Korean Tacos near Vandy
November 19, 2010
Peter Chinn’s Korean Barbecue Taco
400 21st Avenue South
Peter Chinn’s Korean BBQ Tacos and Burger’s move to the Vandy area from Clarksville Pike has stirred up a buzz (see, for example, comments on Eric and Kate’s post), and deservedly so. The business logic of the move captures the concept and history of the Korean taco: you keep the shell, maintain the form, though change it dramatically by adding Korean BBQ meats. The old Cheeseburger Charley’s locale has maintained its basic form–from the counters and tables to the service areas, (though there has been a new paint job). The menu has still offers the good ol’ burger, fries, and onion rings (which are noticeably better, probably because they’ve changed the frying oil). Peter Chinn has infused life into the joint by offering Korean short rib bbq and fish tacos ($2.5), chicken and spicy pork tacos ($2), and burritos with aforementioned fillings ($5). To top it all off, the background music was a playful variety of funk and soul.
I wandered into the joint late in the afternoon, and ordered a short rib and chicken taco. The folks at the counter told me that business has improved quite a bit: before the tacos, they’d do something like 80 tickets a day, but that day, at 3 pm, I was ticket #120. Some folks were still ordering burgers and fries, and a few came in to inquire about the tacos. As for my tacos: the tortillas had the right combination of warmth, crispness, and texture. I could taste the distinct marinade. The pickled cucumbers enhanced the taste of the meats, and a hint of spice gave the tacos a nice kick.
The Vandy area is in desperate need of dining spots, particularly of the non-chain type, and this is a welcomed addition.
Side note: If you’re worried about Vandy crowds, particularly at lunch, visit this upcoming week, since students are off for Thanksgiving.