Wife and I have started a new ritual for our driving, day trips. Rather than having breakfast at home before embarking on our trips we now hurriedly jump in the car and head for the nearest “Service Area”, along Highway 1. As we drive along, the internationally recognized fork and spoon icons display the upcoming relief to our grumbling stomachs. Today we stopped at the Juk Jeon Service Area.
As soon as we arrived we made a beeline to the food court and started grabbing stuff off the buffet line shelf. Juk Jeun has the newer, buffet style food courts. The traditional food courts have stations of different food types where you pick up your food after ordering at the central cashier.
Today it’s Sautéed Pork at ₩2,500 (Won), less than $2.50 dollars per serving. Aside from the price, I was also surprised to see the item name in English, romanized Korean, Japanese, and Chinese.
We also grabbed some Chicken Hot Pot.
The pork glistened in its light, red pepper gravy adding more color to the caramelized onion mixed in. Spiciness was a level 3. The chicken was earthy, slightly sweet, but not as savory as the pork (hmmm, umami good).
From the large variety of vegetables we chose the cold spinach in a light oil with minced spices, and the cold cucumber kimchee.
On our way out we quickly looked over the baked goods and headed back to the car.
Just outside the food court we were tempted by the walnut shaped cakes filled with sweet bean paste and, of course, walnut. Hmmmmm, maybe at the next service area, when we stop for coffee.