Recently I found myself in downtown Daytona Beach, Florida looking for a quick and inexpensive bite to eat. Cruising past various eateries nothing piqued my interest until I arrived outside of Tia Cori’s Tacos. The idea of tacos for lunch made me smile, and I scanned both sides of the street for empty parking space.
After circling the block I found a spot in front of the civic center. I dodged several cars as I made my way towards the sidewalk in front of the old post office. Tia Cori’s is next door in a small two story brick building in at 214 N. Beach Street. An arched window and small covered patio fronted the busy street. A larger patio ran down the side and was full of college aged kids enjoying early afternoon beers.
Inside a line stretched from the cash register towards the front door. High top tables hugged the left hand wall. Beers, hot sauces, and commendations from various print publications lined the right hand side. The walls themselves were a deep terra cotta walls dappled to make them appear aged. An overhead fan lazily twirled while horchata cycled in a small transparent drink machine. As I waited inside I peeked into the second adjoining dining area that provided additional seating for Tia Cori’s numerous patrons.
Eventually it was my turn to order. Tia Cori’s offers tacos both Mexican style (onions, cilantro, and lime) and American style (lettuce, tomato, cheese, and sour cream.) I opted for three served Mexican style filled with lengua (tongue), al pastor (marinated pork), and chicharrones (spicy pork skin). A cup of horchata, a traditional Mexican beverage made with various spices and served cold., completed my order.
I was able to get one of the last high tops and watched the line of customers continue to grow while sipping on the horchata. It was ice cold, pleasantly sweet, and tasted of cinnamon. A plastic tray of tacos arrived as I was about halfway through my drink. Corn tortillas were full of a variety of meats and topped with finely diced onions and chopped parsley. The lengua was cubed, tender, and had a great beef flavor. The al pastor was marinated in a slightly spicy mixture and was complimented nicely by Tia Cori’s salsa verde. As for the chicharrone taco, it was my first experience with this particular delicacy. I was expecting crisply fried pork skin, but was presented with a gelatinous version that was very spicy. The chicharrone tasted good, but the texture was something I was not used to eating. The first bite was hard to swallow, but I became accustomed to the slightly giggly pork belly as I progressed through the taco.
My lunch at Tia Cori’s was very good, and the tacos were top notch. Service was also friendly, and the restaurant was very clean. Tia Cori’s isopen Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. – 3 a.m., and is closed on Sunday. Tia Cori’s can be found online at tiacoristacos.com, on Facebook, and contacted by telephone at (386) 947-4333.
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