Some things are worth traveling for.
Today I went on a little road trip adventure! Everyone has been raving about Golden Pig, the tiniest Korean restaurant, clear out in Cecil. When I say “clear out in Cecil”, I have to say, before I set out today in Marshall, my Honda Accord, I didn’t have the faintest idea where Cecil was. Honestly. I’d read and heard people going on about Golden Pig, and they’d be like, “It’s in Cecil,” and from that I figured out that Cecil was 1) within relatively reasonable driving distance of Pittsburgh, and 2) … *cricket cricket*. It turns out that Cecil is south and west. It’s actually easy to get to Golden Pig, it just takes a while. The thing I find curious about Pittsburgh is that there’s the city, which is a city like any major urban center (except better), and then there’re the inner-ring suburbs, which could easily be mistaken for part of the city proper, and then — nothing. Nothing whatsoever of interest. Highways. Trees. The odd small town, but really, just nothing. It’s instantly rural, like, 20 minutes outside the city in all directions. It’s bizarre, frankly. But so anyway, to get to Cecil, go through the Fort Pitt Tunnel, get on 79 South, get on 50 West, keep an eye out on your left after a few miles, and there you go.
|Desolation. Picturesque enough, though.|
Golden Pig is about the wee-est place I’ve ever eaten. There are 11 seats inside. The cooking happens in the same room as the eating, and everything is prepared fresh by two very nice Korean ladies. Friend Mark J. joined me for lunch, and I don’t know about him, but I liked the atmosphere. It was homey.
|There’s a theme, you see.|
I ordered us a “Korean pancake” to share. I’m not sure what it was made of, though Mark surmised buckwheat flour. It was crispy on the edges and had the particular glutinous consistency that I have only ever encountered in Chinese and Korean cooking. It was filled with kimchi and quite tasty; we also got little dishes of kimchi and other pickled vegetables, which we nommed at with stainless steel chopsticks. I mention the chopsticks because it occurred to me that I had never seen stainless steel chopsticks before — I’d eaten off very nice, lacquered wood chopsticks, but never stainless. Well, there you go.
|Pancake and various yummy pickled things.|
For our entrees, both Mark and I ordered the daeji bulgogi, which was thinly sliced, stir fried pork in a super rich (but not thick), spicy, succulent, just fantastic sauce, plus a side of truly delicious sticky rice. Good rice is easy to make and common — great rice is an art.
|*Homer Simpson gargle*|
SO FUCKING GOOD.
Seriously. And my half of the meal came to $12.57. Plus whatever I spent on gas, but, whatever, I practically never leave the city, so it’s good to burn a little gas from time to time. I listened (sang along to) Hot Hot Heat on the drive home and just generally was pleased as punch.
**I returned the Golden Pig just recently, with my mother. I’m a little embarrassed to report that I ate exactly the same things I ate the first time I went there. They were just so good! The quality of everything was just as good as I’d remembered, and the owner was even friendlier. Next time I’m there, I swear I’ll try something different.