Country Foodly

From the outside, Country Foodly looks like your run-of-the-mill country breakfast restaurant. But what you wouldn't guess is that it is actually owned and operated by Koreans, who place their own spin on traditional country breakfast dishes. There are items on the menu such as Bulgogi Omelettes, Korean Shin Ramen, and Korean Tacos. But then there are familiar items such as Country Fried Steak, Pancakes, and Country Ham. It is also likely the only place on Earth where you can order a bowl of ramen and chicken & waffles at the same restaurant. So I did. This is undoubtedly one of those restaurants that fall into the "comfort food" category. It's the epitome of hole-in-the-wall, located in a strip mall (that housed the former Nero's Pizza location) on the north side of town. The space is cramped, some of the booths don't look like they can fit a full-sized human, there are cardboard signs on the walls advertising "Try So Good! Country Ham", and some of the food definitely comes out of a bag. Despite being billed as “gourmet”, the Shin Ramen was pre-packaged ramen with spinach, fried egg, and two veggie dumplings thrown in. The Chicken & Waffles were delicious pancake-battered fried chicken over a perfectly cooked waffle, but topped with a strange honey mustard syrup. A friend ordered the Bulgogi Omelette, a large egg omelette filled with beef bulgogi and rice, but the bulgogi seemed dry and the homefries were actually frozen scalloped potatoes. Yet somehow, it all works. With most of the dishes at $5 to $7 in price (Chicken & Waffles was $8.50), it’s not unreasonably priced. I’ve paid more for less at Awful (Waffle) House. There are certainly a number of places in town that serve better breakfast, but “comfort food” isn’t always defined by quality. It just has to remind you of home. The food isn’t perfect, most of it is pre-packaged, some of the flavors don’t make sense, but it’s just so strangely satisfying. It’s as if you stayed over at an Asian friend’s house, and their mom made breakfast the next morning. They didn’t quite understand what went into a traditional American breakfast, so they added flavors more familiar to them. You had your trepidations about trying this strange new combo, but then at some point, you stopped worrying about that bag of ramen, or the over-cooked bulgogi, and it just started tasting good. That’s Country Foodly.

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© 2020 by Ken Peng & Ken Eats, LLC. Title image courtesy of Jesse Adrian Scanlon Media.

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