There was a complete hole-in-the-wall Korean diner in Rogers Park, the super-diverse, northernmost neighborhood of Chicago we used to live in years ago. The place was run by a Korean grandmother who would take your order, scurry back into the open kitchen and emerge with your delicious food 10 minutes later. A storefront joint with a slightly awkward vibe that’s not too uncommon among tiny, homey, one-person operations, the diner served up some junky-good Korean breakfast with a generous portion of weird charm on the side.
We went to the diner only once. It was partially because of that awkwardness, felt particularly acutely when there’s no other customer to share in the atmosphere; it was partially because the food could have been better. I think I had a kimchee-cheese-sausage scrambled eggs, and Flaneur had a bulgogi scrambled eggs. Both were good, but not wow-worthy. I seem to remember melting American cheese and mysteriously soft sausage in my dish, and nothing about Flaneur’s.
The thing is, this kind of egg dishes with Korean flavors mixed in are pretty easy to make at home. (And at home, you’d be in control of how much awkwardness you want to serve on the side. :P) This morning, I made some scrambled eggs with kimchee, cheddar cheese and tomatoes (hence the “kimcheese scrambled eggs” title), and it was more kick-ass than the one I remember from the diner, if I may say so!
- Kimcheese scrambled eggs with tomatoes
- Pumpernickel bagel with cocoa tahini spread
(And OMG, the place is still around!)