Monday, February 22, 2010

Korea Day in Austin: Chi'lantro Tacos and The Highball

It may be hard to believe, but there's a whole lot more to Austin than disgruntled bass players crashing planes into buildings.

For one there's an army of airstream trailers serving cheap and tasty food all over town. Before we left for Korea there were just a few taco trucks and sno-cone stands. But since we've been back there seems to be new meals-on-wheels opening up every day, cooking up just about everything: fancy crepes, steamed pork buns, and cones of meat.

So its fitting that the Korean Taco craze that swept LA last year has found a home here among Austin's gastro-trailer parks. One of the newest trailers on the scene, Chi'lantro has been serving Korean-Mexican fare for only a couple of weeks. The trailer moves around every day, so you need to follow them on the Twitter to figure out where and when it'll pop up.

For those who have ever eaten Mexican food in Korea, they know how potentially volatile that combination can be (i.e. ddeokbokki sauce on enchiladas). Fortunately, Chi'lantro has managed to avoid importing any of those misguided disasters back to Texas. We tried the marinated beef and the spicy chicken tacos. Each taco came with a generous portion of meat topped with onions, cilantro, and toasted sesame seeds all wrapped in double corn tortillas.

This costs $4.

We also opted for kim-chi on top of the taco. I'm usually a big fan of kim-chi, but I thought it actually detracted a bit from the other flavors, which were already well-balanced. For me, the kim-chi wasn't spicy enough to really make an impact. On the other hand, the cilantro--which is not a traditional ingredient in Korea--nicely complemented the other flavors, giving the taco a nice burst of freshness.

Milkis, Cider, Jarritos, and Dr. Pepper all living together in global harmony.

We left satisfied with garlicky breath and bright red chili sauce staining our clothes--it was like we'd never left Korea.

Later that evening, perhaps inspired by our trip to the Korean taco truck, we got together with some friends at The Highball to sample another Asian delicacy: noraebang.

Sadly, there are no videos. Only words.

We leave for Korea this Wednesday.

1 comment:

  1. IS THAT EMILY HOWARD?!?! whoaaa, my mind is blown...


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