Drive-by Tasting: One visit. One meal. One shot to get it right

TRIPLE THREAT | The trio of pork tacos from Goghee To Go packs some major punch.

Goghee To Go Korean BBQ Tacos

Growing up in Mesquite might not sound like an ideal setting to reflect my Latino heritage, but despite my white middle class neighborhood, one thing Mom didn’t skip out on was the cuisine. These street tacos gringos have been fawning over for a few years? Old hat. Barbacoa? Been there, done that — decades ago.

So when I heard a new taco stand was opening on Inwood in the Medical District, I yawned. What’s another taqueria to me?

That quickly changed when I discovered the twist: Goghee To Go offers Korean barbecue tacos. This was a perfect fit for the rules of Drive-by Tasting: One critic, no guests, visiting someplace new for lunch or a casual dinner. And we keep it cheap.

Menu options were easy but also impressive. I could get meat (goghee in Korean) prepared several ways, and all for $6.25 (chicken $5.95). The torta and nachos sounded good, but I opted for the simple three tacos plate with pork in a corn tortilla. (Options include beef as well as a portabella for non-meat eaters.)

The tacos came bustling with a zesty slaw in a Styrofoam box. Clearly, the environment is not on their minds, but who cares when this concoction is a fireworks display in both looks and taste.  The spicy factor is enough to clear the sinuses but won’t turn off anybody sensitive to even a little heat. The slaw, along with the pico and sesame soy sauce vinaigrette, really punches the flavor up but there is enough meat to get a balanced taste.

Goghee’s shtick is how they marinate their meats, and they do so to nice effect. The pork delivered in both natural flavor and a subtle saltiness. Some bites were a tad tougher than others, but this is minor compared to the overall satisfaction of the meal.

I was happily coerced into buying the half-order of their new menu item Goghee gimchee fries. Mostly covered by the same accoutrements, the fries also come topped with jack and cheddar cheeses and a creamy fresca sauce along with the same meat selections. I had mine with beef. This was a slight miss because the meat makes it too heavy, unless you’re a college student and actually want fries as your meal.

Goghee To Go really is a taco stand, with tables outside for dining for walkups and a drive-thru window. They cook the food directly upon ordering so they have the freshness factor down pat, but the wait could have easily gone a few moments too long.

Overall impression: The lady behind the counter was filled with bubbly customer service and knew her menu. GTG is simple and hip with lingering flavor, but not in a bad way.

Recommended: Yes.

— Rich Lopez

—  John Wright

DART Green Line coming to Oak Lawn

24-mile extension of DART train route will include 4 stops in, around Oak Lawn, making travel easier for YFT and food pantry clients

DAVID TAFFET  |  Staff Writer taffet@dallasvoice.com

ALL ABOARD | DART’s Green Line already includes a stop in Deep Ellum, pictured, and Victory Plaza. Beginning Monday, the train will also make stops near Youth First Texas’ location, the Resource Center Dallas Food Pantry and Parkland Hospital. (David Taffet/Dallas Voice)

On Dec. 6, DART opens a 24-mile extension of the Green Line with four stations in and around Oak Lawn.

The four new Oak Lawn-area stations are Market Center Station, Southwestern Medical District/Parkland Station, Inwood/Love Field Station and Burbank Station.

Market Center Station is the first stop north of Victory Station. The American Airlines Arena was the northern terminus of the original four miles of the Green Line that opened in 2009 in time to connect riders from the Red and Blue Lines to the State Fair.

Located on Harry Hines Boulevard, Market Center Station should have greatest impact on the youngest members of LGBT community.Located across the street from Youth First Texas, the rail link will make services to the center available to hundreds more young people.

Youth First Texas Director of Development and Administration Sam Wilkes said the organization chose their new location partially because of the proximity to DART.

“Being at a DART hub, we’re excited to see how many will access Youth First Texas now that the line has come to fruition,” Wilkes said.

