Tell us about Corner Taco.
We call our cuisine "semi swanky street food." Our specialty is hand crafted tacos using corn tortillas made in the authentic Oaxacan style. We make our corn tortillas fresh every day using a custom made corn tortilla machine. There are only two in Florida - one at Epcot, and ours. It really gives us a taste advantage and authenticity edge.
How does the machine affect the taste?
It means we can make our tortillas without preservatives. Corn tortillas mold after a short period of time, which is why store bought tortillas or even traditional Mexican grocery store tortillas, need to add preservatives if they want their tortillas to last a few days. The only things we use are preservative free pure Maseca corn flour, warm water, kosher salt, and extra virgin olive oil. That's it. It creates a brighter, popcorn type of flavor.
What is the overall concept for the food at Corner Taco?
It's a riff on authentic Mexican tacos. I say it's fusion, although I'm not sure I like that moniker. I used to cook in 5-star hotels and got tired of the formality and the pretense. So, my training is in classical French but I also worked at Nobu under a Japanese chef who does a lot of fusion, Japanese/Peruvian type of stuff, but I really just wanted to cook food I like. And the idea is that a taco is so informal and unpretentious that you can do just about anything and people won't take you too seriously. If you go to a fine dining restaurant and pay $25 a plate people will have certain expectations and it's often hard to exceed those expectations. Whereas with a $4-$5 taco people don't necessarily have the same preconceived notions and you can do almost anything and have it be unpretentious.
Can you tell us about the style of tacos you have?
A lot of people, when they think of a taco, think of Tex-Mex style tacos with a lot of sour cream, lettuce and fillers. That's not our style. We use a little bit of shredded cabbage and cilantro, but otherwise we're striving for clean, interesting flavors, without fillers. If people come with an open mind and give our style of tacos a try, I think they'll like them.
Making fresh tortillas
Is your menu strictly tacos or do you have other things?
We've become pretty well known for our salads. I have a small specialty foods company called Corner Natural Foods that produces fresh thyme vinaigrette. It's available on Amazon and stocked at some local stores like Fresh Market, Native Sun and Grassroots. We use it on all our salads and to marinate all our meat and seafood. In addition to tacos and salads we also do all natural nachos with brie and white cheddar. They're made like a fondue and quite a few folks order them.
Beef slices taco