Cafe and prepared foods at Grand Mart in Centerville
I was really impressed by the array of prepared foods at the Grand Mart today. All kinds of delicious-looking stuff like kimchi pancakes, ready-to-cook stuff like "steamed pork" (was that stomachs?), reheatables like dumplings, a whole big counter four deep with awesome. But, I don't know what any of that stuff is! Any tips on what to get, how to serve?
Same with the cafe, a bunch of neat-looking dishes that I have never really heard of. I am unfamiliar with Korean food and I wonder if anyone out there who has eaten at this cafe would care to suggest anything in particular.
As a point of reference, I'm non-Korean Asian and I have a educated notion of what everything is but I know none of it by name. Here we would transliterate and then try to identify the English name or find something close to it, which is pointless in IMHO. All of it is edible, unless you are keep Kosher or vegan or whatever, so the only issue should be taste. They could be eaten as appetizers or main course entrees...
I suggest going to Hee Been with a deep buffet which has a section that replicates many of those ready-made Grand Mart items to discover what you like. (Il Mee has a buffet too but the range of dishes, especially the salad/appetizer/small dish/panchan is more shallow.)
I've eaten at the cafe a few time and its not that great. It pretty cheap but the food is just not that good and certainly miss out on the banchan (side dishes you get with korean meal). Go to a korean resturant. There is one across the street from grand mart (across Rt 29 that is a BBQ place next to Trader Joes). There are other korean places around centreville as well.
As for the prepared food, I think it is pretty solid. The best thing to do is to get a few items and see what you like. Most are eaten with rice but you don't need to. Anything colored redish is likely to be hot.