Sunday, December 6, 2009

With food like this, who needs meat?

Kimchi Soft-Tofu Soup (김치순두부)

The crunch of spicy cabbage and cucumber slices. The bubbling broth cooking a freshly cracked egg. The simply steamed rice, a foil for a stew of soft tofu and red pepper.

These are the elements in a meal of Korean comfort  food that is loved by people of all ages. It's also one of my favorite alternatives to meat. Last night, we enjoyed soft-tofu stews and kimchi side dishes at So Gong Dong in Palisades Park after realizing a Korean fried chicken place we had our hearts set on was takeout only.

"It's good for you and it tastes so good," my 12-year-old son Roshane says. "I wouldn't mind eating tofu every day."

We had set out for another North Jersey branch of BBQ Chicken after getting fed up with the slow service the last time we visited BBQ Chicken & Beer in Cliffside Park, where we love the spicy, twice-fried  chicken wings and drumsticks, and the broiled roasted-pepper thighs. But when we saw that it was takeout, we immediately drove over to the second-floor tofu restaurant.

I ordered the oyster tofu stew "more spicy" from the scale listed on the place-mat menu. One of the things I love about the meal is breaking the soft-boiled egg yolk over the steamed rice and eating them together. The complete meal is $10, including tax. When I started eating it a decade ago, it cost $7.

Before we left, my wife ordered another meal to go, so she can take it for lunch next week.

Restaurant So Gong Dong, 118 Broad Ave.,
Palisades Park; 201-313-5550.

BBQ Chicken (takeout), 10 E. Edsall Blvd.,
Palisades Park; 201-461-0201.

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