I wrote this for Lindsay’s Say Kimchi Newsletter, but I also wanted to share it here. These are 3 good guys that make a mean taco. If you are ever in Gwangju find them. I also highly recommend trying out a food truck nearby you, wherever that might be.
While I was home this summer I discovered the joys of the food truck. These days in the United States, chefs are taking their gourmet skills to the streets in renovated FedEx and bread trucks. You are to check Twitter or Facebook for their location. One can find curry, burgers, crepes, ice cream among other more exotic cuisine on these trucks.
Just months after I got back to Korea, I happily discovered the Awesome Truck on Facebook serving the food truck holy grail: the Korean taco! A Korean taco uses chicken, pork, beef and/or tofu marinated in those wonderful Korean marinades. Imagine the taste of galbi, chicken galbi or bulgolgi mixed with cilantro, cabbage (sometimes kimchi), red onions and cucumber in a tortilla! It is a culinary delight.
For a while their locations were too far away for me. Sangmu, Gwangju Women’s Hospital, Chonnam. My whereabouts never seemed to match up with theirs. But as I sat in a local ex-pat bar one Saturday night, word that the Awesome Truck was just blocks away swept through like wildfire. I quickly made my way toward their location in front of Grand Hotel.
Run by friends Hanul Cho, Kwang-Ho Jang and Jun Hyuk Yang, the Awesome Truck runs like a well-oiled machine. Kwang-Ho usually stands out front spreading the word and taking orders while Hanul and Jun Hyuk work tirelessly within the truck making their delicious tacos and quesadillas. Hanul spent a while in Guatemala learning Spanish and trying the local cuisine. About a year and a half ago a friend of his got him thinking about opening a Korean taco truck in Gwangju. “We wanted to provide Korea with a different cuisine than what they’re used to,” Hanul said about starting the Awesome Truck, “by providing them with authentic cuisine from Latin American countries with a little flair.”
Hanul went to work obtaining a truck and his equipment while honing his skills working at Outback Steakhouse. About a month ago, the three got the griddle fired up, the engine running and the tweets tweeting.
Within 10 minutes my friends and I were eating our tacos. The Awesome Truck offers chicken galbi or bulgolgi beef. The meat has a subtle taste but goes well with the cheese, cabbage and pink Korean salsa that gives their tacos a nice kick. The quesadillas consist of cheese and your choice of meat topped with the Korean salsa. They do justice to the Latin-America-meets-Korea cuisine.
Follow Awesome Truck on Twitter and Facebook and expect to find them between 12 to 2pm for lunch and 5 to 11pm for dinner. Be on the lookout for their new menu items: a burrito, burritos bowl, the awesome hotdog and chicken tomato soup. Awesome Truck does not disappoint.