How to Feel at Home While Living in Korea: Itaewon and Western Foods in Seoul

I've been living in Japan for two and a half years - in fact, I just passed the 30-month anniversary yesterday! I haven't been out of Asia in that time, and I certainly have had moments where I've been homesick.

One way to feel at home is to eat comfort food. I've managed to lose a good bit of weight (not enough, but still some) but it doesn't mean I can't have a bit of tasty goodness to remind me of home. I can cook some dishes and there are plenty of international restaurants in Tokyo, but some truly authentic foods are tough to find in Japan at a reasonable price.

Seoul afforded the opportunity to have some dishes I don't usually get in Japan, plus a few "Korean" versions of western food.
 Salsa runs about $6 a bottle and a four-serving bag of chips is about $3 in Japan. But for around $1, this bag of chips came with a good, spicy salsa sauce in the bag!
 Oreos are readily available and similarly priced in Japan and the US. But this purple ice cream flavored pack is only available in Korea, as far as I know! Other candies I've seen fairly often in Korea but not in Japan are Twix (caramel only - I've seen them once in Japan but many times in Korea) and Skittles (Sours were much more common than original style; there is no equivalent to this candy in Japan!).
 But snacks aren't healthy and for those who want something tasty and a bit more healthy, the neighborhood of Itaewon has almost every kind of cuisine available within a few minutes of the subway station.
 I found a Mexican restaurant that had some really good supreme nachos. These were priced quite reasonably (for a sit-down restaurant) and tasted delicious. Plus, they had a great hot sauce sitting on the table.
 There are plenty of bars and pubs with western beers, including a few craft breweries. Itaewon's nightlife is actually split into distinct areas, with a second area just north-east of the main drag. I had some awesome beers at one craft brewery and enjoyed a bunch of hot wings on their special night, where they were only about 40 cents each.
 Actually, Monday through Thursday there are one or two bars/pubs/taverns that have wing specials on any given night, and most of the bars have specials several days each week. Wings are awesome and on both trips to Korea I made sure to spend one night getting my fill of spicy poultry goodness.
 Is it strange that Korea is the first place I tried poutine? It wasn't fantastically awesome, but I enjoyed it! There's also an Australian restaurant that sells different types of pies; that wasn't so great but it was good.
 So it's not the healthiest of foods. But there's something about Taco Bell that just makes me happy! McDonald's doesn't do that. KFC doesn't do that. There's a Taco Bell right next to Itaewon station and I'm a bit embarassed to say I've been there a few times (only once on my last trip, thank you).
 The hot sauce packets have Korean on them! Souvenir!
There are a few chain restaurants in the area, and I had a banana sundae at Baskin-Robbins one night. 
 Krispy Kreme and Mr. Donuts (a Japanese donut chain) can be found in Tokyo, but I was starving one morning and stopped into a Dunkin Donuts near Seoul Station. The little donut holes were pretty good...
 But this sandwich was the opposite of good. It was flavorless and not cooked all the way through. That's a shame, because it's like an Egg McMuffin that I love so much from America.
 Yes, when traveling to foreign countries, I do my best to sample the local cuisine. But sometimes I just have to get an American fix. And other times, I'm in a rush and need something fast and familiar. I've made it a resolution of sorts to try new food, though!

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