SOMETHING TO TACO ’BOUT

Nacho tacos? Think again. Despite the restaurant name’s implication, the filled-with-goodies folded tortilla delights at Nacho Taco are all yours – as are the chimichangas, burritos, skewers, quesadillas and enchiladas. I recommend those tacos, because those tacos are muy tasty.

Owner Matt Shefoglu was inspired by the famed taco stands of SoCal when he stumbled upon a tiny building in Riverside. He saw its potential and decided that Riverside needed its own taco stand. Originally from Bulgaria, Shefoglu isn’t of Mexican descent, but he grew up around authentic Mexican cooking nonetheless. Shefoglu moved to Jacksonville as a young boy and lived in neighborhoods bursting with a vibrant Mexican culture that shaped Shefoglu’s own taste preferences. Now years later, he’s chosen Riverside as the spot to let Nacho Taco thrive. “I’ve lived in most parts of Jacksonville,” he says. “None are like Riverside. It’s unique on its own.”

Nacho Taco is also unique, a bright blue square on Stockton. I’d heard talk of this shack of a restaurant, which opened Dec. 1, but hadn’t tried it out. I didn’t realize it was dine-out only until I slid open the glass door and saw that there was a fridge for soda, a counter to place your order … that’s it. There’s no seating inside, but there are a few picnic benches outside. Nacho Taco is tiny, but it makes up for its size in deliciousness.

Shefoglu stands behind the counter, incredibly calm and patient for a man who’s just opened a restaurant. He’s a nice guy, not too busy to ask about your day and offer his suggestions for the menu. He encourages folks to try the Cali Burrito if you’re starving, and the vegan chorizo if you’re going meatless. Nacho Taco has vegan and vegetarian options to spare, so don’t shy away from bringing all your buds, omnivores or not.

I ordered the Two Beef Tacos on Corn Tortillas ($6.99), which included rice, beans, chips, and salsa. Bean-wise, I was torn between black or pinto, so Shefoglu chose for me. My friend ordered the Lime Chicken Skewers ($4.99), which I was glad about because they sounded fantastic. (Remember, sharing is caring.) Once we had our meals, we went out to sit on the cold picnic benches. Lasted 30 seconds. Drove home to eat.

I doubted my two tacos would be enough to abate belly rumblings, but I was wrong. The savory tacos, with a squeeze of lime, hit the spot. Best of all, they tasted fresh and homemade. Shefoglu’s recommended pinto beans were hearty – great mixed with the rice and chips, and they worked well with the skewers. The lime skewers were good-sized, a great choice for carb-free diners who still want to enjoy all the best of Mexican food.

Shefoglu says it’s time Riverside had its own taco stand, and I couldn’t agree more. Nacho Taco delivers, and not just by car – this new local spot delivers on taste, authenticity, and friendliness.

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