Last week I finally made it out to the Taco Bell in Itaewon, Seoul.  I’d walked past it several times since it opened but one look at the line going out the door and down the street put me off.  I really wasn’t in need of 100% nuclear processed fast food.

Julianne and I were there again last Thursday, and walking past Taco Bell, when the line was only a couple bodies out the door–we decided to go for it.

(Sorry about the quality of pics–I was using my point and shoot camera.)

I quickly realized that in spite of the small number of people that the wait was going to be a long one.  The staff are all still very new to their jobs, and I imagine with the insane lines that there hasn’t been much time for the manager to train the staff as they’re always knee-deep in orders with impatient customers clamoring for their food.

Then there are the Koreans who have never eaten Taco Bell and have to figure out what they want to order . . . asking questions about the food, and not knowing what they’re ordering . . . yeah, that takes up time too.

Add to this some people place huge orders for take out . . . and yeah, even with a small number of people in front of you it can take a long time to get your food.

While waiting for our order, I chatted with an American who works on the base nearby.  He’d only been in Korea for four months and was astounded by how slow the orders were being filled.  We killed a few minutes talking about living in Korea, and I told him how there was another Mexican food place just across the street from Taco Bell.  It’s more expensive but the quality of the food, in my opinion, is much better than Taco Bell.  That being said, NOBODY goes to Taco Bell for good Mexican food cause Taco Bell food falls into a category all its own, lol.

Oh yeah, I saw this poster while waiting in line to order–nice “English.”

I also mentioned “On The Border” (there’s one in COEX Mall, for example), and how they seem to have the best Mexican food in Korea–period.  It was nice to be able to help out a guy who was new to Korea, and he seemed to really appreciate the food tips.

Finally, after nearly 20 minutes, our food was ready.  One thing that surprised me was that the girl calling out orders that were ready was doing so only in Korean.  This is kind of unusual in Itaewon cause there are so many foreigners who are customers.  The girl would only say the order in English after saying it in Korean several times–yet the ratio of foreign to Korean customers was 50-50,  and sometimes more foreign customers were in the waiting area.  Oh well.

After chowing down on the food . . . I felt like crap.  I haven’t had that much processed food in a long time.  I mean, McDonalds and KFC are one thing, but Taco Bell, like I said, is a category all to itself.

Anyways, I don’t think I’ll be eating there again for a long time.  It was nice to be able to have Taco Bell in Korea, but I’d rather spend a little more money and get some good Mexican food.

J

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