Hidden Gems: Corner Taco
WJCTNews.org's "Hidden Gems" is a web-only series checking out some of the great places in Jacksonville you may not know exist.
The atmosphere of Corner Taco is an elevated version of your typical southwestern joint — $3 craft beer, gourmet tacos and a handwritten menu that takes up an entire wall.
I asked the hostess what to get, and she immediately suggests "whatever the special is" because "it's always good."
I introduce myself to a few people in line and ask for a quick lunch suggestion. Most everyone shares something along the lines of, "I come here all the time — literally — get anything."
House-made chorizo, yucca fries and white cheddar and brie queso are a few of the menu items keeping locals like Britney Dickens coming back every week. Dickens visits Corner Taco because the restaurant is "close enough to downtown" where she works.
Another Jacksonville resident in line for food, Lisa Spofford, said she was there for the "really fresh fried chicken," which she described as, "not greasy" and an order she thinks beats out many other restaurants fried chicken recipes, "hands down."
For vegetarian and vegan folks, Corner Taco has an asparagus taco and tempeh protein topping - as well as several non-meaty side dishes like black beans and basmati rice, hummus and homemade guacamole.
Owner and long time Jacksonville resident Chris Dickerson is quick to serve and introduce himself to Corner Taco patrons - myself included. When we visited, Dickerson shared his mission, long term vision and kitchen space with me. A stand out memory was his fresh tortilla maker that creates several of the restaurant's popular corn tortilla's every minute.
Dickerson makes "every attempt to source locally" and shares farmers and vendors with restaurants like Black Sheep and Orsay.
Corner Taco is good for grab and go or delivery lunch, date night, and drinks with friends. The layout is small, but efficient. There are two bars, a large table to fit a family or party of eight, and several smaller tables to fit parties of two and four.
If you're wanting to try out Corner Taco and haven't yet, I'd suggest arriving just before lunch rush, or ordering the food by delivery. If you're within three miles of Corner Taco, delivery service Community Couriers will bring your order directly to you. That service is available from Monday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
You can follow Shannon Leduke @shannonleduke.