Pinnacle Deli Enters Korean Taco Fray With Tacos Zen
Pinnacle Bagel & Deli (3rd Ave. btw. 45+46th) is the latest to enter Midtown’s growing Korean taco craze, with a sign proclaiming Tacos Zen (I’m not sure if that’s the name of the taco counter within, or simply the mental state they expect their tacos to leave you in). I’ve never been to Pinnacle before, but they have the salads and sandwiches you can get anywhere. I’m not sure when they started serving this Korean-Mexican fusion (they also have burritos, burrito bowls and gimbap in addition to tacos), but it’s sure to make them stand out from their deli brethren. Chris H. has already written about Pro Hot Korean, Cafe Duke and Bann Next Door. Can Pinnacle be added to the list of places to satisfy your Korean taco craving?
The Korean operation is located at the counter on the right hand side. They have a good selection of proteins, including bulgogi, spicy pork, chicken, pork and little baby shrimp. For fixings they have pico, sour cream, guacamole, cheese, corn and hot sauce. I didn’t see any kimchi or anything, and in general these seem like normal tacos with just a touch of Korean flair (as opposed to the wild creations at Korilla).
$7.25 plus tax gets you three tacos (soft corn or flour, crunchy corn) with whatever meats you want. I asked for soft corn but I ended up with flour. The crunchy ones actually sounded pretty good to me, and I’m glad that they offer them. Maybe next time.
I got bulgogi, spicy pork and pork. I later kicked myself for not biting the bullet and getting the shrimp, but those tiny things just didn’t look that appetizing sitting on the steam table (in the upper right). My tacos were topped off with sour cream, guacamole, hot sauce and pico. The sour cream and guacamole were applied with a liberal hand (or ladle). That’s far from a tragedy, but it did cool the meat down and make things kind of messy. Overall, the condiments were fine, but nothing special.
They stuffed a good amount of meat into the tacos, and their flavors held up to the Mexican condiment onslaught nicely. The spicy pork was pleasantly fatty and had a nice moderate heat. The bulgogi was tender and slightly sweet. The regular pork (above) was a little disappointing because it was on the dry side and didn’t have a whole lot of flavor. In fact, I can’t think of anything particularly Korean tasting about my pork taco.
Pinnacle has a few seats down stairs and a large seating area upstairs. It was no problem for me to grab a table away from other patrons and enjoy my messy tacos in peace.
This was my first experience with Korean tacos, so I can offer no direct comparison, but I was definitely satisfied with the flavor and value of this meal. I wouldn’t hesitate to get them again, although I also probably wouldn’t go out of my way for them either. They’re not the most exciting or exotic Korean tacos in Midtown, but they make a fine lunch.
Pinnacle Bagels 725 3rd Ave. (btw. 45+46th), 212-972-1200