Mar 022013
 

Taco Art, Crafted Beer

   Saucy Taco
450 State Road 13 Saint Johns FL 32259
(904) 287-8226

Great atmosphere at Saucy

Great atmosphere at Saucy

After picking my daughter up on Monday from school I noticed the much anticipated Saucy Taco was open!  Luckily I had my handy phone with me so I could snap some photos.

We were greeted with a smile and a completely renovated space at the new Saucy Taco in the St Johns area, just south of Jacksonville on opening night.  The decor was vintage Chevy.  Very fun!  Lots of wood, tin and photos of old Chevy trucks.

The hostess noticed my 4 year old dropped her sweater and promptly ran out into the rain to pick it up and then seated us immediately at a small booth.  I noticed the upbeat music right away – top 40 and at just the right level to add some festivity to the air.  There are lots of flat screen TV’s around for anyone that wants to watch a sporting event, without being obtrusive to those that don’t.

Our waitress, Corin, walked over to greet us with a smile and I asked her for a glass of the house chardonnay and if they have full bar – and they do!

House Wine for $3.75 at Saucy Taco!

House Wine for $3.75 at Saucy Taco!

After glancing at the menu, I was a bit disappointed I didn’t see any rice and bean tacos – all the menu items had meat and/ or dairy so I knew I would have to improvise.  No worries – there were plenty of choices!

Salads at Saucy Taco

Salads at Saucy Taco

Artful Tacos at Saucy Taco

Artful Tacos at Saucy Taco

Not much here on the kids menu for healthy fare.  We went with a few sides – beans and rice and inquired about the veggie – grilled tomatoes, onions and one other veggie I didn’t write down on my notes.  My 4 year old isn’t a huge tomato/onion fan so we skipped out on that.  Notice the lovely art work on the kids menu – the supply a paper version for kids to draw on which is nice – but remember to bring your crayons kids!

Saucy Taco Kids Menu

Saucy Taco Kids Menu

Pizzas at Saucy Taco

Pizzas at Saucy Taco

I went with the veggie taco – minus any dairy or avocado mayo and instead asked for seasoned avocado and a side of black beans and rice for $7. I also asked for some fresh hot salsa on the side.

Tacos at Saucy Taco

Tacos at Saucy Taco

When I got the tacos the first thing I noticed was I thought they did a great job with the plating – two tacos, beans and rice with a lime wedge on a spear.  Secondly I noticed that there was cheese on the black beans and on the taco when I hadn’t seen that on the menu.  Because I don’t have a dairy allergy (I choose not to eat it), and it was opening night, I removed the cheese by hand since I knew sending the food back would increase the wait time and with a child on hand we would have past the melting point.   The taste was good with the seasoned avocado and portion size was also ok-to-good –  there could maybe have been more veggies stuffed into the tacos but overall, for the price it was an ok-to-good value for the veggie plate. I LOVED the salsa and it appears to be made fresh, in house.  Our total bill with two meals, my daughter’s two sides, two glasses of wine and two beers was $37.

My suggestions to Saucy Taco (other than a black bean and veggie taco!) are to stuff more veggies in the taco, offer a brown rice option, some organic corn tortillas as a gluten free option, some standard steamed veggies for kids and to be sure to notate the presence of dairy on the items that have it – there are many folks with food allergies nowadays and one can’t be too careful.

On a scale of 1-10 here are my ratings.

Atmosphere for a storefront neighborhood restaurant - 10!
Price – 7
Plating – 7
Portion size – 6 (including the rice and beans)
Taste – 5
Value – 7
Uniqueness of food – 4
Attentive wait staff – 10**
Overall experience – 7 

**Corin did an excellent job of keeping tabs without overdoing it and even the busboy asked if we enjoyed our meal.

Vegetarian Taco

Vegetarian Taco

**Remember if you visit a restaurant in the first week of business to always give it another chance.  There are always kinks being worked out and next time you will know exactly what to ask for!

We will be visiting again soon to give it another try.

