Last Bite: Street Corn
By Olivia Kappler + Sierra Smith
One of the summer’s tastiest treats — corn — is finally in season! Who hasn’t overindulged in a few too many butter-smothered cobs during a backyard barbecue? To mix it up a little and give your palate a change of pace, why not try out a Mexican street corn? Part spicy, part sweet, and always grilled to perfection, this traditional cuisine will transport you from your humdrum, everyday life to the vibrant streets of Mexico.
The editors here at Edible Allegheny took a vote and the results were unanimous: if you want to indulge in some real deal street corn, you have to check it out at täkō, the Downtown Mexican-Asian fusion dining experience. “Right now, Mexican Cuisine as a whole has become very popular, and at the same time, street foods have become very popular,” says Dave Racicot, täkō’s chef de cuisine. “I think that’s kind of just a natural thing for Mexican street foods to be popular in the country right now.”
Although täkō is more well-known for its eponymous taco, featuring grilled octopus — “tako” is octopus in Japanese! — harissa aioli, and a blend of herbs and pickled veggies, the restaurant’s take on Mexican street corn really takes it up a notch.
Racicot and his team start by roasting whole ears of corn in the oven for about 30 minutes. From there, the husks are peeled back, all of the silk is removed, and the cobs spend a little time on the grill to get a kiss of caramelization. With just enough char for a smoky flavor, the corn is tossed in oregano butter — a mix of fresh oregano, butter, garlic, and shallots — and slathered in Sriracha mayonnaise. “[The oregano butter and Sriracha mayonnaise] are two things that are a little bit different,” Racicot says. The sauces are to die for, adding a little kick that sets täkō’s street corn apart from others. And with a generous coating of cotija cheese, a sprinkle of pepper flakes, and a squeeze of lime for extra acidity, the street corn is ready to be enjoyed.
With just one bite of the crunchy, yet creamy, dish, and you’ll see why we’re hooked. And if you come to täkō for the street corn, you'll want to stay for the large tequila selection and spirited atmosphere. We’ll see you there!
täkō, 214 6th St., Downtown, 412.471.8256. takopgh.com.