Like many other South Floridians, I was supposed to attend Taco Fest last Sunday but as we all now know, the food festival ran out of tacos early!!! How does that happen? If you’re called Taco Fest and you run out of tacos, are you just Fest? Regardless, my husband and I were very disappointed but we refused to spend the day without delicious Mexican goodness. Enter – Taqueria San Julian!
Do you like Mexican food? Check. Are you thrifty and appreciate a good deal? Great! Taqueria San Julian is for you! It’s difficult to pin point all of the wonderful things about this hidden gem but I’ll do my best.
Located just off HWY41, which let’s be honest – almost everything is located off that street, in a quaint little strip mall near Gladiolus Dr., sits this authentic Mexican taqueria. I’ll be honest – it’s tiny, yet somehow they manage to squeeze eight tables with seating for roughly twenty but be ready to make friends with the table next to you.
The menu is concise, offering a variety of tacos and quesadillas along with ceviche and tostadas. Since we were in the mood for tacos, we ordered chicken and shrimp tacos which were… wait for it… $2 each! When was the last time you paid $2 for anything that wasn’t swimming in grease? Wanting to experience as much of this food as possible, we also got the steak quesadilla which was only $3. Your order is placed at the counter and if you’re lucky enough to find a table, your food is then brought to you.
As we waited for our food (and a table; they were ridiculously busy for a Sunday afternoon) we sipped our Mexican coke and watched the Spanish film playing on one of the two televisions. Though they make a great effort, the staff doesn’t speak a lot of English so either bring someone who speaks it, or brush up on your high school Spanish 🙂
After literally running to a table, once the other customers left of course, we only waited a few minutes before our food came. Along with our meal, a selection of hot sauces (read:HOT) were placed on the table.
The red one is a smoky chipotle sauce. The green one is tomatillo and the orange one is a sweet and spicy sauce. I don’t like to put hot sauce on my tacos, but my husband took advantage and liked the chipotle one.
If you don’t like cilantro, be sure to say so because they are liberal with it. They also don’t skimp on meat which I appreciated. You can tell the steak quesadilla is literally bursting with meaty deliciousness. The tacos were a decent size but it was obvious that you’re expected to order more than one, or five like the woman next to us… no judgement!
The meat is nicely seasoned, the steak was juicy, the chicken was shredded and marinated and the shrimp had a smoky spice that was really yummy. Simply dressed with onions and cilantro, toppings like tomatoes or avocado cost extra ($.25 each), you just need to ask. While the tacos were tasty, my only complaint is the corn tortillas, which I am not a fan of. I prefer flour tortillas which is probably why I liked the quesadilla better. That, and it was bigger and full of cheese!
In total we ordered four tacos, two quesadillas and two drinks, all for less than $25. For the alcohol lovers, they do serve Mexican favorites like Modelo and Corona along with a variety of fruity non alcoholic beverages. If you’re in the mood for something different yet incredibly tasty, try Taqueria San Julian. Their food is simple, well seasoned and just down right good! Be ready to wait for a table, or even outside which happened when the line inside got too long, but know that your meal will make the wait worth while.
11601 S Cleveland Ave, Fort Myers, FL 33907