Sunday, January 31, 2010
Update for Korean barbecue lovers
It's happened again. Madangsui Restaurant in Fort Lee, once my favorite Korean barbecue restaurant, was fined $1,033 last week by the borough environmental health specialist "for allowing a rat infestation, with droppings too numerous to count," The Record reported on Friday.
Madangsui was fined $285 on Nov. 10 for defrosting meat on the floor and not covering it. This was a real surprise, because it had always boasted of serving fresh beef and was the first Korean barbecue restaurant to offer prime beef, the highest USDA grade, after it opened more than five years ago.
We love all the vegetables and soy served by Korean restaurants, but I've long been concerned about their "mystery meat" -- sliced extremely thin and marinated to improve flavor and tenderness. So we started buying free-range, grass-fed Australian beef and preparing barbecue at home, with rice, kimchi and other side dishes.
Thankfully, the newspaper Friday also contained a ShopRite circular offering Nature's Reserve free-range, grass-fed whole beef tenderloin for filet mignon from Australia at $3.99 a pound with a store card, $5.99 a pound without (4- to 6-pound average). Make sure you get the Australian beef, because the supermarket chain also has put on sale the same cut of conventionally raised U.S. beef. The sale starts today and ends Feb. 6.
There are few meals that can match the fun quotient of Korean barbecue, where you use red-lettuce leaves to wrap up meat, hot pepper paste, rice, garlic, kimchi and whatever else you can manage, then stuff the whole package into your mouth.