Good news for St. Louis expats and taco lovers alike: STL's popular Seoul Taco plans to bring its Korean tacos to River North in late May.
The Korean-Mexican joint will be at 738 N. Clark St. in the spot formerly held by Mercadito Counter.
Owner David Choi launched Seoul in 2011 in St. Louis as a food truck before expanding to a brick-and-mortar location in the city's Delmar Loop neighborhood. Eventually, he opened an outlet in Columbia, Mo., and, two weeks ago, in Champaign, Ill.
Choi didn't go to cooking school, but learned to love food from his family. "I went to culinary school of grandma and mom," says Choi. "I had the typical Asian grandma always cooking something in the kitchen." On school breaks during college, missing the food he grew up eating, he'd return home to learn how to master the Korean classics for himself.
"The taco part was just me messing around with recipes on my own," he adds.
Of course, he's not the first: Del Seoul brought Korean tacos to Chicago more than six years ago, and other Korean taco spots, such as Takos Koreanos, have opened since then.
Seoul Taco's menu started with just tacos and quesadillas, but grew to include nachos, whopping 1-pound burritos and bibimbap, which Choi is listing on the menu as gogi bowls.
Customers will be able to choose from four different fillings, including bulgogi beef, soy-marinated chicken, spicy pork, and tofu with a gluten-free marinade. Each taco is topped with Korean salad mix, green onions, crushed sesame seeds and what he's calling secret "Seoul Sauce."
Choi hopes to open the Chicago location in late May, though he acknowledges that the permitting process could delay it. As for more locations, nothing is in the works, though that could change: "Definitely want to open more, but we'll see how this goes."
Seoul Taco, 738 N. Clark St., www.seoultaco.com
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