De quiÃ©nes taco?! Not your momma's taco shop
By Lynn Dirk, GLOB Correspondent
Editor's Note:Lynn Dirk, an editorial and communications assistant at the Brain Rehabilitation Research Center of the US Department of Veterans Affairs, is a devout enthusiast of all food things healthy.
When I go to a restaurant, I am interested in the whole shebang: Besides the food, I notice the ambiance, the noise level, the dÃ©cor, the type of menu â€“ the beer prices.All these aspects of a restaurant come together in my mind along with the food to create a memorable eating out experience. So there are a few aspects of Boca Fiesta that I love: the dÃ©cor is very interesting and appealing -- I love brick walls in a restaurant, and there is outdoor seating and bright south of the border colors.
As to the food, with the restaurant name, I was expecting Mexican. Indeed, they say they exist to assure that it is possible to obtain a taco in downtown Gainesville, but the food is actually a fusion of Mexican and Spanish, for example, their beans are black and the rice is yellow, like at Emiliano's. They have an eclectic choice of foods and food combinations, including meats such as gator, buffalo, ostrich, and duck combined with unexpected ingredients such as beets, nori tortillas, and quail eggs. This is definitely a sophisticated place.
So far I've only had the veggie burrito bowl and I enjoyed it. It wasn't on the menu, but since I LOVE the burrito bowls at Chipotle, I thought I would give it a whrl and they accommodated my request. I would like to go back to try some of their other unique fares, such as the Coconut Curry Kangaroo Taco â€“ but it won't happen on Tuesdays: No lunch on Tuesdays. The usual weekday restaurants close is Mondays, so -- once again -- Boca Fiesta does it differently. I love that!
I REALLY appreciate that they give a nod to the loco-vores with dishes such as the "Local Taco" that includes Cedar Key Clams (enjoy them while we can for tomorrow they may die) and other local vittles such as the famous St. Augustine datil pepper.
This is a place that everyone needs to try at least once. And then again . . . which makes twice.
The Pluses and Minuses of Boca Fiesta:
Boca Fiesta + Indicators : This was an excellent 'total package' lunch experience.
Boca Fiesta - Indicators : We arrived early in the evening, maybe that's why the service took a while to catch up with us. Boca Fiesta presently only serves lunch on Fridays.
Be the first to offer your GLOB comments, lunch photographs and opinions about Boca Fiesta. Please identify your opinions with a PLUS SIGN (+) for positive comments, and a MINUS SIGN (-) for your negative comments. - THANKS!
- Phone Number: 336-8226
- Address: 232 SE 1st. St., Gainesville, FL
- Urban GLOB Location: Downtown
- Web Site: Boca Fiesta
- Latitude: 29.649402
- Longitude: -82.324247
Thanks for reviewing Boca Fiesta, I like well knowledged critiques and it seems like your blog does this very well. Just an update or two, we changed the rice to more of a red rice that we make with oil heated with annatto seeds and that is now what gives the color to the rice. As far as the salsa goes, we get this a lot, Mexican cuisine is one of the only types of cuisine that a customer will expect something for free at the beginning of a meal, the chips and salsa. So with that there comes the responsibility of making it not too spicy so that a majority of your customers will like. Yes, the tomatoes come out of a can, but imagine buying cases of tomatoes that are given away for no cost or how would people react if we charged $4.00-$7.00 for chips and salsa like at some other Mexican style restaurants in town. I encourage my waiters to offer our homemade hot sauces as an additive to the salsa to get that added heat. Also I have added a few things to the salsa as of recently, one of them is dried ancho chilis. Thanks again, and just so you know we opened a diner in sun center east called BFD, where our biggest goal is to make everything from scratch, from the burger buns to our sausages to our cheeses.
lynndirk Sunday, 05 June 2011 11:03 Comment Link
Yesterday I had the fried okra burrito. Very interesting and a pretty good eat. But--I tasted my friend's soft tacos with chicken and that had fantastic flavors and texture! Sadly, I have to agree with others here, the salsa is not good - obviously mass produced. B.F. really should make an investment and make their own or get a better brand. Also, I don't really like the yellow rice - that's Spanish not Mexican, first of all. Second of all, the saffron flavor does not complement the other flavors of Mexican cuisine, at least not the ones I've tried.
Abby Wednesday, 04 May 2011 12:06 Comment Link
I like Boca Fiesta...all except their lackluster (that's saying it nicely) free chips and salsa. Dull, boring, bland (canned?) salsa. no excuse and a bad opening for a meal
Kristin Rossetti Tuesday, 03 May 2011 10:14 Comment Link
Am I the only person who is somewhat unimpressed by "Mouth Party?" So many of my friends love Boca Fiesta, but with all the great Latin places in town I think it falls short. Maybe I have to try it again. I hear they now offer more sides than rice and beans or corn on the cob....
Abby Tuesday, 03 May 2011 09:17 Comment Link
I enjoyed my meal at Boca Fiesta, but I'm surprised you didn't mention their inedible (but free) opening chips and salsa. They're inedible b/c there's just no point. The chips are tasteless and the salsa is bland and tastes like it came straight from a jar of blah. I found this starter odd, given that the rest of the food was pretty good.
Bubba Scott Thursday, 12 August 2010 21:39 Comment Link
Lynn did a great job describing Boca Fiesta. As I was reading the article and scrolling down the page, the picture of the food caught my eye. I had to stop reading and check out Lynn's meal. I got stuck on that plate of food. Then I thought, 'Oh, read the article'. I believe I've gained some weight visiting your site. I think I'll take one more look at that plate, then it's off to the fridge. Great job Lynn.
adele stewart Thursday, 12 August 2010 16:46 Comment Link
I LOVE the burrito bowls at Chipotle, I thought I would give it a whrl and they accommodated my request.
DID YOU MEAN TO SPELL "whirl" with no "i" in the Boca Fiesta article? Sorry I haven't had time to look more and play with the BLOG. Lookin' great!
I want a NORI TACO NOW
Is Marti's boyfriend Greg on your Beta Blog list because he should be as he and his buddies reportedly eat lunch out regularly and try new restaurants. He's a good foodie and winey guy.