Back to the Black Camel and the mixup at Joons

I love the summer!  Warm weather, beers on a patio, steaks on the grill and after a night at the club it is still warm enough to walk around for an hour to get cheap, dirty (and surprisingly delicious) Chinese food at New Ho King.  This past weekend was an ideal summer weekend for me.  On Saturday I slept in until 1pm only to be awoken by a call from a friend asking if I wanted to grab food and whack a few balls around at the driving range.  We made our way to the Black Camel to grab some sandwiches.  I opted for the pulled chicken with chipotle mayo, their Black Camel BBQ sauce, topped with caramelized onions served in a delicious Portuguese roll.

IMAG0071The bun is warm but not toasted and soaks up a great deal of sauce but still manages to hold together.  The chicken is tender and mixes well the the caramelized onions.  The meat was a little dry in some of the bigger chunks but any sort of dryness is taken care of by the healthy portion of delicious sauce.  I also forgot how big these things were.  I started to get the food sweats near the end of the meal (it was also over 30C and this place doesn’t have AC so it wasn’t all the food).

My friend ordered the pull pork which I have gone into detail about before so I won’t elaborate too much other than that he thought it was better than Stockyards.  It’s all in the bread.  The bread here is AMAZING!  I personally think the BBQ sauce is better too.  Just look at them lather that stuff on.  It’s beautiful!

IMAG0072After sandwiches and playing the worst golf in my life at the range we decided to grab some steaks to BBQ on the rooftop patio.  Steak makes everyone feel better after a bad day of golf.  I’m still working on matching my Father’s grilling prowess but after the experience this past weekend I realize I’m probably a decade or too away…oh but I’ll get there…even if I have to eat a few cows to get there.  The steaks were a little charred and overcooked.  At least the expired salad dressing on the salad didn’t make anyone sick so there was only one food disaster.  The sun began setting as we had a few drinks, enjoyed the warm summer breeze and shared a few laughs.  I guess even almost married people can be funny too (you know who you are).  As the almost married folk turned in for the evening, the single folk came a calling and got me out to Devil’s Martini.  I’ve heard this place is a lot of fun and a bit of an older crowd.  I always get a little worried going into bars and seeing people who look REALLY young…like 14 or something.  Apparently I’m really bad with guessing people’s ages which was determined one night when a group of us made a drinking game out of the website http://www.guessmyage.net.  The next 18 hours would consist of our friend being escorted out by a bouncer for hitting on every girl in site, walking an hour to get late night Chinese food, a bit of sleep, four orders of Mother’s Dumplings, a soccer game where our team was grossly outnumbered and eventually making it to Joons, a Korean restaurant a friend of ours has been raving about for the better part of a month.

My two companions love Korean food  and used to order a particular dish weekly when we lived in Kingston, Duk boki (spelling?).  Our friend had told us that this place had the best one in town so these guys were pretty excited to try it out.  When we get into the restaurant our Korean friend looks through the menu and says, “They don’t have it!”.  I point to the first item on the menu, which is what everyone else in the restaurant seemingly ordered, and asked if that was it.  He said it wasn’t and that it was DakGalBee (I just check online and the online spelling is Dak Galbi…I like the spelling with the Bee better.  It reminds me of that Simpsons episode where Ralph falls for Lisa and she gives him a card at the end of the episode that says, “Let’s BEE friends”…and there’s a picture of a Bee…hahaha).  I digress.

We ordered the DakGalBee with rice cakes and cheese.  I know cheese sounds weird but trust me….cheese goes well on everything (well…almost…not cereal…cheese is not a substitute for milk).  The service at Joons is top notch!  They bring a large bottle of water for the table and continuously refill it when you are running low.  They also cook the food right in front of you.  They walk up every few minutes and mix the food around and make additions if needed.  I had to hold in my laughter when they came up with a pair of scissors and began cutting the large pieces up into smaller pieces.  It was like they were chewing for me too!  The servers are also very friendly and seem very adamant to make sure you enjoy yourself.  So here is the dish we ordered.

IMAG0074Each bite is chewy with cheesy goodness.  The rice cakes are soft and soak up the sweet, flavorful sauce that has a slight kick too it.  I wouldn’t say it is spicy but there is definitely a hint of chilies or some other spice that is unknown to me.  The chicken is very tender.  I think it is pre-marinated since it is so rich in flavor.  There are also other veggies in the dish such as cabbage and carrots.  The dish is also served with the usual Korean sides of KimChi, pickled radish, a few other random vegetables and this mashed potato scoop that was served cold but was really delicious.  It still tasted like a potato but also has a sweet vinegar taste to it.

Seeing as it was one of the hottest weekends we have had all summer, my friend also ordered another dish, mool neng myun.  It was a cold noodle dish with cucumbers, an egg, mystery meat and a few pieces of shredded vegetables like cabbage.  The base itself was kind of bland but they give you bottles of mustard and vinegar to add some more flavor (I thought this was kind of strange but it actually goes really well).  The soup is VERY refreshing.  It was the perfect way to cap off a hot and humid summer weekend.

IMAG0075

All in all, the weekend was great!  With the exception of sucking at sports and grilling steaks, the weekend was truly relaxing, filled with some funny moments and a lot of great meals.  Although my friends didn’t get the dish they were hoping for, I thought the DakGalBEE was fantastic.  If I ever find myself at Yonge and Sheppard I will “Choo Choo Choose Joons”…okay, that was bad.  For those who don’t watch the Simpsons and didn’t get that last reference…get on it!  I think that show has defined my generation.

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~ by jlowjlow on August 18, 2009.

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