Bus service has been available, but waiting for a train at a well-lit station at night is safer and the service easier to access, he said.

Parkland Station, the second new Oak Lawn area stop, is located between Maple Avenue and Harry Hines Boulevard near Hudnall Street. Once the new Parkland Hospital is built, the stop will be at the facility’s entrance.

For now, DART will be a short one-block walk away from the main hospital, AIDS clinic Amelia Court, Zale-Lipshy and Children’s Hospital. St. Paul Hospital and the rest of UT Southwestern are a longer walk and connected by shuttle bus service.

Inwood Station on Inwood Road at Denton Drive Cutoff is across the street from the Resource Center Dallas Nutrition Center/Food Pantry. The Dallas Eagle is a block south and Cathedral of Hope is two blocks north. Resource Center Dallas’ proposed new building is also a block from this stop.

“It will make it quicker and easier for clients who access the pantry, especially those who travel great distances,” said Resource Center Dallas spokesman Rafael McDonnell.

The pantry is bracing for new clients who will now be able to access the agency’s services more easily. But McDonnell wasn’t worried about shortages of food due to additional clients.

“We’ll let folks know and we hope they’ll step up as usual,” McDonnell said.

Cathedral of Hope spokesman Coy James said, “We have lots of people who commute from all over the place. We have people who currently use the bus to get to services.”

He said that a number of church staff members were looking at ways to use the train to commute to work.

“We’re looking forward to it,” he said.

To travel by DART to Love Field, bus 39 will connect Inwood Station with the airport terminal. That bus line will operate daily.

Large parking areas will open for commuters from Oak Lawn at Market Center, Inwood and Parkland Stations. Parking in DART lots is free.

The final new Oak Lawn area station is Burbank Station at the north end of Love Field adjacent to Southwest Airlines corporate headquarters. Southwest employees can get to work and Love Field West neighborhood commuters may take advantage of this stop, although no parking is available.

North of Love Field is Bachman Station, located just south of Northwest Highway at Denton Drive. Two more stations in Dallas are located at Walnut Hill Road and Royal Lane along Denton Drive before the Green Line heads into Farmers Branch and Carrollton.

Rafael McDonnell

Next summer, Green Line commuters will be able to travel all the way to Denton when the A Train opens. That line will connect Downtown Denton to Trinity Mills Station with four other stops along the 21-mile route.

From the southern end of the Green Line at Fair Park, four new stations in Pleasant Grove and South Dallas extend the line to the southeast corner of Loop 12.

Also opening Monday is the first phase of the Orange Line. Eventually, that route will connect the system with DFW Airport. Originally the Orange Line will duplicate service from other lines on a limited schedule.

The Orange Line will follow the Red Line route from Plano through Downtown Dallas. Rather than continue to Oak Cliff, the Orange Line will head north along the Green Line route from West End Station to Bachman Station.

When the Orange Line is completed, it will head west from Bachman Lake through Irving and Las Colinas to the airport. The first Irving phase should open in 2012.

Also opening on Monday is the new Lake Highlands Station on Walnut Hill Road at White Rock Trail. This infill stop is between the White Rock Station and LBJ/Skillman Station on the Blue Line. That station will provide an extra stop for White Rock Lake skateboarders, joggers or bike riders taking their bicycles on the train to the trail.

The Blue Line that now terminates in Garland will continue to Rowlett by 2012.

Also planned but without construction dates are a second Downtown alignment. During rush hours, three lines heading through Downtown on one set of tracks gets congested. Now the Orange Line and the expanded service on the Green Line will add extra rail traffic.

The Blue Line will expand south from Ledbetter Station to the new UNT Dallas campus in South Dallas. No date for that expansion is set.

The opening of 15 stations along 24 miles of new track is the largest single-day expansion of a light rail system in the country since 1990. The $1.8 billion Green Line opens on time and within budget.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 3, 2010.

—  Michael Stephens