Saucy Taco on Urbanspoon

 Posted by at 12:26 pm

  19 Responses to “Restaurant Review of Saucy Taco, St Johns, Fl”

  1. Informative review. Might just give them a couple weeks to before we try:)

  2. Our family was very excited for a new restaurant in our area and was looking forward to the Saucy Taco. Unfortunately we were very disappointed. I am not sure what the posters above are thinking. ( actually they probably are affiliated)
    I ordered the chicken tacos for $9.00 and was expecting really high quality and good portions. The portion was so small that I was hungry after eating everything on my plate. I also got the beans and rice for my side and they came separate in two small containers. I had to mix the rice and beans myself. My wife got the carnitas tacos and she said the flavor was good but no where near the portion and quality expected for $9.00.

    We will not return. It is unfortunate because we really were hoping for a good new restaurant in our area.

    • Hi Jennifer! Thanks for the honest feedback! I absolutely am not affiliated with them in any way but I felt I needed to give a bit of leniency because we went on opening day. I do love the atmosphere and think it would be great to stop in for a drink at the bar. Also, don’t forget I didn’t get the meat so a) it was less expensive and b) the veggies and avocado weren’t bad. My father got the pork and was not happy.

      I can only hope they will see your comments and take them into account and make some changes – quickly!

      • Just got home. Disappointment is not even sufficient! The price…OMG! The beef had a smell…think it’s been frozen or something! Yuk, couldn’t finish. I ordered “house white”…the guy comes back with “something”, not white! He had some sort of cute retort! Not good, I too was excited for a new place to dine. Husband and son left hungry!

        • Hi Karry and thanks for the comment. I’ll say the same thing I said to Debra and hope that ST reads these reviews and takes some quick action because I haven’t heard anything good yet. I do suggest giving them one more chance since they are newly opened though!

          Dawn

  3. My husband and I were quite dissatisfied with our visit. As we walked through the door, instead of being asked how many, or any pleasant greeting, we got “Can I help you?” In a very harried voice. She then flagged down a bus boy and told him, “you have to seat these people”, and she walked away. Not a very welcome welcome . I had two small pieces of pork on my taco, also not fun having to mix your own rice and beans from those small cups. Our waitress disappeared after we needed one more minute to look at the menu…….which, please, make the name of the restaurant printing little smaller, and the menu printing larger. I was so looking forward this restaurant. Even with their over priced beer. I won’t be back.

    • Hi there and thanks for the comment! I hope Saucy Taco is reading these and takes all of our info as constructive feedback and takes some action quickly! I know they are newly open so I do suggest giving them another chance and then making the decision.

      Thanks again!
      Dawn

  4. Have been twice – once the second morning the restaurant opened and a few days after when our outdoor plans were canceled due to weather. The service both times was fine as we had 6-8 ladies each visit. I prefer spicier foods especially in Mexican dishes and found the signature dish “Saucy Tacos” to be quite bland and actually lukewarm as was one of the appetizers that a friend ordered – lukewarm chipotle queso dip. The waiter replaced the appetizer on request so I’ll have to ding the kitchen for that one. I can’t even remember the dish I ordered the second visit so that may tell you something. But, I will try again as the Mexican Pizzas and salads looked really really good. I think overall the restaurant has a fun lite atmosphere and dedicated friendly staff. I love the name and the idea behind it but I don’t like the “Mexican Lite Fusion/American” food. WAY TO BLAND! Add a little chili powder and cumin to some of your dishes and we may be on to something; bump up your sauces a little too please!

    • Jay – GREAT comment and I love the suggestions. I agree about adding some chili powder and cumin to pump it up a bit. There definitely needs to be some flair there. I think that is what people expect when they go to a taco place.

      • Have been back several times since my last comment. Had one of the pizzas and while I’m not crazy about the lettuce I was BLOWN AWAY by the fresh jalapenos! How original and what a gutsy move, this is where fresh flavor really works. Next visit I ordered the taco salad (extra jalas) with beef which I NEVER do because I encounter such low grade beef at a typical Mexican style restaurant and I was quite impressed – very tasty and beautifully presented! My last visit I just had an appetizer and the waitress, who actually remembered the beer I liked best from that really cool sample tray several weeks before!, brought over a smoky flavored sauce and a slightly sweet glaze that the chef had whipped up that morning that I could dip my appetizer into and I was very impressed. I’m guessing that in due time and hitting the right mix of flavors I’m predicting a Saucy Taco franchise!!! Can I get in on this action please!

