Mar 062013



IMG_20130215_124903Well Balanced Nutrition:” quite a bold statement. Bolder still when printed in large block letters above the picture of a supersized burger on a brightly lit example of restaurant signage. Somehow I’m not entirely convinced. There’s something that seems almost too good to be true about those two going together. The sight of my own burger (which I strongly suspect of harboring an onion ring somewhere amidst its savory layers of meat and cheese), isn’t really helping.  But I’m not ready to give up yet. Maybe the balance isn’t in the burger at all. Maybe it’s somewhere in the side order of garlic cheese fries. Welcome to Valance Burger: Very Delicious and Balanced.

The fact of the matter is that I hold at most only a passing interest in balance and nutrition; despite the best efforts of the good people at Valance Burger to draw my attention to it. I’m there only to indulge my interest in a good burger and nothing more, except perhaps a coke and some fries. Sure they may have the symbolic image of a scale above their doorway and offer menu items such as “a salad of a meal” for those so inclined, but who’s falling for it and who really cares?  Valance makes a good burger and I would eat it even if it came with a Surgeon General’s warning.

IMG_20130215_125128    Questionable marketing aside, Valance gets two things absolutely right: they have good food at a good price, and provide a comfortable area to sit down and enjoy it.    Naturally their menu is focused on burgers. They menu offers what looks like the usual array of burgers, cheese burgers, bacon burgers and chicken burgers, along with more imaginatively named variations such as the  Dracula, Mania and Autumn Squash Burger. The sandwiches can be matched with any of three sets, all including a drink and either fries, garlic fries, or chili fries. I also spotted at least three different kinds of hot dog and salads, spring rolls, crunch shrimp, and hot fish nuggets just to keep things interesting. Best of all no set will set you back more than 9,000 W.

The burgers come wrapped in a folded paper pocket, skewered with an oversized toothpick bearing the burger’s name at the top.  The sandwich is substantial without being so large as to require either taking it apart or unhinging your lower jaw in order to eat it. The fries are of the crinkle cut variety and each order comes with more than enough of them.  The restaurant itself is clean, surprisingly spacious, comfortable and simple which means there’s nothing to really distract you from the most important fact of all; the fact that everything just tastes right.  Valance isn’t the kind of place you go to eat because the promise of “balance” drew you in, or because you’re just desperate for western food. Its somewhere you go because you appreciate a good burger, or feel that you should be able to enjoy fast food that doesn’t look or taste like it was designed by a team of efficiency experts and accountants . Valance is good stuff at a good price, and looking for an easy lunch or dinner, what’s better than that?



To get there, exit the PNU Station at exit three. Walk up the shopping street until it intersects a main road and turn left at Starbucks. Valance is about half a block down on the left side.

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Feb 032013

By Fiona Van Tyne


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Exceptional sushi in Busan is easy to come by. I cannot count the number of rolls and pieces of raw fish that I have enjoyed here. For me, living somewhere completely landlocked, sushi was something that was terribly expensive and only good half the time. I have been lucky in Busan to find a place that does rolls for a decent price that are truly heavenly.


For the first few time I have been here I had no idea what the name was. Come to find out it was Sushi and Roll. The sign was in Korean and the only indication that they had Japanese food was the case outside (that and the English letters below the Koreans ones saying Sushi and Roll). I am not one to usually go for a restaurant whose best ploy to get me in the door is the plastic food adorned in a dimly lit case.

Above mentioned plastic food case

Above mentioned plastic food case



Granted, it was raining, and I was cold, and this place had maybe something that possibly looked like something I could want. So I braved the plastic case and took a risk.


When I walked in side I found a busy but not over crowed restaurant that looked familiar to many sushi and roll restaurants back home. Seeing as I had just come from the gym and was dripping wet, the host took one look at me and said “take out?” I smiled because I had no idea how they knew!


I graciously took the menu and to some relief there were pictures, some English and absolutely no descriptions.

Lucky for me my stomach guided me to a roll called the “Denver” roll. Being my hometown I immediately ordered it.

The first time I had this place I was so happy to find a place close to me that did decent sushi, but what is truly amazing is that it has become a staple in my take out routine.

I have not actually gone there for sit down, but every time I go in there are always friends meeting and dates being had. Its truly laid back and popular with 20-30 something’s.

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I have tried many different rolls and can say that each one has been wonderful. The rice falls apart in your mouth and flavors are blended well. This place is perfect for those who may be new to sushi and would recommend it to anyone looking for a sushi adventure in PNU. Though they do not have the Denver roll any more the Alaska is the perfect substitute.


How to get to there

From the PNU station on the Orange line take exit 1. There will be a busy street right when you get out lined with cell phone stores shops and street food vendors. Go up the street.

This place is about 3 blocks up from there. If you keep walking past the big street (need to go across the cross walk) and then keep going. Up that block on what is known as Chicken and Beer Street. Take a right and it is one of the first shops on your left.  You will see a case in the window with noodles and sushi. 

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