(Above photo credit goes to the YELP site).
This one was a surprise. Husband and I have been driving past the sign for a while. We talked about maybe, possibly, some day trying Su’s Subs.
We talk about trying new restaurants with kids in tow the same way NASA talks about visiting Saturn.
Then, we noticed the sign’s subheading in tiny font- “and Oriental Food.”
Now, that sounds interesting! We were determined to try this place… at some point.
6 months later.
I was eating lunch in a conference room on campus. My hall neighbor (henceforth known as Psychology Prof), pulled up a chair and opened a Su’s Subs bag that smelled A-MAZING.
He pulled out a bulgogi sandwich and a carton of piping hot french fries.
I felt my eyes go wide. The world spun a little.
“It’s a Korean place?” I rudely demanded as Psychology Prof was about to take a bite.
He paused long enough to answer, “The owner is Korean. They have a variety of food, though.”
Then I was left to eat my unsatisfying bagel while Psychology Prof polished off a bulgogi sub- with french fries! Have you ever heard of a more heavenly combination?
That evening, as soon as I got home from work, I opened my laptop and called Husband over.
Husband is Korean and the news that there was a Korean fusion restaurant down the street made him reconsider our dinner plans.
Who can eat frozen pizza when there’s yaki mandu down the street?!
I googled Su’s Subs and Oriental Food and got- well, not a lot.
Thank goodness the place is beloved enough that some helpful fan had taken a picture of the menu with his/her phone. The image showed up on Google. There was no official website, and I got the restaurant phone number off the menu photo.
And what an interesting menu! My picky kids could have regular, comfortable sub sandwiches, while Husband and I would be free to enjoy some Korean fusion.
Husband and I really wanted to just eat the appetizers, so we got a large order of yaki mandu and decided to share an entrée. We ordered the stir-fried vegetables with chicken.
I called. A friendly woman with a thick accent took my order, and Husband sped down the road.
He reported back with steaming food 15 minutes later.
According to Husband, the interior isn’t very bright. He said that he wouldn’t want to eat inside, but it was a very efficient fast food pickup.
The woman behind the counter seemed happy to see Husband.
He said something like, “I am picking up an order,” and she immediately asked him, “Are you a soldier?”
(We live in Fayetteville, NC. This is equivalent to politely asking someone “how are you?”)
Husband said no, and she continued, “Are you Korean?”
(Husband has quite an accent. I’m sure she already knew the answer!)
Husband said “yes,” but she wasn’t done yet.
“What’s your job?”
Husband answered something about being a full-time daddy before his food was ready and he left.
I thought that was hilarious.
While looking for this restaurant’s website, I noticed some reviews posted on Google. A few of them said something like, “Awesome food! The woman at the cash register was rude, though.”
I don’t know the particular circumstances of any of these reviews, but I do know there’s a cultural difference at work, here.
When Husband and I were dating, we went to his Korean church. Within 10 minutes of being introduced at a table of church fellows, I had been asked my age, occupation, if Not-Yet-Husband and I were interested in having kids, what kind of face wash I used because this woman recommended another one that would solve my skin troubles, and whether or not I was available to tutor someone’s high schooler for the SAT.
Not rude. After a few weeks of church visits, I learned that there’s a different cultural idea of “community.”
So, let’s cut to the chase. I can amend what the reviewers were saying online. The food was lovely- and there was very good, culturally-distinctive service! Steaming hot food, fast service, and friendly chit chat.
For us, the yaki mandu was pretty normal, but the dipping sauce was the GOOD stuff. The stir-fried vegetables were perfect, though we wanted a stronger taste. We would update our order next time.
Husband brought a menu home. Now, I am scheming to get him to go for a sub run.
That bulgogi sandwich is calling to me.
I scanned a copy of the menu, if anybody is interested in trying this place for themselves. The PDF is below.