Semi-Swanky Fare In Five Points

Corner Taco Dishes Up Semi-Swanky Fare In Five Points

This review was originally published in the Florida Times Union

One overcast afternoon near the corner of Post and Oak Streets in Five Points, an auction was taking place at the former location of Gina's Deli.  Since then, the space has undergone a total transformation into a bright, vibrant neighborhood taqueria.

Corner Taco owner Chris Dickerson, who honed his culinary skills at four-star restaurants in several states, started serving up gourmet tacos in 2011 at a Neptune Beach bar, before renovating a classic 1965 Airstream Globetrotter into a food truck featuring what he lovingly refers to as “semi-swanky street food.”

Three short years later, the airstream is parked in the side lot as Dickerson runs his brick and mortar restaurant - taking orders from behind the counter, checking on the crew’s progress in the kitchen, and buzzing around the dining room greeting customers. A line forms at the counter during peak lunch and dinner times, but it appears to move quickly, and the food seems to be coming out fast as well.

The restaurant’s mainstays include many of the food truck favorites, including “Semi-Swanky” Tacos (1 for $3.95, 2 for $7.50, 3 for $10.95) filled with Carnitas, Dijon-Buttermilk Fried Chicken, or Chicken marinated in their signature Fresh Thyme Vinaigrette
Dijon Buttermilk Fried Chicken Taco

“Semi-Swanktacular” Tacos (1 for $5.35, 2 for $9.95, 3 for $14.75) are Brisket, Daily Fish (typically Mahi Mahi, Grouper or Swordfish), Seared Asparagus, and The 5 Points (Tabouli and Hummus).

All tacos are served on a freshly made corn tortilla, with red cabbage, cilantro, lime, and a sweet chile-lemon sauce.

On our most recent visit, we honed in on a crowd-favorite from the food truck. The Dijon Buttermilk Fried Chicken taco sported juicy chunks of chicken in a super-crispy light coating made with rice flour. We were offered hot sauce, but it didn’t need any embellishment. The Brisket taco was pleasantly moist and savory without being overly salty. Dickerson explained that it gets a flavor boost from steeping in a porcini mushroom broth, and a mild, sweet heat from a dark red chile powder sourced from Chimayo, New Mexico.  A side of silky Black Beans ($3.95) with country ham also benefitted from the porcini broth.

The Daily Fish taco held tender Mahi-Mahi, perfectly seasoned. One of several vegan items on the menu, the Seared Asparagus taco was filled to the brim with tender-crisp asparagus spears. A light dusting of Maldon sea salt flakes added a fresh, briny note. 

A side of Quinoa ($3.95) reportedly contained red onion and orange, but neither was readily noticeable. Two tacos and one side proved more than enough for a satisfying mid-day meal.

Dickerson’s food philosophy centers around building clean, fresh flavors “using ingredients you can pronounce.” Most menu items are made fresh to order, many are gluten free. Fresh corn tortillas are formed in a custom-made tortilla maker, then dropped on the grill for a quick toasting. Dickerson said they have been averaging 500 -750 tortillas per day.

In the beverage department, we opted for a blood orange San Pellegrino. Seasonal Aguas Frescas are also available, along with Mexican Coke, beer and wine.

A selection of local beers on tap included Florida Saison from Green Room Brewing, Belgian Pale Ale from Aardwolf Brewery, Jon Boat from Intuition Ale Works, Brown Ale from Engine 15 Brewing Company, and Jai Alai from Cigar City Brewing.

We didn’t save room to try the Dyno-Mite nachos ($13.95), Cheddar & Brie Queso ($8.75, with chips) or Salad with Fresh Thyme Vinaigrette ($6.95), but we’ll be back.
See you there!

Corner Taco on Urbanspoon

Corner Taco

818 Post St., Jacksonville

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