Last week I convinced Mario and his business partner to meet me for lunch at Hankook Taqueria. This Korean/Mexican hybrid is located in the industrial area of Collier Rd. off Chattahoochee Rd.
None of us really knew what to expect from this strange mix of cuisines, but I had heard great things about the taco stand and they decided to trust my judgement (thanks guys!). One thing I appreciated about Hankook was the friendly girl working the counter. It bothers me when places that serve ethnic cuisine aren’t accommodating to customers interested in trying out something new, but the hostess that day apparently recognized apprehension on my companions’ faces and made suggestions for first-timers interested in something “safe” or in getting a good idea of what a Korean taco stand has to offer. We got a variety of tacos: chicken (“dak gogi”), beef (“bull gogi”), and shrimp (can’t find the proper name for it); along with tempura fried Korean sweet potatoes (“ko-kuma”) and gogi-nachos(chips, jack cheese, & ribeye beef):
These definitely weren’t your typical tacos. My favorite was the shrimp, which were fried perfectly and nicely seasoned, but not with say, they Cajun spices I’m used to. The beef taco I had was marinated in Korean BBQ sauce and was very tender and flavorful. Mario’s business partner must’ve liked the nachos, because he didn’t share He commented that they too were good but different: you won’t find gooey cheese and beans here. We weren’t really sure about the Korean sweet potatoes; their tempura coating was nice and crisp, but the starch inside wasn’t the sweet potato we were expecting. Another flavor that wasn’t bad, just different.
For the price ($2.25/taco, $4/side [except nachos, $6]) Hankook is a great value for the amount of food you get. It’s a departure from the usual, and I decided I liked it for that. Subsequent visits where I’m not thrown off by “different” will likely allow me to better evaluate the quality of the food.