March 19, 2019, 01:34:16 PM


Author Topic: Pojangmacha 포장마차  (Read 544 times)

Online Swordwind

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Pojangmacha 포장마차
« on: March 06, 2019, 11:40:43 AM »
Why aren't pojangmachas more of a fun thing for tourists to do?  For people who don't know, these are tents that sell food on the streets.  They are not to be confused with food stalls on the street that you see in places like Myeong-dong(amazing though the street food is there) or Hongdae.  I am talking about tents that have a decent number of plastic table for people to sit down in like a small restaurant.

They are amazing for several reasons. First, the atmosphere is very Korean.  What I mean by this is that you definitely know that you are in a foreign country.  Two, they have a lot of good food and drinks to go with them.  For being relatively small, they have large menus.  The ones I go to the most near Jongro3ga have a large selection of seafood and grilled food.  I have also been to one near Shinlim with a slightly different but equally interesting menu (they put a live octopus in boiling soup and we watched it die).  So the thesis of this post is that they are good places to eat tasty food and drink with friends in a pretty unique atmosphere.

I discovered the pojangmachas accidentally while drinking during my first trip to Korea 6 years ago, and wasn't able to find the spot(next to Jongro3ga station) again until last fall.  I highly recommend it to you my fellow foreigners.

Online MayorHaggar

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Re: Pojangmacha 포장마차
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2019, 11:59:46 AM »
Nah I like being inside during winter, not sitting over a sewer drain that smells like ass, and not destroying my stomach.
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Online SanderB

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Re: Pojangmacha 포장마차
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2019, 12:09:53 PM »
+1

And all the stuff in the air. But when you're drunk it is the best thing ever.
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Online #basedcowboyshirt

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Re: Pojangmacha 포장마차
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2019, 12:59:18 PM »
Why aren't pojangmachas more of a fun thing for tourists to do?  For people who don't know, these are tents that sell food on the streets.  They are not to be confused with food stalls on the street that you see in places like Myeong-dong(amazing though the street food is there) or Hongdae.  I am talking about tents that have a decent number of plastic table for people to sit down in like a small restaurant.

They are amazing for several reasons. First, the atmosphere is very Korean.  What I mean by this is that you definitely know that you are in a foreign country.  Two, they have a lot of good food and drinks to go with them.  For being relatively small, they have large menus.  The ones I go to the most near Jongro3ga have a large selection of seafood and grilled food.  I have also been to one near Shinlim with a slightly different but equally interesting menu (they put a live octopus in boiling soup and we watched it die).  So the thesis of this post is that they are good places to eat tasty food and drink with friends in a pretty unique atmosphere.

I discovered the pojangmachas accidentally while drinking during my first trip to Korea 6 years ago, and wasn't able to find the spot(next to Jongro3ga station) again until last fall.  I highly recommend it to you my fellow foreigners.

As most people here know, I'm generally pretty positive about a lot of things in Korea.

But pojangmacha are a stupid gimmick 75% of the time. The food is almost always mediocre at best and the prices are extortionate. The only reason to go is for the atmosphere, which, I will admit, is kind of fun, sometimes. But the majority of pojangmacha only have that going for them.

I'm sure even a decade or two ago, pojangmacha were awesome. But now, I really can't see myself saying much positive about them.

Also, tourists do occasionally go to them, but a lot of pojangmacha are less than welcoming to foreigners.

Also -
I highly recommend it to you my fellow foreigners.


Offline pkjh

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Re: Pojangmacha 포장마차
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2019, 04:23:28 PM »
But pojangmacha are a stupid gimmick 75% of the time. The food is almost always mediocre at best and the prices are extortionate. The only reason to go is for the atmosphere, which, I will admit, is kind of fun, sometimes. But the majority of pojangmacha only have that going for them.

I'm sure even a decade or two ago, pojangmacha were awesome. But now, I really can't see myself saying much positive about them.

Also, tourists do occasionally go to them, but a lot of pojangmacha are less than welcoming to foreigners.

Also -
I highly recommend it to you my fellow foreigners.

Pojangmacha didn't start as a gimmick, it was a cheap way for a poor guy to start a business. No investing in a building, just set-up a tent anywhere, and cook away. In the past, the authorities let them be, since the vast majority of Koreans were pretty poor. But as a county gets richer, usually they start clamping down on unregulated businesses, mostly for safety reasons. In the pojangmacha's case, to prevent food poisoning.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2019, 04:37:51 PM by pkjh »

Online zola

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Re: Pojangmacha 포장마차
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2019, 04:32:54 PM »
I had a 24 hour layover in Seoul in 2000 and one of my biggest takeaways was Koreans like to eat in tented places. Pojangmachas were EVERYWHERE. They are about 5% of what they used to be.
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Re: Pojangmacha 포장마차
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2019, 07:48:22 AM »
But pojangmacha are a stupid gimmick 75% of the time. The food is almost always mediocre at best and the prices are extortionate. The only reason to go is for the atmosphere, which, I will admit, is kind of fun, sometimes. But the majority of pojangmacha only have that going for them.

