Review: Villa Guerrero in Samseong-dong
Rumours have abounded in recent months of a new taco place in the middle of nowhere, at least from a culinary point of view. So when details of Villa Guerrero were posted up on social media for the third or fourth time, I resolved to get on the subway to a station that didn’t even exist a year or two ago, and check it out.
I’m going to cut the “dance of the seven veils” shit and get to the point. Villa Guerrero’s carnitas tacos are the absolute bomb, as Americans say. The meat is chopped to order, with a combination of soft, slow-cooked pork, some skin, and various other bits and pieces that are best not to inquire into but which add considerably to the overall effect. If you are squeamish about stomach lining, tongue or anything else, just ask them to leave it out. Then they add onion, guacamole, though they were out on Friday lunchtime when we visited, and copious cilantro (coriander).
The tacos came to the table quickly – we got lucky, apparently, since they were out of their regular five inch tortillas, so we got extra big tacos for the same price. The meat was juicy, unbelievably moist and tender, and packed with flavour. Goddamn, it was good. The sort of food you look forward to eating again, even as you’re eating it the first time. To adapt Raymond Chandler, this was a taco to make a bishop kick a hole in a stained glass window.
We also ordered some chorizo tacos (above), made with Villa Guerrero’s handmade chorizo meat. This was something wonderful as well – oily, as you can see from the photos, the chorizo oozed paprika-red juices all over the plate. A hint of spice but no more, and messy, but really good. They weren’t as special as the carnitas, but I’d have these again in a heartbeat. Both the carnitas and the chorizo tacos are 4,000 won each. Superb value, even if we got unusually large portions on the day we were in.
The star, for me, was the carnitas. I went with my coworker, who’s quite new to Korea and was craving something that didn’t come with rice. Having ordered six tacos in total, and consumed four in the space of about thirty seconds, I nobly gave him the choice between the remaining chorizo and carnitas taco. He went for the carnitas in a nanosecond. I was quietly sad, but resolved to go back again this week without the selfish bastard, and eat six carnitas tacos all by myself. I really think I can do it.
- Category: Mexican
- Price: $$$$
- Must try: Carnitas taco
- Subway: Samseong Jungang Station (삼성중앙역) exit 7.
- Directions: Samseong Jungang is a new station on line 9, on the way to Coex. Come out of exit 7 and turn left at Woori Bank. Villa Guerrero is 50 yards down the road on the right.
- Hours: 12-2:30 for lunch and 6-10pm dinner, Monday – Friday. They don’t open on weekends, and when they run out, they’re out! Check out their Facebook page, website or follow them on Instagram at @vgtacos.
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