Is 그걸 the same as 그것을?
Yes, it's a common contraction.
Best friend doesn't work.
"My good friend" doesn't work for this? Idiomatically it's the same as "My close friend"
Total toung twister for me
Why isn't 내 친한 친구는 translated as "my best friend"?
As i understand it 가장 친한 친구 or 제일 친한 친구 is 'best friend'. Without 친한 or 제일 its just a 'close friend'
What does "now" refer to here?
The English translation reads like the friend used to not eat that but now they do.
The notes on the word makes it seem more like the friend just ate it but this isn't past tense.
would this mean my close friend as in a friend that you know well and have a good relationship with, or a friend that is physically close to you in that moment?