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September 26, 1996 - Image 20

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-09-26

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6B - tOMichigan Daily Weeke Magazine - T ursday tember 26, 1996

p r

About Town,

12State of the Arts



*1- 'Ei'~

Family-owned Coffee Break
dishes up Korean cuisine


By Hae-Jin Kim
For the Daily
Because of its misleading name,
when peering through the windows of
Coffee Break you may find yourself
surprised to see anything but the famil-
iar sight of students skimming and
highlighting lines
from textbooks.
These same stu- Coffee B
dents, crammed
into small coffee ~ What: Aut he
tables, simultane- Korean cuisine
ously grab at their
coffee mugs V Where: 1327
perched precarious- Ave.; 761-1327
ly on the edges of
the tables for quick v Hours: 9:30 .
sips, while still
attempting to
ignore the din of students around them.
Instead, at Coffee Break you will prob-
ably see students actually taking a
break from studying at the coffee shops
themselves and coming here to enjoy a
quick authentic home-style cooked
Korean meal.

A family-owned enterprise on cam-
pus since 1988, Coffee Break is locat-
ed on 1327 South University Ave., next
door to Pizzeria Uno, and is hard to
miss with its fire engine red walls.
Although Coffee Break is not a restau-
rant one would expect to see in Korea,

tic, affordable

the sight of an
apparently satis-
fied Korean cus-
tomer, with a
Korean newspaper
tucked snugly
under his arm,


outh University reminded me of
downtown Seoul.
After all, the sight
.t to 8 p.m. of native Koreans
at a Korean restau-
rant is a sure sign
that the food is tolerable, if not superb.
Rather than striving to recreate a
traditional Korean palace with the
chintzy interior decor typical of many
Chinese restaurants, the owners of
Coffee Break decided to create a com-
fortable family room-like atmosphere

for their small restaurant. With a wall-
to-wall brightly colored rug, framed
landscape paintings, simple but ele-
gant light fixtures, a radio quietly
playing oldies, and complete with a
Coca-Cola clock above entrance,
Coffee Break has an inviting and
warm ambiance. And for those who
would rather sit and eat alone, a bar
lines the inside of the restaurant, com-
plete with high chairs and a wall-sized
mirror, thoughtfully affixed to prevent
anti-socials from getting too lonely.
Several large ceiling fans catch the
swirling steam from the hot soups -
unfortunately they do not do much for
the sweat running down your face.
This is inevitable when eating the
homemade kimchi, or some of the
spicier dishes such as the yookgaejang
- very spicy beef soup with fried egg
strips, carrots, green peppers, mush-
rooms, napa (Chinese cabbage),
onions, garlic, andred pepper - and
the kimchi stew. Not all the dishes,
however, are spicy. In fact, for those
with a more delicate palate, there is a
separate section on the menu labeled
"Non Spicy."
Also included on the menu are such
dishes as bulgoki - semi-sweet beef
marinated in oriental sauce with stir-
fried carrots, green peppers, and
onions - and bibimbop - marinated
beef, seasoned cabbage, spinach,
bean sprouts, chopped cucumbers
topped with fried egg, on a large bowl
of rice - a particular favorite among
non-Asians. According to one patron,
"I'm not sure what the other food is
like here and I find it a little bit intim-
idating, but bibimbop is a sure way to
In today's health-conscious society,
fast foods are quickly becoming con-
demned because of their greasy con-
tent and often unsanitary mode of
preparation. Yet despite the social stig-
ma, many still crave fast food, and die-
hard fans will claim that it still remains
the most popular food around. But for
those that want the time-savings of fast
food, without the medical reprocus-
sions, Coffee Break becomes an ideal

Tupac Shakur
wasn't a model citi-
zen. To say he
enriched society or
left a beautiful mark
on the world would
be a crock.
>> Over the past few
years, when the 25-
year-old rapper and
Brian A. ctor wasn't in jail,
Dily At he was in court, or
busy finding new
ways to get back there. Charged with
too many offenses to count, most
famously for sexual assault, Tupac
pushed his hard-edged gangsta image to
the limit
Whether what he said or did was the
real Tupac Shakur, or the multi-platinum
gangsta rap star 2Pac, it made no differ-
ence because his brazen attitude is what
most likely got him killed. Unless it was
a random act of Las Vegas violence that
left four bullets in the rapper's body,

