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Riverside Restaurants: Tijuana Flats In Five Points

Five Points couldnt be busier with new life and restaurants. Now Tijuana Flats is open at the corner of Margaret and Riverside, replacing the space vacated by Sushi Cafe as it moved to a different part of the complex. Join us after the jump for words from Janice Price

Published October 14, 2012 in Dining & Nightlife      21 Comments    Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article


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Tijuana Flats Burrito Company
2025 Riverside Avenue (next door to Starbucks)
Jacksonville, FL 32204
(904) 389-5630
www.Tijuanaflats.com

Tijuana Flats Burrito Company is a casual eatery with friendly people serving up Tex-Mex fare. You know, burritos, tacos, chimichangas and so forth, but without HFC, MSG, freezers or microwave ovens -- it's all fresh food. The spice is fairly mild, but the focal point of the restaurant is a hot sauce bar; breathing fire or not is entirely at your own discretion. If you become infatuated with any of the hot sauces, you can buy some to take home. Vegetarian and vegan options are available (just skip the meat, and/or cheese and sour cream), and they also offer whole wheat tortillas and low-fat cheese at no extra cost.

The look and feel of Tijuana Flats is youthful and energetic -- the interior is painted in VERY bright colors and is decorated with photographs and graffiti, including the bathroom, which was blessedly clean. The indoor dining area is small, but there is ample seating on the covered patio.

They serve beer and wine, nothing fancy. Everything on the menu is under ten dollars, mostly around $7-8, which is a good value for the generous portions. (I had a cheese burrito, which came with beans and rice, and got full with a few bites still left on the plate.)  They don't take reservations, and never add a gratuity to the bill, just tip your server as you wish.

Schedule:
Mon-Thu: 11 am to 10 pm
Fri-Sat: 11 am to 10:30 pm
Sun: 11 am to 9 pm
Live music by local bands on the patio, Friday nights from 6-9 pm.
They hope to expand the hours and menu to include breakfast, maybe early next year.

text and photos by Janice Price








21 Comments

Adam W

October 15, 2012, 03:16:41 AM
What's HCF? I noticed the term here and in the Tapa That review. I assume it's something unsavoury, yet I Googled it (and looked it up on Wikipedia) and couldn't find anything.

I used to occasionally eat at Tijuana Flats when I worked at BoA on the Southside. I liked it. Pretty good and the portions were fairly large as I recall. We used to do take away, so I can't attest to the experience of eating in the restaurant.

I think it'll be a great addition to Riverside and Five Points.

RiversideLoki

October 15, 2012, 08:42:03 AM
It's a misspelling of HFC "High Fructose Corn Syrup".

funwithteeth

October 15, 2012, 09:27:04 AM
Tijuana Flats isn't bad, but every item on the menu tastes exactly alike. The tacos taste like the burritos, which taste like the quesadillas. As for the Riverside location, I realize space is at a premium, but it's a little inconvenient that the only trash cans are outside.

Bativac

October 15, 2012, 10:09:22 AM
I like Tijuana Flats and I feel like they have a better chance of sticking around awhile and providing consistent food and service, if their other locations are any indication.

Adam W

October 15, 2012, 11:10:57 AM
Thanks Loki. That makes sense. I really wonder if there is actually none whatsoever, though. That stuff is practically ubiquitous.

Captain Zissou

October 15, 2012, 11:31:53 AM
Tijuana Flats isn't bad, but every item on the menu tastes exactly alike. The tacos taste like the burritos, which taste like the quesadillas. As for the Riverside location, I realize space is at a premium, but it's a little inconvenient that the only trash cans are outside.

I don't think T-Flats is the highest quality or most delicious taco place I have ever had, but that's not why I go there.  I go there because they have the best customer experience I have ever had.  Their food is consistently good and generous portions for very cheap.  The customer service is THE ABSOLUTE BEST OUT OF ANY RESTAURANT EVER.  The only two local places I have been to that compete in that area are Ruth's Chris and Epping Forest Yacht Club.  That's two $200 dinner places competing with a $5 taco joint.  The guac is fresh, the sauces are great, and the food is tasty for the price.  T-Flats is well worth a try.  Go for the Flautas if you want insanely delicious and then you can branch out if you want to try the more standard fair.

Liz Barringer

March 05, 2013, 04:14:28 AM
Two words...Taco Tuesday's!

