Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Korean confections at Koryodang

Passing through K-town on my way from a doctor's appointment, I spotted these racks of breads and pastries being wheeled into Koryodang. It was a typical 32nd Street scene otherwise—jammed with middle-aged Koreans, young Korean-Americans, tourists of all shapes from Hotel Stanford, shoppers filtering in from Herald Square, and businessmen and women from the office buildings above. But the racks, the racks had a presence of their own.
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I followed them into Koryodang, where I surveyed the long shelves of sweets and baked goods. The items at this Korean mini-chain always seem overpriced, especially compared to the prices at Chinese bakeries, but its convenient location in the middle of K-town ensures that I pop my head in from time to time. I usually don't buy anything, but maybe it was seeing all those pastries in the sunlight just earlier—I left with not one but two confections sitting in my bag.

Back at my office, I tried a bit of each. The shortbread cookies were superior to the almond bar; the caramel nut topping on the bar was chewy and too sweet and the bottom crust was dense and heavy. The cookies, on the other hand, were excellent: buttery and just sweet enough, savory with toasted almonds, and with a good, rich snap when bitten into. I'll always mourn the fact that there are no Chinese bakeries close to where I work, but in the meanwhile, Koryodang will do.

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