Tupac died a victim of his own work.
The gangsta life Tupac lived up and
glamorized caught up with him. Whether
the relentless self-promoter realized it or
not, he couldn't say what he wanted and
get away with it forever. And whether
Tupac was a real gangsta or not, people
took what he said as his word - Tupac
- not 2Pac the rapper and entertainer,
but Tupac Shakur, the real person. Not
just an image on TV or a digitally mas-
tered sound on a CD, but flesh and blood
that died Sept.20 in a Las Vegas hospital.
The reality of the situation is that
artists - whether rappers, authors or
painters - are responsible for what
they say and do. Whether it's in their
work, their cocky attitude or glamorous
lifestyle, artists are responsible for their
actions. Part of the game of life is learn-
ing what buttons you can push and get
away with, and which buttons may lead
to further problems.
Tupac was most likely killed because
of something he said or did in his

gangsta lifestyle. But where does the
fine line between entertainment and
real life lie? When Tupac said, "I fucked
your bitch, you fat motherfucker," to the
Notorious B.I.G., referring to B.I.G.'s
wife on "Hit 'Em Up,' shouldn't he
have expected some type of retribution?
As far as rap wars have been in the
past, artists used the mic to blast each
other - not guns. Dr. Dre and Eazy-E
shot insults at each other back and forth
on their records, but the feuding ended
there. They realized that they were in a
business - the record "business."
Behind closed doors, especially near
Eazy-E's death last year, the two rappers
cleared the air of their past problems and
broke their chain of badmouthing each
But that's why Tupac's death is so sig-
nificant in the world of gangsta rap and
popular music in general. No longer can
artists have free reign on each other and
expect to get away with it. Talking trash
about people on albums shouldn't be used

as a cheap and easy way to s
The question remains: A
pers artists, or are they s
punks - trigger happy
public chooses to use as its
the violence of the oh-s
ghetto? If they are in fact r(
what are they doing in re
dios? If they are the thugs t
be, then why are they wasti
in the entertainment busine
The even better question
America, and especially th
urbs see gangsta rap
Gangsta rap's glorification
is something that suburbat
as entertainment. Shooting
other violence isn't sot
American public should be
and by buying gangsta rap
is what we are doing.
Why are we supportin
offenders and murderers by
glorified stories of sex at
Should we encourage thes


Hiroyuki Takahashi enjoys cuisine at Coffee Break on South University.

alternative. Food is carefully prepared
every morning - for non-believers,
the grill is plain in sight so you can
even watch its preparation - and the
service is fast. The looming grill also
provides waiting customers with a
place to rest their eyes, foreshadowing
the culinary journey ahead. The wait-
resses are congenial and will wait
patiently for people to make up their
mind. Some may even pleasantly
explain some of the dishes, so there is
no need for fear or embarassment for
those who think the names of the dish-
es sound as if they belong on a subtitle
in a John Woo movie.
Coffee Break provides an alternative
to the heart-stopping meals at
McDonalds and Burger King. Just
brace yourself for the peculiar odor that
will unavoidably seep through your
clothes and hair while feasting. Coffee

Break boasts an incredible time of
three to five minutes for carry-out -
which I can vouch for, having seen it
several times - and most meals are
served within five minutes of placing
the order.
As far as the name is concerned,
Coffee Break originally opened up
eight years ago as a bakery, and the
owners decided to convert it to a
restaurant. A choice that they do not
regret, I assume, as one of the owners,
Connie Kang, states, "We enjoy this
business. People enjoy my food. Nice
customers." Connie and her husband
Ben Kang own Coffee Break.
The menu is affordable, ranging from
five to seven dollars for a meal includ-
ing tea, water and other beverages. And
yes, coffee is an option for those who
are determined to make the restaurant
prove true to its name.

Do you know
who does
exciting or
If so,
them for
to estavros@

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the Malnstreet Comedy Showcase
hosts an evening of Improvisational comedy with
the Portuguese Rodeo Clown Company and
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2 parts Improv and 1 part stand-up comedy.


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Yes, it's Chong - of Cheech & Chong fame!
This weekend we present a true blast from the
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Special Engagement
Regular ticket price: $17.50
(Student General admission tickets are$15,
excluding early show Sat.
Must have VALID student ID)


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wNJ Chuck Jasman. $1 cover.


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