Mad for Garlic is a chain restaurant that can be found all over Korea. The location I visited was in Times Square (Yungdeungpo) near the movie theater on the top floor.
We had an hour and a half before the movie started and only a few places were open. We’d made a staple out of the Thai place across the way and the Chinese restaurant across from it was a bit too pricey for my tastes. There was a Mexican restaurant down on the sub levels but that required… well, that required me to move down there and I didn’t feel like walking the two minutes for Korean styled Mexican food. So that left one restaurant, Mad for Garlic.
As the name suggested, a lot of the foods had garlic either included as an ingredient or as a sauce. They even have something called “Vampire killer” or something or other. It was your basic Italian food with wine menu deal with several different types of wine (although only a few avaliable by the bottle). I’d been in a pizza mood lately so I couldn’t resist but to be drawn straight to that side of the menu when I was met, surprise surprise, with the sight of a Calzone. I couldn’t resist, the last calzone I had was before I moved to Korea and it was glorious (but for $9, a bit pricey). My date ordered a Chicken Caesar salad and we were off.
Conversation drifted back and forth about the restaurant’s interior (which looks like a cross between a wine cellar and the Ministry of Magic) and the last Harry Potter movie (which we were about to watch). Eventually the food got to the table and the calzone looked might beautiful. The thing was about the size of a Christmas ham and smoking. I almost fainted. But before I could take a picture the waiter kindly asked, “Would you like me to cut it for you?” Instead of reaching for my camera as I should have done I reached for the fork and nodded hungrily. That’s when he placed the broad side of a knife on the calzone and pressed down with a fork. Instead of red sauces, cheeses and toppings like i had hoped the calzone was filled with steam. The waiter calmly pressed down on the calzone until I was void of air and proceeded to slice it up as I felt sadness wash over me.
A few seconds later the salad arrived and I was no less surprised. Chicken, cheese, and dressing all over what appeared to be uncut greens stacked like dollar bills. It took us a few seconds to realize what we were looking at and a few minutes to prepare the salad for eating. Thankfully there was sauce layered underneath the greens but it’s no less of a shock to see food you ordered come out with “Assembly required” pretty much all over it.
All in all, the calzone was decent but the garlic sauce it came with definitely added some flavor to the mix. I probably wouldn’t go back except for the fact that the sauce really did make the meal for me. As for the salad, however, I’m not much of a cook. So having to assemble my own salad… well some how I ruined a salad. My date thought the salad was fine but our attention was definitely drawn to the calzone. I think I even got her to look away so that I could steal the last slice, er… cut. Suffice it to say, my date was still a bit peckish afterwards. I wasn’t about to complain, I was full and the meal was pretty good but maybe just a little too much excitement than I was used to. For some decent (but far from the best) Italian food, Mad for Garlic is a pretty good choice.
But on the other hand, who else thought the last Harry Potter movie was disappointing (I’ve never read past the first book)?