Tallahassee is a taco town so you certainly have lots of destinations for this Mexican favorite, whether you want to enjoy a filling of fried avocado, pork belly or simply ground beef.
For a really different, cross-cultural taco — and one that appeared on Good Morning America this summer — try Takko.
Tomas Lee combines Korean ingredients and flavors with Mexican staples such as tacos, burritos or bowls. Photo provided
Tomas Lee, co-owner of the Atlanta-based franchise, Hankook Taqueria melded Korean ingredients and spices with Mexican staples such as a tacp, burrito or bowl. He operated his original restaurant and two others for more than a decade before bringing the concept to Tallahassee, on Magnolia Drive and Timberland Road.
Tomas had long wanted to share the vibrant flavors of Korean cuisine with a greater audience. He decided on the Takko concept to entice diners to something new.
“Instead of wrapping barbecue in lettuce, you’re wrapping it in a taco,” said Tomas. “It’s amazing how this korean taco concept has taken off. A lot of restaurants now have Korean items on their menus.”
Tomas had the chance in August to spread the word about Korean tacos on national television when he competed in ABC’s Good Morning America eats competition, “United States of Tacos.”
During the televised show, the search is on for the best tacos in Chicago, Dallas, Miami and Atlanta. While he lost the competition, Tomas said “it was great to have the TV and national publicity.”
Takko’s signataure fried chicken taco. Photo / provided
It also highlighted Tomas’ signature Korean fried chicken taco, which he cooked on the show.
“I just love fried chicken,” Tomas said. “I probably eat too much of it.”
Tomas chicken sandwich is double fried with a chipotle aioli, jack cheese and a soy sesame salad.
“You could put that in a shoe and it would taste good,” he said. “It’s our number one seller.”
Other Takko dishes include beef bulgolgi (with marinated beef), Korean pork, shrimp, chicken and fish dishes.
Tomas said he’s liked to cook since he was a boy. The chef was born in Seoul but came to Mustang, Oklahoma when he was 6 years old.
“My uncle was a farmer and he grew Korean vegetables,” Tomas said. “We pickled stuff, made kimchi. I grew up really interested in cooking.
“I’d see the reaction on people’s faces,” when they ate his meals,” Tomas said. “I could tell they liked it and I could see them smile. I thought, ‘this is what I want to do.’ “
He went to the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York and later was a chef in top restaurant groups in New York, San Francisco, Dallas, and eventually Atlanta, where he had his own French American fine dining restaurant.
But Tomas wanted to incorporate his Korean heritage into his cuisine. Takko has given him that opportunity. “I wanted to go back to my roots,” he said.
Takko – Tallahassee Market Square is at 1415 Timberlane Road and at 218 S. Magnolia Dr.
Takko’s location before it opened its first location in Tallahassee in 2021. Photo / Tallahassee Table