Drive-by Tasting: One visit. One meal. One shot to get it right

TRIPLE THREAT | The trio of pork tacos from Goghee To Go packs some major punch.

Goghee To Go Korean BBQ Tacos

Growing up in Mesquite might not sound like an ideal setting to reflect my Latino heritage, but despite my white middle class neighborhood, one thing Mom didn’t skip out on was the cuisine. These street tacos gringos have been fawning over for a few years? Old hat. Barbacoa? Been there, done that — decades ago.

So when I heard a new taco stand was opening on Inwood in the Medical District, I yawned. What’s another taqueria to me?

That quickly changed when I discovered the twist: Goghee To Go offers Korean barbecue tacos. This was a perfect fit for the rules of Drive-by Tasting: One critic, no guests, visiting someplace new for lunch or a casual dinner. And we keep it cheap.

Menu options were easy but also impressive. I could get meat (goghee in Korean) prepared several ways, and all for $6.25 (chicken $5.95). The torta and nachos sounded good, but I opted for the simple three tacos plate with pork in a corn tortilla. (Options include beef as well as a portabella for non-meat eaters.)

The tacos came bustling with a zesty slaw in a Styrofoam box. Clearly, the environment is not on their minds, but who cares when this concoction is a fireworks display in both looks and taste.  The spicy factor is enough to clear the sinuses but won’t turn off anybody sensitive to even a little heat. The slaw, along with the pico and sesame soy sauce vinaigrette, really punches the flavor up but there is enough meat to get a balanced taste.

Goghee’s shtick is how they marinate their meats, and they do so to nice effect. The pork delivered in both natural flavor and a subtle saltiness. Some bites were a tad tougher than others, but this is minor compared to the overall satisfaction of the meal.

I was happily coerced into buying the half-order of their new menu item Goghee gimchee fries. Mostly covered by the same accoutrements, the fries also come topped with jack and cheddar cheeses and a creamy fresca sauce along with the same meat selections. I had mine with beef. This was a slight miss because the meat makes it too heavy, unless you’re a college student and actually want fries as your meal.

Goghee To Go really is a taco stand, with tables outside for dining for walkups and a drive-thru window. They cook the food directly upon ordering so they have the freshness factor down pat, but the wait could have easily gone a few moments too long.

Overall impression: The lady behind the counter was filled with bubbly customer service and knew her menu. GTG is simple and hip with lingering flavor, but not in a bad way.

Recommended: Yes.

— Rich Lopez

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