by Ashley Heil
UPDATE: Last I checked, the location is now closed. But you can still get a lot of their ice cream at Brooklyn the Burger, next door. If you want another great Ice cream shop, check out Sticky Ricky's near Sookmyung Womens University station. http://seoulfoodenvy.weebly.com/food-envy/sticky-rickys-ice-cream
About 2 weeks ago, my friend and I were wondering around the area near Coex mall and Bongeunsa temple, and we ran into a cool-looking custard shop across from a reptile pet store. Though we normally try to stay away from sweets; it was my friend's birthday, so we decided to try their custard. I tried 2 scoops of their dark-chocolate pretzel custard flavor in a waffle cone (4900 won). My boyfriend and his friend opted for a cup of the banana pudding custard. I was blown away by my dark-chocolate pretzel custard flavor. There were actual bits of pretzel in the custard, and the saltiness of the pretzel was a great contrast to the sweet chocolate flavor. My boyfriend and our friend loved the banana pudding. Although not a banana-flavored fan myself, they told me that the custard tasted like they had used real bananas, instead of having that fake banana flavor that some foods have. Additionally, the banana pudding custard had real vanilla wafers in it :) Interestingly all the flavors here are either sorbets or frozen custard, instead of "ice cream". I read up recently about the difference, and it seems that custard uses more butterfat which gives it a more creamy, smoother consistency than regular ice cream. And it's true, this custard at FRZ truly was incredibly rich, creamy, and full of flavor.
My boyfriend liked the ice cream so much we went back for seconds later that same night. We noticed that they sell ice cream sandwiches (5800 won), so we decided to give it a try. We soon realized that we could put any flavor into our ice cream "custard" sandwich that we wanted, and instead of 2 cookies, they serve the ice cream between two brownies. My boyfriend opted for the banana pudding flavor again. Although still not a big banana fan, I tried his sandwich, and it was amazing. Michael proclaimed we have to make the trip down to Gangnam once a week to eat this ice cream sandwich. It was so good!
We did come back 2 weeks later, and this time the flavors were a little different. I tried the Caramel Dulce de Leche flavor in an ice cream brownie sandwich again. My friends opted for the Reese's peanut butter cup flavor in an ice cream sandwich. My caramel Dulce de Leche flavor was amazing, but I think I personally preferred the dark-chocolate pretzel flavor I had before a bit more. But the Dulce de Leche was creamy, smooth, and worked well with the brownie cookie sandwich. I also liked how the brownie in the ice cream sandwich is more of an American-style brownie, not the doughy Korean-style brownies that you sometimes get. My friends loved the Reese's peanut butter cup flavor with their ice cream sandwich, and loved that there was actual bits of Reese's in it.
Anyway, I can't recommend this ice-cream/custard/gelato shop enough. It's some of the best ice-cream/custard I've ever had in my whole life, and the ice-cream sandwiches are truly unique. If you are in the Coex area, you should make it a must-try. It's also right next to (and owned by I believe), a Brooklyn the Burger joint location. So, you could make it a nice night of seeing Boguensa temple, getting a good burger, and finishing it off with some great custard. Just do it. Everyone's allowed a cheat night at least once a week!
Directions: Go to Bongeunsa station line 9, exit 7.
Come out of the exit and walk with Coex mall on your left and Bonguensa temple on your right.
Cross one road, and turn left on the next small road.
There will be a pet shop on your left, and FRZ ice cream and Brooklyn the Burger joint on your right. Enjoy!
by Ashley Heil
If you're craving breakfast south of the river, Butterfingers in Gangnam is not to be missed. It's my favorite breakfast place (so far) in Seoul, and I happily make the 30 minute subway ride on a relaxing Sunday morning to go get me some delicious breakfast at Butterfingers. Butterfingers in Gangnam is a large restaurant with 2 floors. So, even if there is a wait for brunch on the weekend, the lines always move fast. There is also another location in Apgujeong, but my experience there wasn't as good. But I've yet to have a bad meal at the location in Gangnam. It's easy to find, and they are open from 7am to 3am (for the midnight snack after a night of partying). In addition to breakfast/brunch items, there are also some dishes more suitable for dinner, such as burgers and sandwiches, and some dessert items (crepes and triple chocolate pancakes).
I've gone to Butterfingers several times now and I usually get the pancakes. I lived in Denver last year, a city known for having fabulous breakfast joints (Snooze, Syrup, Breakfast on Broadway...), but Butterfingers' pancakes are on par with all of the pancakes I ate back home. Additionally, they have everything else related to breakfast: fantastic french toast, waffles, sausage, ham, bacon, eggs, potatoes, and breakfast drinks. Everything is done well.
What I love about Butterfingers is really the size of their menu. There are so many different items and combinations of items you can choose. I love that they have a cheap side menu (with eggs, bacon, sausage, potatoes), so you can just pick a choose a few sides if you want, or add a few sides to whatever meal you want to get. Yesterday when I went with my boyfriend, we chose the Split Decision Plate (22,000 won), so we could try a little bit of everything. It was great because it was really easy to split (hence the name), with 2 pancakes (we upgraded to banana pancakes), 2 french toast pieces, 2 pieces of sausage, and 2 pieces of bacon, along with eggs any way you want and potatoes. We thought we might want a little more food so we ordered an extra side of bacon. It was a lot of food, and both of us were full after. For about 28,000 won for 2 people for all that food, it was a good deal. However, what's great about Butterfingers is if you want to be cheaper you can just order one order of pancakes (4900-7200) and an extra side or two of something else, or you can splurge and order combination places like the Split Decision Plate or the Waffle Lover's special all for yourself. Previously, I've also tried the Morning After plate (10,600), which is a waffle with eggs, bacon, caramelized onions, and tomatoes. At first I thought it would be weird to have onions and tomatoes on a sweet waffle, but the combination of sweet and savory was fantastic. There are items available for every budget. Although I've never tried them, there are also coffee drinks, smoothies, ades, juices, and soda pops to quench your thirst. Though, I find their drinks to be a bit pricey.
Directions: From Gangnam Station exit 10, walk straight down the street and turn left between The Body Shop and Café Bene. Butterfingers will be on the left right after Burger King.
We're just a couple addicted to great food. We love Anthony Bourdain!