If you're a fan of authentic Mexican-style tacos, burritos and other traditional dishes, you'll want to check out the brand new Taqueria Cinco that's opening in Five Points Tuesday, Aug. 27.
The roughly 700-square foot restaurant is located at 809 Lomax St., next to the Wells Fargo. It will be serving lunch and dinner throughout the week, as well as brunch on the weekends.
“Our concept is really inspired by bodegas, or small food stores,” said one of the owners, Eddy Escriba. “Being that it is in Five Points, we decided to do a playoff, you know, with the name in being Cinco. Taqueria Cinco. Five Points. Cinco Puntos. That's where the name came about."
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Taqueria Cinco is a partnership between Escriba, Marco Monroy and Matt Kemper. Both Escriba and Monroy were original concept creators of Burrito Gallery back in 2004, but the two separated from the local restaurant chain in 2015.
Escriba said he then traveled to Mexico City and Arizona, where he gained inspiration for the foods behind the restaurant. He brought that inspiration back with him to Jacksonville in 2018.
If you ask Escriba to compare Taqueria Cinco's food to other popular Mexican restaurants in the city, he would tell you there's a lot of fusion dishes and Tex-Mex. When asked to compare its food to Burrito Gallery, for instance, he said, "that was more California-style food."
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"We're bringing back a lot of originality in our food," he said. "Very traditional to authentic Mexican food ... our tacos are very unique, very authentic to a taco you would get in the streets of Mexico City."
Escriba added that their methods of cooking will also focus more on traditional methods and recipes he picked up during his travels, like their taco al pastor, or shaved pork. He said Taqueria Cinco will be the only place in Jacksonville where you can get it like you would get it in Mexico.
“[We’ll] utilize the vertical rotisserie,” Escriba said. “On Fridays and Saturdays, you’ll be able to get the al pastor that is shaved off … like a gyro.”
Some other traditional taco varieties include their Chicken Tinga tacos (slow-cooked chicken with onions and chipotle sauce) and their Conchinita Pibil tacos (Yucatan-style roasted pork wrapped in banana leaves with citrus and spices, pickled onions, Habanero-carrot salsa), which they debuted back in March during the Gastro Fest. Their food sold out within hours of the festival, proving to be a hit to the public.
Escriba said its food is also gluten-friendly. Their tacos, for instance, is made of 100 percent whole kernel corn masa, not flour corn similar to the ones you can find at most Mexican restaurants.
They will also have vegetarian and vegan options like their nopales taco, made of grilled cactus, summer squash, blistered tomatoes, salsa quemada and fresco cotija.
Expect the menu to also change, depending on the ingredients available and the specials they make.
Escriba said their menu will change, depending on the ingredients available and the specials they will make. He also said they are in the works of incorporating pop-up shops on the weekends, as well as serving other traditional Mexican eats like meals that incorporate bugs! (More on that later.)
Location: 809 Lomax St.
- Monday to Wednesday: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
- Thursday to Saturday: 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.
- Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.