By VICTOR E. SASSON
I've loved Korean food for nearly 20 years, but that doesn't make it any easier to pick a restaurant on Broad Avenue in Palisades Park.
The street has the biggest concentration of Korean food businesses in North Jersey.
On Saturday evening, with my wife and son out of town, I was free to choose a place to eat instead of returning to So Gong Dong, our favorite soft-tofu house, at 118 Broad Ave.
I walked up and down on both sides of Broad Avenue -- reading menus and looking over the shrink-wrapped packages of noodles, grilled fish and side dishes in catering shops -- and couldn't decide on whether to dine out or do take out.
I was reminded of how competitive and perishable the Korean restaurant business can be, noticing that many past favorites are closed or under new ownership.
I especially miss one place that offered a simple grilled fish accompanied by traditional side dishes of kimchi, tofu, seaweed and other delectable tidbits.
In the end, I went home empty handed, prepared a large pot of organic whole-wheat pasta with sardines in red sauce, and washed it down with a couple of glasses of red wine.
This Caffebene at Broad and West Homestead avenues, and a second Caffebene in Fort Lee, won't accept credit cards for purchases of coffee and food under $10.
Crome Signature Bakery and Cafe, 306-310 Broad Ave., is by far the biggest Korean coffee house I've seen in Palisades Park.
Cap Udon, a small restaurant at 198 Broad Ave., offers inexpensive meals, including $6.99 lunch specials. Specialties include noodles and kimbap, the addictive Korean seaweed-and-rice rolls.
Palisades Park enforces metered parking on Broad Avenue from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., except on Sundays. The touch-screen meters are tri-lingual. You can find free parking on side streets.