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Delicious lunch discovery in k-town

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I have been eating lunch at Woorijip about twice a week for ages. (For those of you not familiar with the place, they have tons of takeout options, pre-packaged meals, individual containers of rices, vegs, tofu, meats etc. and also buffet type offerings, all very fresh) But until today, for some unknown reason, I have never had anything from the noodle counter in the back. WOw, I had the most delicious soup just now, it had mandoo (dumplings) in it, and sliced rice cakes and strands of egg and scallions. The broth was so good, I have a definite garlic aftertaste in my mouth. The dumplings were very nice and for the most part did not fall apart. At first I was disappointed that there were not noodles in it as well, but that would have been overkill. It came with a container of kimchee, and one of the bright yellow pickled radish thing. A pint for $6. I can't wait to try the other varieties. TOday's special was spicy beef soup with scallions. It was a nice shreddy-looking beef. There are seafood options, but I didn't want to smell up the office. How did I wait so long? THis is right up my alley. I may have to do this daily for a while..one of my co-workers turned me on to it, she had this soup two days running...

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  1. I also love Woorijip and that noodle counter is fantastic...I've had the beef soup, too, and it's definitely worth trying.

    Good to see that others are in on this! Happy chowing :)

    1. the dish you're referring to is called dduk mandoo gook (rice cake dumpling soup), which is a classic, homey korean comfort food dish. it can be eaten anytime, but at least in my family, we used to have it only on sunday afternoons and on the lunar new year. i think a lot of the big, general-appeal korean restaurants on 32nd st and elsewhere in the city offer this dish, despite the fact that comfort food is traditionally not offered at a "han shik jip" (higher end korean restaurant) in korea. but then again, this is america, so i guess they can break the rules.

      for whatever reason, i almost never order dduk mandoo gook at restaurants...maybe because i look at it as a real "home" dish that my mom could prepare just as well, if not better (it's really easy for even a neophyte cook to make, unlike a lot of other korean dishes). for that reason, i can't vouch for the quality of the dish at various restaurants around the city and nj. but there's no question in my mind that the types of places that would make the best version are the little mom-and-pop comfort food cafes, called "boonshiks".

      there's a place on 35th st btwn 5th & 6th aves called albene (pronounced AHL-beh-neh) that is kind of a boonshik; i'm sure they'd have this dish there. also, keep in mind that flushing and northeastern nj have the best boonshiks (and korean food in general) in the entire metro area.

      2 Replies
      1. re: surly

        I think Albene has closed.

        1. re: squid kun

          really? honestly, it's not a big loss...one of the only places that served korean comfort food in manhattan's k-town, tho.

      2. All the restaurants on this block have great $9 lunch deals, and they'd probably be happy to pack them for takeout. Might be worth a try when you get tired of woorijip

        1 Reply
        1. re: Brian S

          Actually I have been eating lunch on 32nd street for years. I was just trying to turn anyone working in the area on to a tasty, cheap lunch option, in an area where it's hard to find something really yummy for $6. I'm quite sure you can get better versions elsewhere but that's not the point. I usually go to Dae Dong for Kimchee Jigae, but sometimes that is just way too much food for lunch time.

        2. Keep an eye out for Woorijip's doo boo dduk mandoo gook (the tofu version of your beef soup)-- it's fantastic and really spicy.

          Nosher

          NYCnosh* http://nycnosh.com