RiversideLoki

March 05, 2013, 09:35:29 AM
Love those flautas... mmmmm...

ben says

March 05, 2013, 10:24:21 AM
I just can't go into TF and spend that kind of money, no matter how inexpensive, on glorified Taco Bell. Everything tastes the same and the interior/decor is obnoxious. For 1/2 of what you'd spend at TF, you could go to Pepe's or Mr. Taco and get real Mexican food. I live 2 blocks from TF and still refuse to eat there.*

*I fully expect at least 5 comments along the lines of "you suck"--"you're a food snob"--yada yada yada...

tufsu1

March 05, 2013, 11:20:54 AM
comment #1

funwithteeth

March 05, 2013, 11:23:27 AM
Tijuana Flats is only slightly better than Taco Bell.

sonoandrea

March 05, 2013, 01:00:00 PM
I agree with Ben...Pepe's and Mr. Taco are, by far, the best Mexican food in Jacksonville.

cline

March 05, 2013, 01:34:29 PM
TF isn't considered "mexican" food.  It is more Tex-mex.

Captain Zissou

March 05, 2013, 02:42:11 PM
That's like saying Primi Piatti is more Italian than Carraba's.  It goes without saying that it's not as authentic as restaurants owned and run by actual mexicans and steeped in Mexican traditions, but that doesn't mean that you can't eat there.    Mr Taco has a very limited menu that barely begins to scratch the surface of what Mexican cuisine really is.  The same is true for Pepe's, but I have less experience with that restaurant, so I'll let that slide.  Sure T-Flats isn't crazy authentic, but it's not meant to be.  The two places you rave about have good tacos, but they are far from fantastic mexican food.

RiversideLoki

March 05, 2013, 03:12:19 PM
I agree with Ben...Pepe's and Mr. Taco are, by far, the best Mexican food in Jacksonville.

Their carnitas tacos are the stuff of legends.

PeeJayEss

March 05, 2013, 04:34:07 PM
I just can't go into TF and spend that kind of money, no matter how inexpensive, on glorified Taco Bell. Everything tastes the same and the interior/decor is obnoxious. For 1/2 of what you'd spend at TF, you could go to Pepe's or Mr. Taco and get real Mexican food. I live 2 blocks from TF and still refuse to eat there.*

*I fully expect at least 5 comments along the lines of "you suck"--"you're a food snob"--yada yada yada...

I don't think anyone would ever call you a food snob for liking a place where you can literally burst your stomach (Se7en style) with $10. If either one of those places was located in Riverside and open daily until 10pm, I would rarely eat anywhere else. In fact, I would have a moral crisis deciding between the two if they were both in town. That said, TF has more convenient hours, is very close to where I live and work, has a good product (glorified Taco Bell? Please, you need to go try Taco Bell again or adjust your hyperbole-meter), is reasonably-priced, and has PHENOMENAL service. For a non sit-down restaurant, I don't see how you could ask for much more.

Mr Taco and Pepe's are total outliers. And let's be honest, the pricing at Pepe's, while awesome, is a liiiittle fishy, amiright?? They are thebomb.com, but TF is sometimes the better, sometimes the only, option. Like Sunday and Monday nights, when Burrito Gallery is closed as well. Seriously, why is BG closed on Sunday and Monday nights? that is my strongest burrito-craving time.

ben says

March 05, 2013, 05:14:37 PM
That's like saying Primi Piatti is more Italian than Carraba's.  It goes without saying that it's not as authentic as restaurants owned and run by actual mexicans and steeped in Mexican traditions, but that doesn't mean that you can't eat there.    Mr Taco has a very limited menu that barely begins to scratch the surface of what Mexican cuisine really is.  The same is true for Pepe's, but I have less experience with that restaurant, so I'll let that slide.  Sure T-Flats isn't crazy authentic, but it's not meant to be.  The two places you rave about have good tacos, but they are far from fantastic mexican food.

I agree it's an unfair comparison. My apologies. So, let me compare apples to apples: I'd rather go to Burrito Gallery for Tex-Mex than TF.

funwithteeth

March 05, 2013, 05:54:50 PM
Seriously, why is BG closed on Sunday and Monday nights? that is my strongest burrito-craving time.

Augh, I had this craving just last night. I ended up going burrito-less, but I think I'd have gone to Tijuana Flats than, say, Lola's. (Unless the latter has since gotten better, but I haven't heard anything to that effect.)

peestandingup

March 05, 2013, 06:05:41 PM
Food snob or not, I'm glad TF is there. If you guys hadn't noticed, there was a real lack of cheap/easy/decent food in Riverside that stayed open for any amount of time, esp one that I can take my kid into. Right now, places like the suburbs & the Town Center pretty much see all of that action, but screw that. Too far & not worth it.

So yeah, the whole Riverside area needs more of this kind of stuff, local business or otherwise. Mellow Mushroom would fill this type of void as well. More things that stay open later that aren't bars or the more expensive type of sit down restaurants.

spuwho

March 05, 2013, 10:32:02 PM
TF on Beach/Hodges. Taco Tuesday.

Line out the of door tonight. Parking lot full. Place packed.

Non-RedNeck Westsider

March 06, 2013, 12:14:29 AM
Well played, MJ.

TF in Riverside was packed as well.  I know this because, for some strange reason, I had burrito cravings....
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