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Saturday, June 14, 2014

Atlanta's Best Taco: Hankook's Taqueria's Pork

Warning:  The following may not be appropriate for children under the age of 13 and those who feel taco's are purely a Mexican food item or Panel Judge Dan Martinez

So let it be written, so let it be done, Hankook's Pork Taco is the Chosen One.   We have reviewed Hankook in the past as well. 

We instituted a unique approach to the Final Four.  We took our panel of judges and we barnstormed the taco establishments left in the competition.

From Left to Right:  Bobby D, Paulie C, The Blogger, El Capitan, MB and BMac 
We started out at Bone Garden Cantina whose Barbacoa went up vs Nuevo Laredo's Mole Pollo.

Judge Paul's take, "In my opinion, based on what I think a taco is … I think Bone Garden wins vs Nuevo’s mole pollo taco.  But by the slimmest of margins.  Primarily because Nuevo’s taco was missing a crunch and freshness factor.  Don’t get me wrong, their mole is out of this world.  And the mole pollo plate is one of my all-time favorite go-to’s there.
But they (Nuevo) needs to add finely diced Spanish onion + cilantro to bring some freshness to what is a very heavy/rich dish.  Simply putting a large (unshredded/chopped) chicken breast in a tortilla is not a taco to me.  Was the chicken tender?  Absolutely.  But a taco, to me, needs accouterments to round out the perfect bite."

Nuevo Laredo's Chicken Mole

Judge Robert's take, "Barbacoa Bone Garden (lacked sufficient filling, but tortilla was the best out of all)
and Nuevo's Mole Pollo (presentation was lacking.. too heavy on the mole.. needed the chicken to be shredded and tossed in the mole)"

BGC's Barbacoa, "Where's the beef?"
Judge Marybeth's take, "Mole Pollo- full of flavor… not too bitter and not too sweet.  The portion size was enormous but I felt like it was missing something.  Onions?  Cilantro?
BGC's Barbacoa- the meat really didn’t have a flavor in my opinion.  If it wasn’t for the verde salsa and raw onion to give it flavor, this taco would have been really bland.  However, the overall texture of this taco was my favorite.  You had the moist meat and the crunch from the cabbage and onion.  The corn tortilla was also soft but didn’t get soggy."

Judge Brian's take, "I agree with her"

So basically, it was a tie.  I would break the tie by saying Bone Garden's Barbacoa was the slight edge.  If Nuevo shredded the chicken and added a little onion for texture, it would win.  I love the mole, but it's basically a chicken breast on a tortilla.  But they do make the best Mole in Atlanta.

Taqueria Del Sol did not put the Philly out as their special, they are automatically disqualified.  Sly will not be happy.

"Yo, youz guyz put the Philly as the special!"
But UNANIMOUSLY Hankooks Pork “dae ji gogi” was everyone's Top Taco!

The Champion
Judge Marybeth's take, "Hankook's pork taco- meat was moist and was full of flavor.  It had a kick at the end but didn’t leave an aftertaste.  Meat ratio really made it worth it .  You get the bang for your buck."

Judge Brian's take, "I agree with her."

Judge Robert's take, "Hankook Pork (Great flavor, the pork was a little too crock pot wet, but still edged out the competition overall)"

Judge Paul's take, "With that said, it then comes down to Bone Garden (beef barbacoa) vs. Hankook (pork).

And for all the things I said above with accouterments … the juiciness of the meat (although I wish they would strain out some of the added “crock pot” juices … and the overall amount of meat/price ratio … the levelness of the heat … and the overall balls to do something different … Hankook is my winner.

I really wanted to go with Bone Garden because they had some of the freshest ingredients (accouterments) and that tortilla!!!  But the meat, which is the star of any taco, was a little flat (and scarce)."

So there you have it, Hankook produces Atlanta's Best Taco with their Pork “dae ji gogi”offering!  Next up Hankook vs Dan's Shrimp Taco's!

The reality of the situation is I had to bring in a panel, because I knew from the beginning that Hankook's Pork was the best.

Congrats to Hankook!

At least Sly's sidekick, the Pork won...

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