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Apr 9, 2007 09:33 AM

Vit Goal Tofu - Durham

So I tried a Korean Tofu restaurant in Bethesda this weekend that I absolutely loved, so I had a few questions about the one in Durham...I've checked out a couple of the older posts about it and it seems to be quite similar in serving all the things that I would expect.

What I didn't see (and is part of my ignorance of Korean cuisine) is the mention of bringing raw eggs to crack into this just standard practice for these kinds of restaurants?

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  1. My encounter with a raw egg at a Korean restaurant:
    During a visit to Chosun OK restaurant (which happens to be in a shopping center adjacent to Vit Goal) I ordered a hot stone bowl rice dish which was topped with a raw egg. I stirred it right in with the rest of the dish and the raw egg cooked against the hot stone bowl. By no fault of the raw egg, I haven't ordered that dish since. I've been sticking with the "BBQ".

    1. I have been given the raw egg at the new Korean Restarant on Atlantic in Raleigh when I have ordered the Tofu soup. And have seen that Vit Goal sometimes gives the raw egg to Korean customers.

      4 Replies
      1. re: chazzer

        I don't understand why you guys are so squeamish about the raw egg. The hot stone bowl cooks it.

        1. re: suse

          I really love the raw egg, so I'm sort of expecting it. I think it adds a really nice texture to the broth.

          1. re: suse

            I had no issues with the raw egg. It made perfect sense to me to cook it against the bowl. I think the reason I haven't ordered that dish since, is because it was lacking meat. I'm too much of a carnivore to pass up the bulgogi. Chosun OK rocks, btw. I was there yesterday and the women who run that place are so friendly and their lunch boxes give so much variety for such a low price. I might go there again today!

            1. re: suse

              I was not squemish when I was served the egg at Sauol Garden in Raleigh, I simply boke it open and let the boiling soup cook it prior to enjoying. I was only comenting that there is a difrence between the two restarants concerning the egg. Egg not withstanding, while I enjoyed the soup at Sauol Garden I find Vit Goal to be better.

          2. I had bowl of mushroom tofu soup at Vit Goal for lunch yesterday. No raw egg, but it was still wonderful. Serious chilly weather food. A guy at the next table over had some sort of noodle dish with an egg on top. The waiter came and stirred it all together.

            4 Replies
            1. re: dschoonmaker

              The soup is supposed to be served to you at a temperature where the broth cooks the egg. If you are not getting this with your order, then I suspect that the restaurant is catering to the "American" palate. I find this happens fairly often when I dine out at traditional international restaurants. The owners want you to come back, so they try to "Americanize" their recipes a bit. It's a nice consideration, but sometimes I'd rather just have what the "locals" are having....

              1. re: jazzy77

                Actually, I don't believe the food at Vit Goal is particularly Americanized to appeal to American palates. Ethnic restaurants here are always limited by the availability of certain ingredients. They are also somewhat restricted by certain health codes here. But I don't think this particular soup is necessarily served with an egg. The way this soup is served, you could cook more than just an egg in it - it's boiling when it comes to the table. An egg would ruin that soup for me. If Vit Goal had to rely on non-Asians to stay afloat they would sink rather quickly. I think many Japanese and Chinese - along with Koreans - frequent this restaurant expressly because it doesn't Americanize the food.

                1. re: suse

                  Thank you for educating me. I know nothing about Korean cuisine, but I enjoy exploring. I have been to Vit Goal perhaps a half dozen times, and I have often been the only non-Asian in the place. (My surname is Dutch.) I would also observe, however, that the place is always full of people who don't look like me and really seem to be enjoying their food. I like it too.

                  1. re: suse

                    ... and that's why I like Vit Goal. It seems to be more authentically Korean and not Americanized. On all ocassions I've been there, there's far more Asians (Koreans and Japanese) than Caucasians.

                    Also, a visit to Vit Goal is not complete without a trip to the Korean grocery store next door.

              2. Perhaps I interpreted Greg Cox's write-up and some of the posts here wrong, but I got the impression that Vit Goal was an excellent value. I found them to be rather expensive! $8.99 for a bowl of soup with 2 small shrimp, 2 oysters (the dried variety), and 2 clams? C'mon! At a Thai joint you can get a hot pot with enough soup to serve 3-4 people, or an entree at a Chinese or Indian restaurant.

                I'd rate their food in the okay to good range but overpriced for what you get relative to other ethnic restaurants here. For the $67 we spent at Vit Goal we could have gotten much more satisfying meals at, say, Saffron or Thai Palace.

                2 Replies
                1. re: bbqme

                  I usually frequent Chosun OK over Vit Goal, but I've noticed the best deals occur at lunch time. I rarely eat at those places for dinner, but I don't mind paying a higher price for a pile of Korean BBQ and kimchi. I can see why people like the tofu soup... but If I'm craving soup, you'll find me at 9n9.

                  1. re: bbqme

                    Ahh, but the bowl of soup is *boiling* in the bowl! That has to be worth at least 75 cents just for the entertainment value. Plus there are like 2 pounds of good-quality tofu in that bowl; the seafood/meat/whatever items are for flavoring/accent, not really to fill-you-up. That's the job of the tofu [which isn't free, or even as cheap as the noodles you'd get in a noodle soup].

                    Plus there are all the accompanying side dishes, which they should refill for free upon request, although I will admit that you get one or two more of those at Chosun Ok than you do at Vit Goal. And the complimentary barley tea.

                    If you go at lunch, it's $1 cheaper for, near as I can tell, the exact same spread.

                    Bottom line: a bowl of Vit Goal tofu soup leaves me feeling about 1 notch above full, and I think the price is totally reasonable for that. If you're not a fan of Korean tofu soup, then obviously YMMV, but I'd think that would be a given from the outset. I happen to love it, and I think Vit Goal stacks up quite favorably against other Korean restaurants in that regard.