In 2002, Bob Weimer and his family took a trip to Korea. While traveling, the Weimers noticed a distinct absence of California wine. The ones they did find were of poor quality that didn’t match the expensive price tag. They began to ponder the possibilities of importing wine from California and creating a new market.
Ten years later, Weimer and his family live in Korea, and what began as a wine-importing venture has turned into Fog City International Café in Incheon.
The café offers a variety of food inspired by dishes from the San Francisco area. Pizza, roast beef and sandwiches are available along with many traditional bakery items such as cake and brownies. But the most important item on the menu is the sourdough bread, which Weimer has spent years perfecting.
Fog City started as a supplement to the Weimers’ wine-importing business. To draw in customers, they began serving food in their tasting room.
“This became very popular,” Weimer said. “People loved the atmosphere and the food.”
The interior of Fog City is quiet, with a wooden counter and bar made by Weimer. It has indoor and outdoor seating, and soft music is always playing in the background.
Fog City still has a variety of wine to choose from, but the focus has moved to the food, such as the sourdough bread.
“It was the thing I missed the most from back home,” Weimer said. “I thought it couldn’t be too hard to make so I tried looking up recipes on the internet. My first attempt was a pathetic little hand-sized loaf. It was pale and dense, but it tasted like sourdough. I knew I must have been on the right track.”
Baking then became Weimer’s daily ritual for three years. He used a variety of techniques, ingredients and methods. His experiments resulted in a variety of bread flavors from fruit and nut to even makgeolli.
In 2011, he finally achieved a loaf to rival the bread he remembered so fondly from back home, and since then the bread has gained a wide fan base.
“I learned that no one can teach another to make naturally leavened bread. No two baking environments or set of equipment and ingredients are exactly alike; therefore one can only use the teachings of others to get a sense of the correct path to follow.”
Fog City International Cafe
Directions: To find walking directions from Incheon Station, line 1, visit facebook.com/fogcitycafe or fogcitycafe.com.
Address: Incheon, Jung-gu, Jungang-dong 1-ga 19-1
Phone: (032) 766-9024