  5. I live nearby, and have been there 3 times since it opened. I couldn’t be more happy. Some of the microbrews (huge selection) can be a little pricey, but that shouldn’t phase a microbrew drinker. A happy hour Yuengling @ $2.25 sure didn’t break my bank.
    I’ve had both the saucy taco and the barbacoa tacos. Both were very tasty. After trying both, I prefer the soft tacos. I made sure to get the hotter green salsa. I like spicy, and while I could stand it hotter (I say that with most things), I think it’s plenty hot enough for most folks. I like the chips they’re served with. They seem to be made with some kind of fine corn flour, and they puff up when fried. They’re crunchy, with just the nice bit of chewiness from time to time. Try them with the chorizo queso. That stuff is excellent.

    The portions for the things I’ve tried are fine for me. Me and the GF actually stopped in one night and just shared the tacos with a chips and salsa for the side, and that was just right for an 8pm meal. If someone really needs too much food for too little money, there’s a Mickey D’s right across the parking lot. I’ll stick with the taco place, as there are a lot of other things on the menu I’d like to try.

  6. I went for the first time with my 3 kids tonight and I was not impressed. I realize that we are from Texas, so we have different standards for Mexican food, but everything was simply fair, especially considering the price that we paid. My daughter and I enjoyed the creamy chipotle sauce on the saucy taco, and while the black beans were adequate, the rice was very bland. The chips were freah and obviously homemade, but the choriso queso lacked flavor. They also tout that everything is homemade but the flour tortillas are obvously store-bought. A tortilla machine is not hard to buy or maintain and would greatly improve the quality of the food. At this point, my kids and I would rather hit Chipotle down the road for better quality food, not to mention that it would cost me half the price.

    • Amen to that for food quality – love Chipotle – but I will admit I love the atmosphere at Saucy. If you are from Texas then you know a good taco!

  7. Went for the second time tonight and we LOVE IT. So excited to have something different in the area. I got the southern fried chicken tacos the first time and tonight I got a mexican pizza. The pizza is big enough for two people, so a great value. My husband could watch golf while I visited with my kids and Dad. Love the atmosphere. It is so nice and relaxing. Our waitress was so attentive and we could not have asked for better service. I read the above comments and was so surprised. If you go to Chipotle or Moe’s you are going to pay around the same price and not have the great atmosphere. Went to Chipotle’s last week and had to stand around and wait for a table and it was noisy and chaotic. You have to stand in line and order your food. There is no comparison. For those who have not gone to Saucy Taco, please give it a try. We lose too many restaurants in this area and I know we will continue to support them.

    • Lisa,

      I agree that the atmosphere is nice and is not the same as Chipotle. (I do not frequent Moe’s.) But the price is NOWHERE near the same to feed my family. My kids all order adult meals, so the costs start adding up fast when 2 adults are not splitting a meal, as you did (which would put you at Chipotle prices). The wait staff was great, but I am about food quality for the price. I don’t mind spending money on a good dinner occassionally, but I spent $85 to feed a family of 4 with 4 meals, chips and queso and 2 margaritas. It was not worth that price for the quality of food.

      Lori

  8. Interesting Comments, as I think I have a knack at this kind of critiquing! Totally agreed, portion sizes small with Big prices. However, the quality of the Fried Chicken Tacos were especially good. Funny though, I didn’t have that ” full” feeling after eating either. Good for the belly, maybe not so for the wallet, but I will say the quality was good. The service was a little too friendly. Seemed like they were told to pay attention, and showed up over several times with not much spacing in between…..I mean I like good service, but…… The atmosphere was nice, clean, new…..I think it will be a success, but not for regulars feeding kids on a budget! I am glad to see something newer though in this area, where good quality, affordable places are lacking!!

  9. We arrived on Monday at 1 for lunch
    Nice atmosphere. Nice menu choices
    I wanted fish tacos. They were out of fish! Strange because they are next to publix!

    Took way too long to get chicken tacos 35 or more minutes. The industry standard is 13 to 15 minutes. Way too much white lettuce on top of soft tacos. The chicken was weird texture like shredded purée. Weird

    Excellent service. Good chips and salsa. Yumm

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