I usually try to review less acclaimed food trucks for my food truck Friday posts. However, The Daily Meal released their list of 101 Best Food Trucks in America for 2013 in June. Houston's very own Bernie's Burger Bus, Eatsie Boys, Oh My Gogi! BBQ, and Coreanos all appeared on the list. Being the sucker that I am for lists and rankings, I made it my mission to eat at all of four of the Houston food trucks featured on the 101 best food trucks in America list and review the one I enjoyed the most. So Coreanos it is!
I located the Coreanos food truck during lunch at The Museum of Fine Arts daily Fine Arts' + Food Trucks event. The fact that there was a line of people waiting in the middle of the hot summer day to order food from the truck told the tale that there may be something to the Coreanos hype. When it was my turn to order, I asked the gentleman what the truck was best known for and he told me the most popular items were "The OG" Burrito and Kim Cheese Fries; I decided to go with that.
Photo courtesy of CoreanosTX
My food came in a basic black cafeteria styled foam box. My fries were neatly arranged in their container and my burrito was wrapped in a shiny silver wrapper beside it. I didn’t interact with the truck’s workers too much as it was a busy afternoon for them, but I noticed that the gentleman who took my order took the time to place extra sriracha containers with my food after I made a comment about how I look for any excuse to use sriracha. After reviewing the container, I decided to eat my Kim Cheese fries first.
The Kim Cheese Fries are described as French fries topped with spicy twice cooked pork belly, caramelized kimchi, cheese, and el scorcho sauce. I have to say that I thought my fries looked like they were arranged by a food stylist and I almost felt bad eating them. Almost. I dug into my fries and immediately thought that Coreanos had mastered the art of flavoring perfect for my palate. The fries were spicy with a hint of sweet. The pork belly was tender and had a subtle smoky flavor. The sweetness found in the French fries also seemed to come from the twice cooked pork belly. I couldn’t taste any overt cheese flavors but I thought the el sorcho sauce added the perfect final touch. Each item on the Kim Cheese fries worked together independently to bring the whole flavor together. There was a good meat to sauce to French fry ratio so when I got towards the end, I wasn’t left with French fries and no meat or sauce.
I was pumped after eating my fries and I was more than ready to try my OG burrito. I had my reservations about the burrito due to the ingredients listed for the OG burrito on the menu. The OG burrito is described on the menu as a burrito featuring marinated short rib, French fries, Korean slaw, onion, cilantro, caramelized kimchi, sesame oil vinaigrette, and garlic spread. The last time I checked, French fries do not go in burritos. I got ready to eat my burrito and noticed my burrito was wrapped to perfection. I was scared the burrito would taste like a burrito with French fries in it but when I bit into the burrito, I thought it tasted just like the Kim Cheese fries wrapped in a burrito with Korean slaw added for texture. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the slaw but liked the crunchy element it added to the burrito. The flavors found in the twice cooked pork belly used in the Kim Cheese fries were bolder than the flavors found in the sweet short rib used in The OG burrito. I was okay with the redundancy of my order because I was originally kind of sad when I finished my Kim Cheese fries. Overall, I preferred the Kim Cheese fries to The OG burrito.
Coreanos does a good job combining the spiciness often found in Mexican food with the sweetness found in Korean food. Although Korean and Mexican are not the most obvious food mash-ups, like a Quentin Tarrintino film, it more than works. In my opinion, Coreanos has mastered the art of flavoring and rightfully deserves its spot on the list. You can find out where Coreanos will be next at www.houston.coreanostx.com. You can also view the other Houston food trucks featured in The Daily Meal’s 101 Best Food Trucks in America for 2013 at www.thedailymeal.com/101-best-food-trucks-america-2013 .