Back to Military Life

Lunch Bunch goes to Pal-Do World

It's not just a Korean grocery store

House of Mandoo’s Keuho Fortney works the dough for his handmade Korean dumplings. Photo credit: Marguerite Cleveland

Email Article Print Article Share on Facebook Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon

The Lewis Community Spouses' Club (LCSC) Lunch Bunch headed to South Tacoma Way, recently, for a visit to Pal-Do World - a large store with Korean grocery items, meats, fresh vegetables and prepared foods.  Similar to the Exchange at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, it has a food court and other shops and kiosks outside the main store.

Upon arriving, we were greeted with sounds of Christmas music from the store's sound system. It soon switched to classic old standards sung by the likes of Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra.  In the midst of this Korean world, somehow the music just seemed to fit. Our group opted for the food court for lunch. On the Tuesday we visited, only two of the restaurants were open, so we tried both.

House of Mandoo serves handmade Korean dumplings. In case there is any doubt, there is a large neon sign stating "HANDMADE HERE" hanging over the glass window, where Keuho Fortney works his magic with the dough. His dumplings are filled with a choice of pork, pork with kimchi or red bean. A soy sauce-based elixir accompanies each dumpling for extra flavor.  At $2 each, the weighty dumplings - the size of a fist - are a bargain. It was the first time anyone in the Lunch Bunch had sampled a Korean dumpling, and we loved them.  The white pillows of dough are steamed until hot and springy. The pork-filling was savory and well-seasoned but not overly spicy.  Insider Tip:  When bringing home some to share, each dumpling comes in a bag.  Leave open to release the steam and allow to cool.  When ready to reheat, wrap each dumpling in a damp paper towel and heat for 30-60 seconds in a microwave. I tried one the next day and the heating method worked perfectly.

The Peking Garden Chinese Restaurant serves both Chinese and Korean specialties. Our group ordered a variety of dishes to share.  Each meal is served with banchan, which is an assortment of small dishes of kimchi, vegetables and sauces served for the whole table.  We ordered at the counter, and everything was brought to our table as soon as it was cooked. The meals were piping hot and expertly prepared. Lunch is a bargain at $7.95 and includes an entrée, steamed rice and banchan. A highlight of the meal was the pot stickers, which are served deep-fried rather than steamed. Ten are $5.95. Insider tip:  Even the lunch portions are large, and each of us took home a takeout box.  Plan to share one meal for two people.

On your way out of Pal-Do World, make sure to make a stop at The Boulangerie. It is a French-Asian bakery located by the front door with a large selection of cakes, pastries and breads.  A nice touch is that many of the items are individually wrapped for freshness.

The trip to Pal-Do World was the last lunch of the LCSC year. The Lunch Bunch takes the summer off and will resume again in September.  

"The Lunch Bunch had a great year, and it has been a pleasure to serve as the club's leader," said Caryn Anderson, LCSC Lunch Bunch leader. "It has been great to meet so many wonderful people who are dedicated to helping the greater JBLM community.  In my opinion, the best thing about the Lunch Bunch is that it is not just a means to get together once a month to socialize and enjoy each other's company while experiencing new foods.  But rather that it also creates a setting where we can discuss important issues within the community as well as how we can best support other areas of the Spouses' Club.  It is because of these reasons that I am already looking forward to meeting and dining with next year's Lunch Bunch."

For more information about LCSC eligibility and the Lunch Bunch, check out the website at LCSC will host a big registration event in August (date TBD).

Pal-Do World, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., daily, 9701 S. Tacoma Way, Lakewood, 253.581.7800

Read next close

News Front

Rotary-powered education

comments powered by Disqus