Woke up with a bit of a hangover this morning–and late–so I got out the door craving some junk. Taco Bell is next to my subway station. Walking up, I noticed this.

Lunch. Decided.

And here’s what it looks like in real life.

There are ample veggies in the taco. The burrito had the meat with some rice and cheese. The meat definitely tasted like bulgogi. Sweet. The texture was not like the usual powder-fine ground beef product but something more mushy. These are hardly the gourmet taco truck munchies. What it did was bring me back to my old bachelor days in Korea, cramming bulgogi into tortillas long before the Kogi truck was even though up of. It’s perfectly simple, unpretentious, junky, and satisfying. And it didn’t taste like Taco Bell much at all. Though the personal liberal squirting of Fire Sauce made it much better by countering the sweetness.

The whole time I was eating my meal, I thought how funny things were. Years ago, people said I was weird and disgusting for putting bulgogi in burritos and kimchi in quesadillas. Now it’s so mainstream it’s at Taco Bell.

Conclusion–Not stellar, but I’d eat it again. Tastes better than anything else at Taco Bell. And way more edible than the monstrosities from Paris Baguette.

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Joe McPherson founded ZenKimchi in 2004. He has been featured and sourced in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, CNN, KBS, MBC, SBS, Le Figaro, Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia, Harper’s Bazaar Korea, The Chosun Weekly, and other Korean and international media. He has consulted for "Parts Unknown with Anthony Bourdain," The Travel Channel’s “Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern,” Lonely Planet, National Geographic, Conde Nast Traveler, the PBS documentary series “Kimchi Chronicles,” and other projects in the UK, Canada, and Australia featuring celebrity chefs such as Gizzi Erskine and Gary Mehigan.Mr. McPherson has written for multiple Korean and international publications, including SEOUL Magazine, JoongAng Daily, The Korea Herald, Newsweek Korea and wrote the feature article for U.S. National publication Plate magazine’s all-Korean food issue. He has acted as dining editor for 10 Magazine and was on the judging panel for Korea for the Miele Guide.He spoke at TEDx Seoul on Korean food globalization, at TED Worldwide Talent Search on the rise of Korean cuisine, and in New York City on Korean Buddhist temple cuisine. The company ZenKimchi International organizes food tours for tourists and corporations and acts as a media liaison for foreign and Korean media and local restaurants and producers.
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