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Authentic “Original” Okinawan Tacos! A Popular Shop in Koza “CHARLIE’S TACOS”
post : 2015.01.14 19:00
Okinawa has a unique ‘Champru (mixed up)’ food culture, and Tacos is a typical example. It was born and developed in Mexico, and is now popular in Okinawa as a B-class gourmet food.
There are many popular Tacos shops, but do you know which a real “original” one is?
“CHARLIE’S TACOS”, which still retains some remnants of Showa period (1926–89), is located on the Park Avenue in Koza (Presently Okinawa City). It was opened in 1956! Their sales copy is “The First Tacos Shop in Okinawa”. The CHARLIE’S TACOS is one of the longest-established shops, which has been loved by not only the local “Kozanchu (residents of Koza)” but also tourists and foreign customers for more than a half century.
Tacos is generally known as an American-type Tacos of crunchy shells, and in Mexico, the home to Tacos, tortilla, a type of soft, thin flatbread is also popular.
In 1950s, Charlie-san, the establisher of the CHARLIE’S TACOS, produced his original Tacos. A brilliant balance of corn flour and whole wheat flour creates an excellent glutinous texture. It has just the right texture, being not too soft, and not too hard.
Eating his freshly-cooked Tacos, you can enjoy a crunchy texture of the outside surface yet a glutinous texture of the inner texture.
His Tacos has plenty of fillings!
The regular Tacos is of course “Beef Tacos” (250 yen per piece, tax included), and the most popular menu item is “Tacos Set 1”, with which you can enjoy three different-filling Tacos: beef, chicken and tuna at one time with a drink (780 yen, tax included).
The beef that has less water, which is why you can enjoy the original taste of it (shown on the front in the picture), the chicken that has simple, fresh flavor (shown on the middle) and the refreshing tuna that perfectly goes well with Tacos. Those three- flavored Tacos makes a good balance totally.
Especially it has just the right size for one big bite. Everybody is happy about the ‘easy to eat’ charm, but the best way to enjoy the Tacos Set 1 is not eating one by one but eating half a piece of one flavor and trying a half of another flavor to savor the difference in flavor.
And one more important thing is “Original Sauce”.
Using ‘shimatogarashi (island chili pepper)’, they prepare a little hot chili sauce, which makes each ingredient taste even better.
(Of course, first please enjoy the taste without the sauce.)
The shop has a variety of menu items. Especially “Steak Sandwich” (530 yen, tax included) is the most popular item other than tacos menu!
Full bun of about 120 x 80mm has a hearty beefsteak. The steak is cooked just enough, and tastes rich, which makes a great combination with cooked onion, fresh lettuce and tomatoes.
Please enjoy it when your steak is still hot!
The CHARLIE’S TACOS treasures an everlasting, simple flavor.
“I found a classic here.” That’s what I thought when I visited this shop.
Address: 4-11-5, Chuo, Okinawa City
Opening Hours: 10:00 to 21:00
Closed on Thursdays (If a holiday falls on a Thursday, we are open.)
Okinawa CLIP Photo Writer Kiwamu Ogawa (Qey Word)