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.

Peter Chinn's Korean BBQ Taco on Urbanspoon


Cheap-Eats Suggestions

December 5, 2009

Friends of a friend of a friend…asked for some good, cheap eats.  The primary prerequisite:  no chain restaurants.

Here’s a start with Korean, Indian, Vietnamese, East Nashville, and the best, expensive food at half price. B & T & anyone else, if you want more suggestions, let me know via comment or email.

Korea House: our kitchen away from home. Good food, good prices. We like their rice dishes (particularly squid or shrimp) and bibimbap better than their soups. The standard dishes of pickled goods brought out before the entrees are the best in Nashville. They’ve raised their prices in 2010, and entrees start at $9.  Cozy atmosphere. The staff will remember you.  On Charlotte Pike in last shopping center on right, before you hit Nashville West.  So real, it doesn’t have a virtual home on the web.  But info for Korea House is available here.  (615) 352-2790.

-For Korean soups, there’s the Tofu House, aka “So Gong Dong Restaurant.”  A wee bit out there on Antioch Pike.  But their tofu soups (with different add-in options, like seafood, beef, etc.) and entrees are amazing.  Fresh tofu, incredible presentation, meticulously cooked rice, gi-normous portions.  We like to save this for a special occasion or a gathering with a large group of people.  Pricier than Korea House. (615) 781-2022.

Indian–vegetarian.  The best and most consistent in town is Woodlands on West End (when heading west, the last building on the left before 440).  Try the different dosas.  With Xmas around the corner and no real Chinese restaurant in town, this is always one of the more happening joints on Xmas day. (615) 463-3005.

Miss Saigon.  Good Vietnamese food.  Beats out its competitors–from their pho to their rice dishes–on Charlotte and the newest Vietnamese attempt, Far East in East Nashville.  To call Miss Saigon, (615) 354-1351.

Marche in East Nashville. The best breakfast, lunch, and brunch, including Saturdays, in town. (Why are there so few Saturday brunch options?) Can’t beat the price ($8-$11, brunch entrees) for the quality of food and the seasonal menus–from sweet breakfast treats and omelets to tasty salads and open-faced sandwiches. They also serve dinner, but at night the atmosphere does not compare to its sister (more expensive) restaurant, Margot’s. There are lines for brunch and occasionally at lunch during peak hours. (615) 262-1111.

-If you’re hungry for dinner after 9, the best deal in town in is F. Scott’s. Six days a week, they offer 50% off the food menu. Entrees go from $18.5-$35 to $9.25-$17.50. The restaurant does close at 10 p.m. Monday – Friday, but will take the last reservation for 10 p.m.. They open ’til 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and are closed on Sunday. The half-price doesn’t apply to their menu in the jazz bar. Their menu changes seasonally, but consistently has some of Nashville’s best seafood, vegetarian, and meat dishes that incorporate local products and fresh ingredients. The half-price makes up for the mall location and makes their great wine list more affordable. 615-269-5861.

-For Mexican, Lopez Taqueria and Mariscos on Nolensville is our favorite.  (Just south of the zoo, but north of Harding.)  A gas station outfitted into a restaurant, with a constant buzz around the clock.  They offer everything from sopas to ceviche, but try the grilled/smoked chicken al carbon–best tasting, best chicken deal in town–and the tacos al pastor.  Lopez does not have a liquor license and so no cerveza.  3901 Nolensville Road.  (615) 833-6434.