On the search for galmaegisal (갈매기살; pork skirt meat) we thought we'd try a buffet. Galmaegi is also a homonym for seagull, so don't panic, you aren't going to be eating bird.
This cut of pork is redder, thicker and in my opinion more delicious than ssamgyupsal (삼겹살; pork belly, literally meaning three-layered-flesh). But honestly, any Korean BBQ meat is winning! We decided to venture to Mapo district for the meat search.
Mapo had a handful of galmaegisal BBQ restaurants, which were delicious but some were expensive! It is easy to mistake a local shop for BBQ chain/franchise, so make sure to look for the chain's company logo.
MapoGalmaegi, which we mistook for the affordable buffet, ended up being a locally-owned restaurant that cost us ₩36,000 for 200 grams of meat. We had asked if it was all-you-can-eat and they had clarified that it was, yet it actually wasn't. We figured out later that it was 'all you can eat' in the sense that we could order as much as you want, but would have to pay for each plate of meat. Overall it was delicious, so we weren't too disappointed by the steep price. And despite the place being empty, the ajumas (aunties) and ajashi (uncle) running the place were very friendly and even one ajuma insisted to cook for us. She even urged us to eat the onions with the meat. The side dishes (반찬; banchan) and soups were equally as yummy.
Still, though, $35 for that little bit of meat is very debatable.
We were hoping to find the buffet franchise Seorae (서래), which offers all-you-can-eat galmaegisal. There are good reviews so if you see this place, give it a try for us!
Afterward, we had "sparkling coffee", which was horrible. Try convenience store novelty drinks at your own risk. There are plenty that have a "chemical" taste or are extremely sugary.
We decided to roam around Mapo district a bit, as we do with all the cities we visit, and came across a coffee shop with a very interesting name and appearance: Super Coffee. We've already come to realize that chains in Korea are much better than what the US has to offer (when it comes to chains and franchises). This coffee shop served great coffee with that bit of potency one needs to keep on going through the day.
We went home and took a nap (well, Russ did). Later, we went out for food and due to all of the restaurants closing a bit earlier than usual in Seodaemun, we ended up going to Lotteria (Korea's McD-style fast-food restaurant) and eating a shrimp/fish burger and bulgogi burger (as a serious last resort).