City Foundry’s long-awaited food hall in midtown St. Louis debuted in August with a starting lineup of 10 eateries, including a popular transplant from Cherokee Street: Kalbi Taco Shack.
After five years in St. Louis’ Benton Park neighborhood, the Asian Mexican fusion eatery outgrew its original space and prepared for expansion. At City Foundry, the family-owned business works out of a kitchen twice the size of the one in its former home and streamlined its menu to serve a larger, more centralized audience.
“It’s so amazing how customers have followed us over here from Cherokee, and it’s been great meeting so many new people here, too,” says chef and co-owner Sue Wong-Shackelford. “I’m so proud and humbled by the support.”
During Kalbi’s first month at City Foundry, Wong-Shackelford worked with her husband, Mark, and their daughters, Olivia and Sierra, to feed throngs of visitors and served 16,000 orders of tacos in addition to a rotating set of entrées. The new fast-casual counter features its previously established bright yellow color scheme accented by red shutters and a dragon mural by local artist Patrick Weck.
Kalbi Taco Shack’s menu centers on its namesake tacos, which are served on soft tortillas and topped with house-made Asian slaw, Kalbi-aioli sauce and a lime wedge. In addition to tacos, rotating entrées are available. Options vary by day and include rice bowls, burritos, quesadillas and “tot-chos” (a take on nachos with Tater Tots and Asian queso.)
Each item is prepared with Wong-Shackelford’s house-made Asian-inspired marinades; guests can choose from boneless beef short ribs, sweet and spicy pork, teriyaki chicken, sweet and spicy chicken, and two vegan or vegetarian options: sautéed tofu or sweet and spicy jackfruit. A new option occasionally on special is the hot buffalo zing – spicy chicken with an Asian twist.
To pair with the unique fusion fare, guests can choose from sides including chips and house-made salsa, as well as drinks like Vietnamese iced coffee and bubble tea. Going forward, Wong-Shackelford hopes to bring customer favorites, such as brunch burritos and pan-seared cod tacos, back into the mix. For now, she and her family are working diligently to cook their one-of-a-kind tacos for an eager new demographic.
Kalbi Taco Shack, 3730 Foundry Way, St. Louis, 314-240-5544, kalbitacoshack.com