Home » Restaurants

Calbi Fusion and the Growing Korea-Mex Food Scene

21 April 2010 1,595 views 9 Comments

I’m posting about this new food truck at the corner of San Jacinto and 15th mainly because I promised three very nice customers I met there today that I would. Hi, guys!

Anyway, I learned about Calbi from an article in the Austin Business Journal promoting $1 tacos today until 1 p.m. I was intrigued and decided to stop off on my way back to work from an appointment.

Calbi truck at 15th and San Jacinto

Calbi truck at 15th and San Jacinto

There was a small crowd outside but most seemed to be folks who worked in the neighborhood — not the usual food blogging scene I run into at the new food trucks in town.

I loved the deal they offered — I ordered one chicken, one beef, and one pork taco and my total was $3.25 with tax. Basically – they were $1 off or each or half price what they would normally cost.

As interesting as it might sound, Korean-Mexican tacos aren’t exactly a new phenomenon. They were made popular by Kogi BBQ in Los Angeles, a food truck as famous for it’s roving schedule and huge Twitter following as it is for delicious food.

Calbi is actually a franchise that started in California, and has only just opened their first truck in Texas. They are owned by the creators of Baja Fresh. I think you can taste the fact that they’re a franchise in the food. It was super sweet and not very complex. The corn tortillas were dry. Overall, I thought the food was ok but needed a little something — a little love wouldn’t hurt!

Calbi Tacos

Calbi Tacos

Like the other Korean Taco trucks in town — Chi’Lantro and TaKoreaCalbi is active on Twitter. Both Calbi and Chi”lantro serve their food out of Snappy Snacks trucks — the kind that drive around to construction sites selling tacos and drinks. Beyond the type of food and truck, the two can’t be compared. Here’s a post from my first visit to Chi”Lantro. Has anyone tried TaKorea yet? Did you like it?

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

  • exit53

    i have been to taKorea … it's not bad, but not as good as i was hoping. more cabbage than meat, and the two tacos i had – beef bbq and spicy pork had extremely similar tastes, even though the beef is marinated in a kalbi/pulgogi mixture, while the pork is marinated in a korean chili paste. i would give it another shot, but i'm not in a hurry.

  • FoodieIsTheNewForty

    I totally agree…Chi'Lantro is not at all lacking in the love department! I haven't tried TaKorea or Calbi, yet; thanks for taking one for the team on the latter. ;)

  • Dano

    I'm a big fan of TaKorea. The pork belly is pretty great.

  • JR

    That's me in your picture! Told you I would comment! I'll check back more often, t'was nice to meet you =)

  • jodibart

    Great to meet you, JR! I posted just because I promised you guys I would. Nice to meet you also and see you around!

  • jodibart

    Dano you had me at “pork belly.” Can't wait to try it one day.

  • Penny

    Jodi, I tried TaKorea earlier this week and liked it. I had a chicken and pork taco and they were both tasty. I don't think they were as wonderful as the ones I've had at Chi'lantro but I'm always glad there's an alternative place. I'd give TaKorea a 3 and Chi'lantro a 5 on my scale of 1-5 rating.

    The owner at TaKorea said business had been very slow and I think it's because there's only one other truck on that corner and it's closed up most of the time. He said that there was supposed to be a bunch of new trailers coming to the corner soon (I think he said seven but I may been wrong) including one from Salt Lick. I have no idea how much of that is true but I sure hope so.

  • Penny

    Jodi, I tried TaKorea earlier this week and liked it. I had a chicken and pork taco and they were both tasty. I don't think they were as wonderful as the ones I've had at Chi'lantro but I'm always glad there's an alternative place. I'd give TaKorea a 3 and Chi'lantro a 5 on my scale of 1-5 rating.

    The owner at TaKorea said business had been very slow and I think it's because there's only one other truck on that corner and it's closed up most of the time. He said that there was supposed to be a bunch of new trailers coming to the corner soon (I think he said seven but I may been wrong) including one from Salt Lick. I have no idea how much of that is true but I sure hope so.

  • Penny

    Jodi, I tried TaKorea earlier this week and liked it. I had a chicken and pork taco and they were both tasty. I don't think they were as wonderful as the ones I've had at Chi'lantro but I'm always glad there's an alternative place. I'd give TaKorea a 3 and Chi'lantro a 5 on my scale of 1-5 rating.

    The owner at TaKorea said business had been very slow and I think it's because there's only one other truck on that corner and it's closed up most of the time. He said that there was supposed to be a bunch of new trailers coming to the corner soon (I think he said seven but I may been wrong) including one from Salt Lick. I have no idea how much of that is true but I sure hope so.