While in Seoul, I stayed in Hongdae for 5 days and Myeondong for the next 5 days to experience different areas of Seoul. Since I was in a hostel at Hongdae and raw eggs and bread were provided, I never had to worry about breakfast. However, moving into a hotel in Myeondong meant that I would have to start going out for breakfast.
I was worried because it seemed like nothing in Hongdae opened until 12:00pm (except for Cafe Berlin and a few other cafes that opened “early” at 10:00am). Luckily, just down the road and across the street from Hotel Astoria is a little cafe called Cafe Beati (카페 베아띠) that is opened at least before 8am (I am not sure when it actually opens but when I stopped in it was already open at 8:00am).
The owner of the store was one of those people who absolutely refused to speak to me in Korean despite my not using any English. This is probably good news since this means that it’s a pretty accessible cafe for non-Korean speakers, but it definitely made me self-conscious about my Korean skills!
The great thing about this cafe though is its sandwich special. For 5,000 won, the special comes with a sandwich and an iced coffee. Seeing that coffee (especially iced coffee) is usually more than 5,000 won (a little less than $5 USD) alone, this is a GREAT deal!
Like most cafes I’ve been to in Seoul, Cafe Beati is super cute and the shelves have all kinds of interesting knick-knacks displayed.
The first sandwich that I got here was a take-out sandwich as I had to get to my conference location at Seoul National University all the way across the Han River. I took it back to my hotel room and it looked so cute in the wrapping paper!
As to what the sandwich actually was, I saw on the list of sandwiches that were offered (egg, ham and egg, and Elvis) the “Elvis.” I totally blame this on my own apparent lack of knowledge of American culture, but I had no idea what an Elvis sandwich was, so of course that was the one I ordered. All I saw was that there were bananas in it and I was in the perfect mood for something sweet for breakfast. Anyways, so for those who don’t know, the Elvis Sandwich is named for Elvis Presley’s favorite snack that consists of toast with bacon, bananas, and peanut butter. I’m not sure why I’ve never heard of this sandwich before, but I’ve honestly never seen this on any menu anywhere in the US! I’ve had banana and peanut butter sandwiches before, but bacon is something that I never would have thought of adding to this sandwich… but as a person who sometimes has weird food cravings, I can definitely see the appeal.
The Elvis sandwich at Cafe Beati, however, doesn’t have bacon. In fact, it’s just a perfectly good banana, peanut butter, and chocolate sandwich!
(Notice the iced coffee in the background.) The bananas are nice and fresh and the peanut butter is super subtle – even though it’s spread across the top I couldn’t really make out the flavor that much. It’s really more of a banana and chocolate sandwich. The chocolate layer on the bottom is ADDICTING; it reminds me a bit of nutella but without the hazelnut taste. The grilled sandwich, the warm bananas, and the delicious chocolate sauce (the sandwich was also sprinkled with some chocolate powder on top) made for perfect bites of sweetness. This definitely satisfied my sweet tooth and while it doesn’t seem to really be all that true to an Elvis sandwich, I found it amusing that the first time I heard of this sandwich was while I was in Seoul!
I went back a few days later to try a savory sandwich – this 5,000 won deal is just too good! This time I had the egg sandwich; I was expecting something like an American breakfast sandwich with a cooked egg patty, but it was actually an egg salad sandwich.
Unfortunately this sandwich wasn’t anywhere near as good as the Elvis sandwich. The egg salad is on the VERY top (a very thin layer) followed by cucumber, a LOT of lettuce, and American cheese. It was very bland – all I could taste was the lettuce and cheese. It wasn’t very tasty at all and I should have gotten the egg and ham instead, which would probably have given more flavor to the sandwich.
If I’m ever in this area again, I would definitely go back for the deal though; it’s just too good to pass up. And that Elvis sandwich was pretty delicious too!
And while I’m at it, maybe I’ll check out that 섹시 크럽 (Sexy Club) across the street.