New Zealand, Slovakia, Cote d'Ivoire, Portugal, Brazil, North Korea.
Those were my choices for a World Cup lunch on Tuesday, June 15th. Not an easy bunch to choose from. New Zealand, the only place I knew about was Nelson Blue at the seaport downtown. Slovakia, we had already done by going to the beer garden, and I didn't know a place near work anyway. The only Ivory Coast spot I knew of was in East Harlem. Nothing Portuguese near the office (that I know of). I work near Little Brazil -- but none of those places really have take-out (that I know of). And North Korean, the New York Times even wrote an article about how they have no restaurants, no fans and nowhere for anyone to go to support them in their World Cup run. (Can't find the link right now.)
We decided for our World Cup challenge, since it was definitively stated in the article that there were no North Korean places to eat in the entire city, that to fulfill the "requirements" we would just go for Korean food twice and consider it done. I'm not sure of the difference between North and South Korean food, but since there isn't anywhere to go to figure it out, it was the best solution we could come up with.
So, for my World Cup lunch, Korean seemed like the best option. I headed over to Pro Korean (I'm not actually sure if it's Pro Korean or Pro Hot Korean), which is my go-to Korean place since I can't always walk to K-Town. They have pre-made boxes, which is what I usually get, but I thought it would be a nice time to finally try their bibimbap.
Bibimbap is one of my favorite Korean dishes. Rice, vegetables, meat and sauce. When we're at a sit-down restaurant, we love getting it in the hot stone bowl. They had a version of the hot stone bowl for take-out at Pro Korean, but I figured since it was the first time I was ordering bibimbap here, maybe I would save the hot stone bowl for next time. The bibimbap also came with a miso soup on the side for free.
All mixed together, with a little bit of sauce, the bibimbap was the perfect lunch (and quite filling). Although Pro Korean's not that close to the office either, a nice walk in nice weather for good food is fine with me. One Korean World Cup visit done (for me)!
Pro Korean is located on West 56th Street, between 5th and 6th Avenues.