Thursday, February 5, 2009


I've been reaching out to friends recently and asking them to donate ideas for places to go, things to do, etc. around the area. Basically I'm asking them to do the hard work here and find me good content. I could be a great manager. The downside to these pleas for assistance is that I'm essentially forced to tell them about my little web log and then, to my great horror, they actually come here and read it. So recently a friend told me about a new CaliMex restaurant that opened up on the beach end of Beach Blvd. I've broadcast my indifference towards the sloppy, refried variety of Mexican food many times throughout these electronic pages but I was assured that TacoLu was of a different breed. Spicy AND fresh? Excitedly, I scheduled a visit for the following day.


As far as I can tell, TacoLu is a one-of-a-kind restaurant yet still has that same level of professionalism and attention to presentation that chains like Tijuana Flats excel at. Nice website, clever copy, good graphic design on the menus; all the signs that would lead you to expect to find a TacoLu in every major city but it looks as though we've got the only one. TacoLu takes a proud stance on its tacos, arrogantly and rightfully proclaiming that anyone seeking a "regular" taco can run down the street to [$ YOUR CORPORATE FRANCHISE NAME HERE! $] for a sloppy mass of prepackaged near-food. Here they make almost everything fresh and prefer to take novel approaches to the art of el taco, specializing in the use of atypical ingredients like fish (I know it's becoming more common but [$ YOUR CORPORATE FRANCHISE NAME HERE! $] still doesn't offer it), lamb, and brisket.

tacolu tacos

I had been led to expect a more gaudy atmosphere but there was really nothing unusual here, pretty much your typical nouveau CaliMex set up.

I came precariously close to an embarrassing outburst upon my initial scan over the menu.

"No burritos? This is ridiculous!"

Luckily my morning coffee had worn off and my energy levels were low from not having eaten in for a couple hours so these exclamations deteriorated into a weary mumble by the time they reached my mouth. So, tacos it was, but what a selection. At $2.95 a pop for the "regular" kind and $3.50 for the specialties, ordering two or three will get you a reasonably sized (and priced) meal.

tacolu enchiladas

I opted for the Baja Fish Taco (Beer battered Mahi, served on a homemade corn tortilla, with cabbage, pico, crema, cilantro, lime) and the Chingona Chicken (spicy chicken with a tomatillo/chiles de arbol salsa on a freshly made corn tortilla, plus diced onion and cilantro). My wife ordered the Suizas Stacked Enchilada (freshly made corn tortillas layered with pulled, roasted chicken, topped with a creamy tomatillo sauce and Monterrey Jack cheese) which I gladly helped consume despite not being too fond of the typical enchilada.

The food was amazing. Seriously. Far exceeded our expectations and more than made up for the long drive. Although it looks like a freezer section fish stick, the fried fish on the Baja Fish Taco is actually quite tasty and the Chingona Chicken Taco was incredible. I'm tempted to go back and order one of each taco on the menu because if they're any where near as good as the two I had then it will be worth the money and extra calories.

tacolu tacos2

Hands down, best Mexican inspired food I've had in the area. But if you're still not convinced you ought to give it a try then get this: I didn't see it on the menu when I was there but they have a drink that combines a glass of PBR with a shot of tequila. What's it called? The Dirty Sanchez. Go. Now.

TacoLu Baja Mexicana
1183 Beach Blvd.
Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250
(904) 249-TACO(8226)

TacoLu on Urbanspoon


TP3 said...

Your blog is awesome. I happened upon it while searching for a place to eat Turkish kebab in Jacksonville. Your mission statement is directly on point. Jacksonville provides an abundance of opportunities if we will just do a little research and make an effort.

I have a suggestion for you. There is a restaurant called, Balkan Cafe. The owners are from Bosnia and, as the name suggests, they serve traditional Balkan food. They are located at:

8595 Beach Blvd # 305 (in the Food Lion shopping center)

Keep up the good work. Cheers.

01001111 said...

Thanks so much for the kind words and for the suggestion. I've actually been hoping to find a Bosnian/Balkan restaurant around town and figured they would be more plentiful given the large number of people here who came from that region. I'll definitely head to the Balkan Cafe within the next couple weeks. Thanks.

nicky longlunch said...

the bangin' shrimp taco at tacolu is amazing as well. it's a party in yr mouth, for sure.

there are also some good Pakistani, Vietnamese and Thai places along Beach Blvd. check those out sometime.

01001111 said...

@nicky longlunch: I've been craving more tacos ever since my first visit to the almighty TacoLu. Next time I'm going to go on a rampage so if the bangin' shrimp is on the menu then it's going in my mouth.

I'd love to hit up some of those ethnic restaurants you mentioned and any others you can recommend. Do you have names or any general info on these places? If you like foreign cuisine and haven't already been, try Pisco's Peruvian Restaurant on Southside. After visiting numerous local establishments, using this blog as an excuse, it's still one of my favorites in the area.

foodie said...

I love TacoLu. I have passed Pisco's a few times and wondered about it. Based on your review I'll have to add it to my list of must-try restaurants.