Whenever I travel, I do not leave home without gluten-free snacks to tide me over on the road or the Find Me Gluten-Free app, which allows me to make on-the-go decisions about where to stop for food along the way. Knowing I’d be heading up to Jacksonville this past week for a meeting, I used the latter to seek out gluten-free eats to check out while in the city.
As it happened, I was immediately drawn to one particular listing: Corner Taco, a farm-to-table taco joint with foodie flair. The overwhelmingly positive reviews I read blew every other restaurant listed out of the park and the prospect of an uber gluten-free friendly dining spot sealed the deal, and proved to be a perfect combination. Located in Riverside, one of Jacksonville’s more prominent foodie destinations, I couldn’t wait to see if the hype surrounding Corner Taco was well earned.
Arriving during the lunch hour, Corner Taco was busy, but definitely not stuffy or overcrowded. The minimalistic design gives an cool trendy vibe that is not pretentious at all, and provides a nice relief from the heat of a summer afternoon. As I entered, I was pleased to see that the massive chalkboard menu had a prominently featured notation that was music to my ears:
Taking in the rest of the menu, which takes its cues from Mexican and Mediterranean inspirations, I was glad to note that the “unless noted” portion of their gluten-free claim was minimal on the menu (avoid the croutons on your salad), leaving most of the offerings gluten-free. Also present on the menu was a notation identifying vegan options, of which there were many. When I asked about dairy, the culprits are in obvious places such as the cheese on nachos, queso, and quesadillas.
All of the corn tortillas served at Corner Taco are gluten-free, and made in-house. For those who seek gluten-free novelty, I’ll point you in the direction of the dijon buttermilk fried chicken, which is four words that are not often associated with gluten-free fare. The fried chicken does contain buttermilk however, so I had to go in a different culinary direction. I quickly zeroed in on the semi-swanky tacos, especially the jerk chicken ones, and decided to order a trio to try.
When the tacos arrived, I was impressed with their vibrant hues, and the ample amount of filler each held. The jerk chicken, spicy, sweet, and cooked to a slow-roasted perfection, was well seasoned and absolutely divine for this jerk spice lover. Accompanied by shredded cabbage, cilantro, lime wedges, and a delicious dressing, the flavor of the chicken was complemented and enhanced to a delicious perfection. Everything was noticeably fresh and flavorful, and the hardworking 6″ tortillas did well to hold the toppings together without breaking mid way or leaking all over the plate- two taco pet peeves I cannot stand. The three tacos were enough to fill me up for lunch, and keep my satisfied for the two hour drive back to Orlando.
Corner Taco is one of those restaurants that I would intentionally seek out again whenever I am in close proximity to the Jacksonville area. You just cannot beat a restaurant where dairy-free and gluten-free dining is both easy and delicious, and still special thanks to carefully curated ingredients that are of the highest quality. Corner Taco definitely has a swanky swagger, but delivers real food at a price that makes it affordable and accessible for all as an equal opportunity taco joint.