Typically, you won’t find tacos on the menu at Ethiopian and Caribbean restaurants. Mesob (3601 Broadway Blvd., KCMO), which specializes in both cuisines, has been offering up its own interpretation of street tacos on Tuesday nights since August.
There are at least half a dozen tacos featured, all served in corn tortillas and priced between $3 and $4. Chef and co-owner Cherven Desauguste changes the menu frequently, adding new items like his Caribbean nachos.
Mesob’s oxtail—braised in rum with carrots, onions and a fragrant mixture of Caribbean spices—is served with baby arugula, jalapenos and a puree of oxtail stock-braised carrots. It’s a double-punch of rich flavor, and each bite will fill you with a spreading warmth. The lamb is similarly braised and served with a thick smoked peach and habanero salsa. I loved the Haitian griyo (or griot) featuring cubes of citrus-braised and flash-fried pork shoulder with a pretty purple cabbage slaw.
Desauguste has always offered conch meat lightly breaded in flour and buttermilk and fried like calamari as an appetizer. His conch works just as well in taco form, dressed with a rum-ginger-chile glaze and feta cheese. The jerk shrimp was imbued with a shock wave of heat, nicely offset by pineapple-mango salsa.
“Adding the tacos on Tuesday has brought in way more customers,” Desauguste says. “Even before Covid, Tuesdays were usually our slowest night, and it was really hard after the [quarantine] shutdown to get them going again, but now they’re starting to be our biggest night.”