It used to be that you could get any food from a food truck … as long as it was french fries. What became popular in Los Angeles with its Korean taco food trucks has spawned into a new type of eatery across the U.S. These are not your 'roach coaches' of the past. These food trucks are clean, trendy, and yes, even sophisticated. But, was it good eats? MelLo went on assignment to find out.
Jax Truckies on Facebook gives a run down on where each food truck is every day. Some are downtown, some at Southside, some are catering private events, and some are home trying out new recipes. Food trucks are relatively new to Jax. We weren't even sure how they worked. Was it like a drive thru, where we order from one window, then walk to the next window to get our food? Was it like the ice cream trucks, where they are constantly on the move and buying an ice cream was more a matter of being in the right spot at the right time?
MelLo went to Corner Taco, which on this particular day was at 501 Riverside, behind the old fire station, by the Riverwalk. Corner Taco is an Airstream RV. They had put out umbrellas and chairs nearby, but there were also benches from the Riverwalk to sit on. We were the first in line at 11:20 eagerly awaiting opening time at 11:30. The owner/chef was in the process of making the taco shells from scratch. Yes, the soft corn tortilla shells are made fresh.
MelLo ordered the Dijon Buttermilk taco, the featured Korean Brisket taco, the Carnita taco, and the Espresso Blackened Grouper taco. There were a few more menu choices, like Jerk Chicken taco, Tempeh taco, nachos, and salad. As we waited for our order, a line up was starting. The man behind us had eaten there yesterday, as well. The group of women behind him gave the chef some chocolate. There's a definite following to Corner Taco and food trucks in general.
The buttermilk fried chicken was, as Mel said, "fried to perfection. It has now set my mouth into heavenly happiness." The Korean taco was sublime, having a "perfect symphony of divine taste." The brisket was seasoned with soy and rice vinegar. The carnitas taco uses seasoned, shredded pork. It's a bit spicy, and so delicious. The espresso blackened grouper had a healthy portion of grouper, every bit of spice complementing all the other ingredients. Each taco was served with a lime wedge, a fresh sprig of cilantro, and a little shredded red cabbage for crunch. They all added to the freshness of each taco. As for the soft corn taco shells, there's no comparison to store bought shells. These were melt in your mouth fresh, and set off all the flavors of the tacos perfectly.
But we didn't, nor could we, stop at the tacos. We stopped two men who had ordered the nachos to take a photo of their food and they were nice enough to let us sample the nachos. It was a generous portion of tortilla chips and cheese. You can order carnita meat topping, but these were even good naked.
Mel's final words, as we dragged ourselves away from Corner Taco, "I have not eaten a better taco. Now that's going to make a lot of people angry, me saying that, but it's true." Corner Taco? Sublime Taco!
A complete listing of food trucks in Jacksonville