I'm sure even a decade or two ago, pojangmacha were awesome. But now, I really can't see myself saying much positive about them.

Also, tourists do occasionally go to them, but a lot of pojangmacha are less than welcoming to foreigners.

Also -
I highly recommend it to you my fellow foreigners.

Pojangmacha didn't start as a gimmick, it was a cheap way for a poor guy to start a business. No investing in a building, just set-up a tent anywhere, and cook away. In the past, the authorities let them be, since the vast majority of Koreans were pretty poor. But as a county gets richer, usually they start clamping down on unregulated businesses, mostly for safety reasons. In the pojangmacha's case, to prevent food poisoning.

No, I totally understand. Like, I know the history, and I know that they were a way for people to sell food when they didn't have a building to do it from. And a lot of those people would've been amazing cooks, and their pojangmacha would've been personal, unique, and frequented by regulars.

These days, a lot of that no longer applies.

But yeah - in the past, pojangmacha were awesome.

 
I had a 24 hour layover in Seoul in 2000 and one of my biggest takeaways was Koreans like to eat in tented places. Pojangmachas were EVERYWHERE. They are about 5% of what they used to be.

And yeah - this is also true. But thanks to the government's desire to regulate everything (which, to be fair, is kind of necessary sometimes, and kind of heavy-handed and unnecessary other times) a lot of the soul of what made pojangmacha great got sucked out.

Online MayorHaggar

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Re: Pojangmacha 포장마차
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2019, 12:41:34 PM »
"I was into authentic food poisoning back in the day. You probably never heard of it."
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Online VanIslander

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Re: Pojangmacha 포장마차
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2019, 07:56:41 PM »
Do you mean soju tents?

Busan has had a thriving soju tent culture.

Entire streets of them have disappeared. It's dying just as Bangkok street stalls are, due to legislation and gentrification.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2019, 07:59:19 PM by VanIslander »

Offline voittaa

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Re: Pojangmacha 포장마차
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2019, 09:53:21 AM »
But pojangmacha are a stupid gimmick 75% of the time. The food is almost always mediocre at best and the prices are extortionate. The only reason to go is for the atmosphere, which, I will admit, is kind of fun, sometimes. But the majority of pojangmacha only have that going for them.

I'm sure even a decade or two ago, pojangmacha were awesome. But now, I really can't see myself saying much positive about them.

Also, tourists do occasionally go to them, but a lot of pojangmacha are less than welcoming to foreigners.

Also -
I highly recommend it to you my fellow foreigners.

Pojangmacha didn't start as a gimmick, it was a cheap way for a poor guy to start a business. No investing in a building, just set-up a tent anywhere, and cook away. In the past, the authorities let them be, since the vast majority of Koreans were pretty poor. But as a county gets richer, usually they start clamping down on unregulated businesses, mostly for safety reasons. In the pojangmacha's case, to prevent food poisoning.

No, I totally understand. Like, I know the history, and I know that they were a way for people to sell food when they didn't have a building to do it from. And a lot of those people would've been amazing cooks, and their pojangmacha would've been personal, unique, and frequented by regulars.

These days, a lot of that no longer applies.

But yeah - in the past, pojangmacha were awesome.

 
I had a 24 hour layover in Seoul in 2000 and one of my biggest takeaways was Koreans like to eat in tented places. Pojangmachas were EVERYWHERE. They are about 5% of what they used to be.

And yeah - this is also true. But thanks to the government's desire to regulate everything (which, to be fair, is kind of necessary sometimes, and kind of heavy-handed and unnecessary other times) a lot of the soul of what made pojangmacha great got sucked out.

This makes me sad. I miss these tents :(

Online Mr.DeMartino

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Re: Pojangmacha 포장마차
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2019, 11:01:13 AM »
Government regulation is destroying the charm. Next thing they'll do is ban drinking at convenience stores.

All these complainers who want to ban smoking and have 50 different food regulations need to be shipped over to Singapore where they get busted for some minor infraction and end up getting caned 50 times to teach them a lesson about authority and legislating morality and how sometimes you need to live and let live.

Online #basedcowboyshirt

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Re: Pojangmacha 포장마차
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2019, 11:30:59 AM »
Government regulation is destroying the charm. Next thing they'll do is ban drinking at convenience stores.

All these complainers who want to ban smoking and have 50 different food regulations need to be shipped over to Singapore where they get busted for some minor infraction and end up getting caned 50 times to teach them a lesson about authority and legislating morality and how sometimes you need to live and let live.

They almost have. Not officially, but in Seoul it's pretty close to impossible to find any picnic tables outside convenience stores anymore.