Korean BBQ & (Another) Raccoon Cafe

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Korean BBQ in Gangnam

For the first time EVER, Alex and I hired a sitter so that we could go on a date (to celebrate our anniversary). The first stop? Gangnam, for Korean BBQ. We walked out of exit 9, and it was like we were “home” — when we first arrived in Seoul, we spent a month at an extended stay, and exit 9 (next to “smokers’ alley”) leads to BBQ street, where the smells of (delicious) BBQ mingled with the smells of (disgusting) sewage (most putrid in the summer months). Our extended stay was at the end of BBQ alley. But, when we arrived in Seoul, it was the middle of summer and it was extremely hot and humid. Our date night was… the exact opposite. I think we chose THE coldest day to go on a date night… it was bitterly cold and extremely windy… bottom line: it was not pleasant to be outside!

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Our old stomping grounds in Gangnam…

BBQ alley has changed a lot since we lived at the extended stay (more than three years ago!). We found a random place that a). looked busy (meaning it was probably good), b). didn’t look too busy (not willing to wait in line), c). wasn’t fancy (i.e. not expensive). The nice thing about Korean BBQ in Korea is that almost always, there’s a large bag/closed bin/etc. where you can store your coat/clothes so that they don’t smell like BBQ smoke at the end of the night.

We sat next to a group of rowdy women downing shots of Soju (Korean liquor — Koreans’ drink of choice), who barely touched their pork entrails that were cooking in front of them (“Well, it is a drinking food,” said Alex). We ordered beef entrails (actually quite good! And fatty) and pork belly– samgyeupsal 삼겹살, and because we both hate Soju, beer. It was nice to have the grill at our table, because it kept us warm!

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Krispy Kreme inside Gangnam station

After dinner, we treated ourselves to dessert inside Gangnam station, at a Krispy Kreme stand. Yes, we had a bunch of donuts. I know what you’re all thinking (besides, “these guys are fatties!”) — “These guys sure are fancy. BBQ and subway station donuts.” But you know what? It was tasty. And cheap. 🙂

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Inside the “raccoon room” at Blind Alley

Our last stop was Blind Alley, a raccoon cafe near Sookmyung Women’s University 숙명여자대학교. This cafe has gotten good reviews on TripAdvisor, and was more on the way from Gangnam than the Raccoon Cafe I went to in December. Alex and I speed walked from the subway station, in anticipation but also because we were SO cold. The cafe itself was really cute and cozy — the kind of place I’d like to just spend a few hours, reading a book or blogging. It was large and quiet. Too quiet. Where were the raccoons?!

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Raccoon batting at a toy

At Blind Alley, there’s a normal cafe (with a Corgi dog — what’s up with raccoons and Corgi dogs?! There was a Corgi at the other raccoon cafe too), and then in the back, there’s the “raccoon room.” To see the raccoons, we had to pay 6,000 KRW (~ $6 USD) each. There were three raccoons: two ‘regular’ colored raccoons (one of which stayed holed up in a little wooden ‘house’), and one blondie (who remained up high on her perch, out of reach). So basically it was just one raccoon who was willing to interact with people. And even then, she mostly climbed along a pipe along the wall, coming down once in a while for treats. We did get to pet and feed her, which I think Alex enjoyed. But, it was against the rules to pick up/hold any raccoon (unlike the other cafe, where I had raccoons scurrying up my legs).

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Alex feeding a raccoon a treat

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The cafe area of Blind Alley

After washing our hands, we ordered and shared a dark chocolate latte (pretty good). Bottom line: Yes, Alex got to experience raccoons closeup. But it was a little boring, and, to me, wasn’t as fun (and definitely not as interactive) as my first raccoon experience. So, I think given the chance, we’d definitely make a trip to the other raccoon cafe in Hongdae.

In summary: date night consisted of beef entrails, donuts, and raccoons. 😀

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Before we left, the only ‘active’ raccoon had found a nice, cool spot to take a nap


{ Blind Alley Raccoon Cafe }

| Location |
Sookmyung Women’s University 숙명여자대학교 subway stop, exits 9 or 10 (about a 10 minute walk)

| Hours |
M-F: 9 am – 10:30 pm
Sa: 10 am – 10:30 pm
Su: 10 am – 10 pm

http://blindalley.modoo.at/?link=azyn5psx final


To read more about my other raccoon cafe experience: Raccoon Cafe in Hongdae 홍대 라쿤카페 맹쿤


 

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3 responses to “Korean BBQ & (Another) Raccoon Cafe”

  1. H$ says :

    Happy anniversary!

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