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Oaxaca Taqueria Serves Up Its Signature Mexican and Korean Tacos

COBBLE HILL — Braised beef cheek and korean barbecue are among Oaxaca's signature taco dishes.

Oaxaca Taqueria, a Brooklyn taco chain that recently expanded into the East Village, is known for its tacos, but its menu includes other Mexican staples like enchiladas, quesadillas and tortas/sandwiches as well.

“We developed the menu to be more of a traditional kind of taqueria, following along the lines of the way they would make it in Mexico, which means more stewed meats and more flavorful ingredients,” said David Schneider, owner of the taco chain.

Oaxaca’s signature dishes, barbacoa beef cheek and Korean tacos, are both based around slow-cooked, braised meat and spicy sauces like Mexican mole and korean gochujang.

“The barbacoa beef cheek is a very traditional concept,” said Schneider. “It’s meat that’s not generaly used, but you take it, you braise it and cook it for a long period of time.”

Like all the meat used at Oaxaca, Schneider sources his antibiotic- and hormone-free barbacoa beef cheef from Paisanos, a butcher located at 162 Smith St. in Cobble Hill.

The beef cheek is braised, and slow-cooked in a spicy mole sauce, that’s more like a barbecue sauce, the owner explained. Once the meat is tender, it’s ready to go into a soft corn tortilla, which which comes from Queens.

Each taco uses two soft corn tortillas and are toasted on a grill. Schneider adds the beef cheek to the taco first, then tops it with cilantro and housemade pico de gallo.

For the Korean taco, Schneider begins by mixing Oaxaca’s braised beef with Korean barbecue sauce. Once the meat is coated, he adds the mixture to the soft corn tortillas.

"There were all these trucks in California that were doing these korean tacos, so we decided a couple of years ago to have fun with one," Schneider said.

The korean barbecue is topped with Asian pear-mango slaw, kimchee, lettuce and Korean gochujang, a spicy red paste made from red chili peppers.

The slaw is made from sliced pear and mangos which are marinated in a little vinegar and sesame seed oil, said Schneider.

Each taco is priced at $4.25. Visit oaxacatacos.com for a full menu.