Archive for April, 2011

The world’s most disgusting hamburger

Note to self: never buy a burger off the street in Kangnam! Yeah I know, the irony.

₩2,500 for an undercooked “burger” made of 50% beef (so the guy claims) and 50% pork. He forgot to tell me about the 75% 떡 (rice cake) hiding in the middle of the patty!

I knew it was gonna be shit but I was curious. At least Terry liked it…

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posted by Michael in Food on 4/27/2011 | No Comments

Get the hell outta here! Or not…

A few weeks ago I decided to add Thursdays to the schedule because it’s getting warmer and I got bills to pay!

First time out on Thursday night, no problem. Didn’t sell a ton, but it was just enough to make it worthwhile.

Second time, problem. A cop showed up from the police station across the street, wrote down my license plate number, and took info from my ID card, all of which he tapped into his phone instead of on an official ticket-like document. Strange.

The following week, I skipped Thursday and instead went to Itaewon to drink and ask around if the cops were still being assholes. The answer was no!

The Thursday after that, problem again. Told to leave, not by an Itaewon cop, but by a Yongsan-gu cop. That’s kind of like getting kicked in the balls by someone with a higher pay grade which tends to hurt more.

The thing about doing this food truck in Itaewon is that being told to leave doesn’t always mean you can’t come back! After getting the boot on that first Thursday about 3 weeks ago, I spent the next night (Friday) trying to park in Sinchon and Hongdae. Naturally, that didn’t work cuz parking in those areas are just as bad as Kangnam which has already banned me from the burger truck days. So on Friday, after failing up north, I drove back down to Itaewon to see who, if anyone, was out selling… and… EVERYBODY was out there selling food, including people who got booted with me the night before.

So I pull my truck up directly in front of the police station, march in there, and order my Korean part-timer Gee to ask the cops DUDE WTF!! Why do these other people get to park their food trucks and I don’t?

Turns out the across-the-street Itaewon cops don’t really give a shit if we’re selling food at night. The previous night they got a complaint from someone, probably a business owner, and they were obligated to do their job and tell me to leave. Off the record, though, they don’t care if we come back a little later and park in the exact same spot we were kicked out of just as long as we respect their demands and hit the road when they say so.

It’s a fucked up cat-and-mouse game we play in Itaewon. It seems like if the local cops show up, we just need to disappear for an hour or so and then we can go back to business as usual. If the Yongsan-gu cops say get out, that actually means get out, for the night anyway.

Compared to other areas in Seoul, parking in Itaewon is really easy especially since I’ve been at this for a few months now and the other trucks know that the spot in front of Hamilton Hotel is MY spot. I don’t try to jack their spot and they don’t try to jack mine. Still, the taco biz would be a lot easier… and probably generate a lot more cash… if I could move it indoors! People think that running a truck is better economically, and that would be true if I could do business during daylight hours, but I’m starting to give serious thought to trading in the truck for a place with a front door. The truck’s success is heavily dependent on the weather, the hours are restrictive, and parking is sometimes a huge pain in my ass, but when I’m out there in the middle of the night on weekends I’m selling a lot of food. Makes me wonder what I could do with normal hours + extended drunk hours on the weekends and a 6-7 day schedule.

posted by Michael in Taco Truck on 4/24/2011 | No Comments

Cantando en Inglés es tonto

Cantando en Inglés es tonto = singing in English is stupid, according to Google translator.

As the weather continues to ease up I’m starting to spend more time sitting on my taco truck, and since I’m too goddam lazy to update the playlist I keep hearing the same Latin music I downloaded back in January while I was thinking, “when people hear this they’ll totally feel like they’re eating real Mexican food!”

So far, the few “real” Mexican people (as in they LIVE in Mexico) who have visited the truck so far have had good things to say about the food, usually calling it “pretty close” to what they’re used to. One group did me a huge favor in advising me to melt the cheese directly on the grill with the meat, and Taco de Mayo has been doing exactly that ever since which was definitely a good move since most people prefer nearly-liquified cheese over almost-melted cheese.

So getting back to the point, singing in English is stupid. Well, it’s kind of stupid on a taco truck, anyway, even though some of the Latin songs my computer plays are Americanized for the US charts. Below are a couple of songs that have grown on me over the past couple of months… “A Dios le Pido” is apparently some kind of plea to higher powers for peace and blessings, and don’t even bother asking me what the other one is about cuz I have no fucking idea. All I know is that they’re up to something dangerous because they keep saying “cuidado” which means something like “caution” or “be careful”. Yay for the Naperville Central High School Spanish department, I actually remember something from a million years ago.

posted by Michael in Music Videos,Taco Truck on 4/6/2011 | No Comments