Perfect charred veggies meatless tacos
I was thinking of grilled vegetables on a morning walk when the idea of Felipe's Mexican Taqueria grilled vegetable tacos crossed my mind. Instantaneously my feet turned East and involuntarily my subconscious directed me toward one of the best Tex-Mex have-it-your-way lunch stops in Gainesville in the GLOB Master's opinion. I'm not a big fast-food-line lunch guy but I did want to see what kind of grilled veggies were available for today's Meatless Lunch.
An amazing pan of broiled onions, tomatoes, peppers, and squash looked like perfect ingredients for Felipe's Two Baja Style Tacos that included soft corn tortillas, a choice of shrimp or fish, pickled cabbage, pico de gallo, cilantro, and baja sauce.
Fortunately, the very attentive server at the bar was more than happy to substitute grilled veggies for meat at my request. I had a sense of holiday gifts as I headed to the Felipe's sauce bar to select my favorite tomatillo salsa, jalapenos, and spicy red sauce.
This is a perfect lunch for any darn day of the week GLOBers. I could taste all of the individual flavors of the veggies and their almost burnt crisp flavor. I felt eight years old playing with my food adding a little bit of salsa here to one taco, more red sauce there on the other.
I love how on a good day of weather Felipe staffers open the giant windows facing University Avenue so you can gaze onto the hectic life of Midtown Gainesville as you casually enjoy your lunch. It was a
Frederico Felini like moment amidst the sounds of a purring, busy, University Avenue I looked up from my perfect Meatless Monday Tex-Mex lunch and looked across the street to the new McaDonald's lunch stop, beckoning the GLOB Master with 'two all beef patties' . . .
Grilled veggies, chorizo, fresh cilantro... Carumba!
I find the flavors bright, sharp, tangy, and the texture of the cheeses combined with the crunch of the veggies and corn tortillas is always a remarkable lunch treat. Alright. I also enjoy that spicy heat of the peppers from Mexico and other Central America countries.
When I saw the new restaurant moving into the old End Zone building on the corner of W. University Ave. and SW 12th St. was a Mexican lunch stop, I immediately went into my Sombrero-driven, happy Mexican dance to the sounds of Flaco Jimenez and Ry Cooder. FYI, Flaco Jimenez is recognized as one of the word's greatest Mexican Flamingo guitarists and a rock & roll band favorite, in case you didn't know.
The lunch adventure of Felipe's Taqueria and Mexican Grill was born lunch in what I call one of America's last creative cornerstones -- New Orleans, Louisiana. This taco shop started in Mew Oleans with sevral locarions and has branched into Florida with restaurants nere in Gainesville, and a Tacqueria in Naples, Florida,
Felipe's has a few different approaches to lunch and eating out that make it more than what is now the usual standing-in-the-lunch-line waiting for your turn to order process.
This midtown Taqueria has a very nice patio area with a high wooden wall to diminish some of the University traffic noise. There is also a small bar and several televisions to enjoy during patio lunches.
The giant picture windows that front University Ave open wide like garage doors for the beautiful weather days, which are creeping our way as fall approaches.
This bright, airy, lunch stop has three different ways to order lunch:
You can walk the Felipe's lunch line and select your choice of veggies, meats, and add-ons such as guacamole, pico de gallo, fresh corn, cilantro, and onions.
If you are unable to separate yourself from your cell phone, you can grab a table and order your lunch from your phone and have it delivered to your table.
Lastly, in a very much appreciated last resort, you can have a Felipe's server take your order at your table.
The easy to read menu is divided into the categories of Entrees, Meats & Vegetables, Add-Ons, Apps & Sides, and Desserts.
The eight entrees seem typically Mexican with Baja Tacos and Plato or Bowl. Felipe's will make any entrée a Felipe's Combo with a drink and small chips for an additional $2.80.
Grilled veggies and chorizo are the highlights of the Meats & Vegetable category, which also includes and char grilled steak and the unique choice of caramelized pork with pineapple, cinnamon, and guajillo marinade.
Apps & Sides include taquitos and tamales. "We want to be sure our staff is ready to prepare your tamales, veggie, or otherwise, exactly the way you prefer," Harry said.
Any entree can become a meatless lunch option by substituting marinated grilled vegetables for the entree's meat ingredient. For a complete menu see the restaurant web link below this review.
Unique to Felipe's is their fabulous sauce bar. Located in the center of the restaurant, this is the spot where you make your lunch especially tasty with your choice of spicy salsas or add some crunch with diced carrots, radish, or marinated onions.
There is also a full bar at Felipe's with happy hour pricing.
Let's call this a working lunch since Jane Medley, Lynn Dirk, and the GLOB Master were discussing online publishing. Self publishing link
Jane is also a big fan of Mexican cuisine and was excited to see how Felipe's compared with her favorite, usual Mexican lunch stop that will remain nameless. Jane chose the TWO TACO entrée with soft corn tortillas, cilantro, onion, and guacamole sauce. Jane added salsa and spicy red taco sauce from the Sauce Bar for the $4.50 entree. Jane liked the tacos, especially the corn tortillas and guacamole sauce.
Captain Dirk has always been a big food in the bowl fan. "I like to mix the ingredients together to capture all the tastes and textures toegether," she said, eager to survey the ingedients on the lunch line.
Lynn's lunch bowl conained rice, beans, pico de gallo, Mexican crema, and salsa roja and was served with warmed corn tortillas wrapped in foil. She also added radishes, marinated onions, and several sauces from the Sauce Bar.
I have always been a sucker for presentation and the Felipe's Plato sounded really good. Emily, our server explained the plato is served with each ingredient scooped onto the plate, circling the perimeter of the plato.
This was my second trip to Felipe's and I am already a big fan of the ground chorizo sausage and its spicy flavor. I included fresh corn, onions, pinto beans, Spanish rice, pickled jalapenos, and chopped fresh cilantro to my plato for $5.90. I got carried away with the amazing tomatillo green sauce, which is my favorite sauce concoction. I also added fresh salsa and marinated onions from the Sauce Bar.
Now about the Felipe's GRILLED VEGETABLES. Some of the veggies are marinated, along with fresh cooked pieces of onions, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, spinach and squash cooked to perfection. I was happily surprised with this ingredient medley on my plate creating a very delicious lunch.
The three of us concluded our lunch by sharing a tantalizing, large, square of chocolate brownie accentuated with a sprig of fresh mint.
The Felipe's food and service staff is fresh and eager to please the hungry customer. Don't forget to stop at the Sauce Bar to begin your time lunch fiesta. Also, you are missing out if you don't add the grilled veggies to your plato, in your bowl, on your taco, or wrapped in your burrito.
The Pluses and Minuses of the Felipes:
Felipes (+) indicators: The ground chorizo is spicy, very good. Corn tortillas, tomatillo sauce and grilled veggies are winners.
Felipes(-) indicators: Bartools could be higher to eat comfortably at the bar
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- Phone Number: 352 888-6262
- Address: 1209 West University Ave
- Urban GLOB Location: Midtown
- Web Site: Felipes Mexican Taqueria
- Latitude: 29.65182
- Longitude: -82.33749