There may not be any food on earth more difficult to eat while standing up in a parking lot than Korean barbecue, but Choego Shreveport – a new, Korean-inspired food truck – is a really fun, delicious way to ruin a perfectly good shirt. Choego means “awesome” in Korean, and proprietors Sean Bliss (who is Korean American) and Michael Brenner seem like the right guys to bring a food truck named “Awesome” to Shreveport, La. Like their Facebook page here or follow them on Instagram.
There are bowls of spicy bibimbap, consisting of kimchi and bacon-fried rice topped with veggies, your choice of proteins, a sunny side-up egg and several tasty sauces ($7.75), as well as burritos and salads. But, for me at least, the “Food for Thought” portion of the menu is where it’s at. The kimchi tater tots ($4) are more like potato latkes than tots, shot through with little chunks of kimchi and topped with bacon, gochujang-infused ranch and shredded cheese. They’d go great with an ice cold beer. The BBQ beef short ribs ($2.80 each) are shellacked with a dense, sticky sweet sauce and scallions.
The best thing that I’ve eaten from Choego, however, would be the mudbug mandoo ($6). These hand-made dumplings are stuffed with what amounts to crawfish boudin and mascarpone cheese, then deep fried and topped with orange Fresno chili pepper jam. I inhaled an order in about 90 seconds and immediately wanted more. They’re probably the most decadent thing I’ve eaten in 2018, but if you’re not working on your beach body, I highly recommend an order or two. They will most certainly take you to Flavortown.
I asked Michael Brenner how Shreveport-Bossier has received their take on Korean food.
“We’ve served about 700 people so far, and I’d guess that about 100 were trying kimchi for the first time,” Brenner said. “On the other hand, there are lots of people who are making their own kimchi and preparing Korean food at home.”
Brenner lived in New Orleans pre-Katrina, where he attended culinary school and worked in the restaurant industry before moving to Denver, where he befriended Bliss and the two – along with Brenner’s brother-in-law – began to develop the idea of a food truck. A spouse’s career brought them to Shreveport, and here they are, selling mudbug mandoo in the parking lot of Drug Emporium. Both are sheepish and soft-spoken, and their unmarked yellow trailer lacks any amenities whatsoever (you may want to bring your own wet naps). But they’re young, creative cooks from out of town who are trying something different – and delicious – in Shreveport-Bossier. And what’s not awesome about that?
If you like this kind of local food writing, download Eat Here: A Food Lover’s Guide to Shreveport-Bossier.
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I can’t wait to try it! It looks incredible!