I started this post right after my second trip to Chi’Lantro and I’ve been 2 more times since. Rather than write three separate posts for my favorite Korean-Mexican food truck (and yes, there’s more than one in Austin), I thought I’d spare you and combine them all into one superpost. Each visit showcased a new menu item with some good and bad to each, so keeping reading to find out what you should get when you try ’em out.
In round 2 of the Chi’Lantro files I decided to push the limits of rational thinking and ordered a Chi’ll Dog. It’s a hot dog topped with onions, lettuce, pickles, jalapenos, kimchi, and, I chose, their spicy pork. Working from the bottom up, the bun was warm and soft, just like every hot dog bun hopes and aspires to be. The beef hot dog was thick and juicy and had that great *snap* you come to expect, but too often lets you down. Well, this *snap* was great! The veggies on top were cool and fresh, which helped break up the heaviness of everything else. I was able to pick off the not-advertised
soapy greenery cilantro just fine thankfully. The spicy pork on top of it all, to be honest, got a little lost in the shuffle. That’s a lot of high praise, so would I get it again? Probably not, considering there are other dedicated hot dog trailers to try, and not when there is a burrito on the menu as good as their beef burrito.
Since having the Chi’ll Dog I returned to get the beef bowl. I went beef (instead of spicy pork, spicy chicken, or tofu) based on the aforementioned beef burrito. The bowl, which isn’t on their online menu but is on the side of their truck, is essentially the burrito minus the tortilla. Surprisingly, they charge an extra dollar to have an egg added when the burrito comes with an egg and obviously a tortilla. No matter. It was certainly worth that extra dollar, as the egg was fried just enough so the yolk would break and run throughout the rice, cheese, onions, beef and sauce. It’s a combination that shouldn’t work on paper, but it definitely works in your mouth. Still, I prefer the beef burrito to the bowl. The pressed, toasty tortilla gives that one extra element to really bring it all together.
Most recently I decided to hit up the menu’s taco section. Not decisive by nature, rather than choose a single flavor, I went with a spicy pork, a spicy chicken, and a beef. Sorry tofu, not this time. All the tacos come atop a double-layer of corn tortillas, then the meat, and finished with some veggies (cilantro held upon request). Starting with the spicy pork, I was impressed with how flavorful and clean the meat was. The spice slowly spreads but never dominates you. Quite good! Next up was the spicy chicken, which was similar to the pork. Some of the meat wasn’t quite as good. The main difference is the chicken is cubed whereas the pork is shredded. I definitely preferred the shredded meat to the cubed. Lastly I saved the beef taco for the finale. To my slight disappointment, I don’t think it was my favorite of the three. The meat was good, not great. My only thought is that my mouth was still dancing from the first two spicy ones and was let down a little by the non-spicy combo. Of the three tacos, to my surprise, if I could get just one, I’d go back for the spicy pork.
My initial opinion that Chi’Lantro is awesome remains unchanged. I’m slowly making my way through the entire menu. The last two categories I need to try are hamburgers and quesadillas. We’ll see if I actually get a hamburger from a Korean-Mexican Fusion truck, though I did get a hot dog from them already. On the other hand, I’m not typically a quesadilla person, but for Chi’Lantro I’ll make an exception. And when you can get out of there for five or six bucks every time, it’s a can’t-miss food truck.
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