One could compare the gentrification of low-laying neighbourhoods like Samcheongdong to the zombification of a populous, eager to sell their souls for the hip young generation to drop by and spend their – or their parent’s – hard earned moneys. In this destruction of the local to the infection of syphoning cash, one store owner realises that the only good name is an ironic name: I AM BAGEL
The Post Apocalyptic Bakery
To be fair, I’m not actually against gentrification, so long as it provides some level of diversity and doesn’t ultimately harm the less fortunate residence of the area. While Samcheongdong is oversaturated with expensive restaurants and over-priced cafes, the other side of Gyeongbok Palace is just starting down that path. Jihye and I decided to explore those various districts. Already there are a handful of cafes and restaurants sprouting up midst the small brick apartment blocks and town houses.
As we wandered up Okin-gil, in Nusang-dong, we came across I AM BAGEL and, being hungry, decided that it might just hit the spot.
While you could just order a fresh bagel and spread, we decided to have a open mushroom sandwich, a Cobb salad with an Americano and Grapefruit juice to wash it down. While not outrageous… it wasn’t cheap.
The grapefruit juice was utterly terrible. I don’t know how you mess up grapefruit juice, but they managed to remove the essence of the grapefruit and left a watery, pulpy, disappointment. I can’t tell if this is due to the restaurant being cheap, the workers being inexperienced, or some other unknown factor, but the lack of the delicious sourness left a sour note in my experience.
Grapefruit disaster aside, everything else worked well. If I’m in the area for a hike up Inwangsan, I’ll probably drop by again.
And yes, they do serve pickles for those so inclined to cleanse their palette in this way.
If you want to check out I AM BAGEL, try meandering toward this address:
종로구 누상동 20-4
I AM BAGEL
Jongno-gu Nusang-dong 20-4
I think we can improve the photo.