There’s a pizza place near our apartment! No, seriously! A straight up, South Korean pizzeria called Pizza Maru. Divine providence placed our apartment two blocks from their front door.
After Erin’s first full day of teaching, we decided to get a pizza in celebration. The shopkeeper gave a cheerful “Annyang hasayo!” as we came in and we spent several happy minutes staring at the menu considering our options.
The menu was written in Korean, but thankfully it included colorful pictures and tiny English subtitles. I was starting to think that the restaurant was more for westerners rabid for the familiar than for Koreans. Although Erin’s Korean co-teacher admitted to a fondness for the pizzas there, so who knows?
The menu was startlingly comprehensive. They had sweet potato pizza, shrimp pizza, sausage and cabbage pizza, vegetarian pizza (with some creatively bizarre veggie options), cheese pizza, fried potato pizza, teriyaki chicken, and a host of other, less identifiable varieties. A little intimidated, we picked plain pepperoni.
The pizza itself had a wheat crust (EDITOR'S NOTE: It's actual a regular pizza dough mixed with Green tea... no, seriously), and no pizza sauce. The crust had been laid down, and then a layer of onions and garlic had been spread on it. On top of that, our shopkeeper had tossed on a thick coating of artificial cheese and last but not least, a layer of pepperoni (or something that looked like pepperoni, even if it tasted like a spicy hotdog). To top off the strangeness, there was a small, round plastic container included inside the box. In the States, something like that would contain garlic butter, or ranch dressing, or some other dipping sauce for the pizza. In Korea, it contained pickles soaked in sweet garlic juice.
It was delicious. Even the pickle dip (although Erin refused to try any). It was the most western thing we’ve eaten in weeks, and we loved every second of it. And for about $7.00 per pie, we’re likely going back. Maybe next time, we’ll try shrimp!