By Kelsey Butler
Jacksonville’s newest taco joint plans to add breakfast to their menu and invite vendors in for a Farmer’s Market of sorts. Heirloom Taco is located in the old fire station at 111 Ladiga Street SE, right off the square in Jacksonville.
The hybrid style eatery is a mix between a restaurant and a food truck. Owned and operated by Aurelia Ugarte and her husband Shane Gowen, along with his parents Stan and Sandra Gowen, Heirloom Taco opened in mid-December.
“We originally wanted to purchase the police building next door,” Aurelia explains. “I looked over and saw the fire station and it sparked an idea to put a food truck out there and that evolved into a full kitchen. We’re really happy with how it turned out.”
“My husband and his dad remodeled the entire thing by themselves, the plumbing and electric,” she continues. “We wanted a modern and minimalist look.”
The menu at Heirloom Taco is full of authentic-style Mexican foods such as a variety of tacos including brisket barbacoa, pollo verde, gulf shrimp, roasted cauliflower, and more. Add-ons duros and fried avocado are also available. Tacos range from $3.00 to $3.50 each.
“A lot of the recipes are from my family,” Aurelia says. “I was born in Tejupilco, Mexico, and these recipes were carried through generations, from my mother and her mother.” Everything at Heirloom Taco is made fresh. “We hand make all of our own tortillas. We boil the corn for the corn tortillas.”
Aurelia says they are incorporating a lot of specials into their rotating menu, including some dishes from her childhood. They plan to open for breakfast in the coming weeks, once they finalize their breakfast menu.
As the weather warms up, Aurelia says they will also take advantage of their outdoor seating, “We’ve already seen some people bring their dogs and sit outside… And during farmer’s market season we want to have a few vendors out there too. Local produce, clay earrings, macrame and things like that.” You can also look for some live music out on the patio in the future.
Aurelia is a graduate of Jacksonville State University. She says JSU brought her and her husband to Jacksonville, and they’ve made a home there with their two daughters. “We’ve had a lot of support from the community.”
Heirloom Taco is open six days a week. Monday through Thursday 11:00 am to 2:00 pm and 5:00 to 8:00 pm, and Friday and Saturday 11:00 am to 2:00 pm and 5:00 to 9:00 pm. Look for changes to their schedule soon when breakfast is added to the menu.