusty, and fresh, and the goulash consisted of a peppery, tangy tomato broth holding chunks of potato, carrot, and tender beef, and additionally seasoned with caraway seeds.
It's run, as far as I can tell, by a friendly middle-aged couple, and it seemed popular: the cozy space was packed with six people in addition to me, on a rainy weekday evening. I leisurely ate my goulash, listened to a medley of melancholy ballads (in English, Mandarin, and other languages), and enjoyed two cups of coffee. The title of this post comes from one of the songs, which I'd never heard before. Other lyrics included: "I'd rather be a hammer than a nail; a forest than a street..."
I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants a cheap, tasty, and filling meal. Thanks again, L!