Next time you’re looking for an incredible meal downtown, look no further than Jaco’s Tacos. This Tex-Mex newbie serves up a lunch that I absolutely cannot stop thinking about! They also serve dinner, so if lunching out isn’t your thing, you’re still in luck! To help you get your bearings, Jaco’s Tacos faces South State Street and is directly next door to George Bell Carpet Cleaning (where Fuego used to be, but with Fuego’s reputation and ownership a distant memory.)
How it all went down…
My first visit to Jaco’s Tacos was on a beautiful, sunny Monday afternoon for lunch. Jaco’s Tacos had opened under the radar about five days earlier, so the midday crowd was slim. Upon my arrival, I caught up with owners, Allison and John, who are engaged to be married in mid-April. (Opening a new restaurant AND planning a wedding at the same time qualifies them as one of the most fearless couples in Jackson.) At their invitation, I joined them at a table on the covered patio and enjoyed some chips and exceptionally tasty salsa while taking in the fresh air and fun, casual décor. “We’re not all the way there just yet, but it’s definitely coming together!” Allison told me, referring to the interior design, as I was looking around.
What’s on the menu?
When Nick, our server, came back to take orders, I wasn’t sure if I should go for tacos, a burrito, or a salad. After consulting John, I made the decision to go with the Giant Jaco’s Burrito stuffed with chicken (although pork, steak, and shrimp were also options.) This came smothered with my choice of chili con queso or sour cream sauce. I went with the former, which I soon learned was a fantastic decision!
The Giant Jaco’s Burrito lives up to its name: giant. The Giant Jaco’s Burrito comes served with rice and beans to one side, sour cream, jalapenos and guacamole to the other side, and the cheese sauce, complete with what looked like rotel tomatoes in it, all over the top. As you can see from the picture, this plate of food looks like Tex-Mex heaven.
When I cut into the burrito and saw the beautiful mix of onions and chicken on the inside, I thanked John for his good suggestion before even taking a bite. It. Looked. Amazing.
The first bite was seriously so good I could have died a happy person right then and there. With that first bite, I discovered the Jaco’s tortilla: they are much thicker than 99% of the tortillas I’ve encountered. The Jaco’s tortilla is almost as thick as a pancake, and MAN did it taste good… John told me it was a homemade buttermilk tortilla. How inventive!
Allison told me that most of the recipes on the Jaco’s menu are straight from John’s brain, and they’ve been perfected by their chef, who worked at Iron Horse Grill years ago.
Allison went on to mention that John doesn’t really like authentic Mexican food, but he likes the ingredients. So he played around with Tex-Mex ingredients until he came up with some killer menu items worthy of opening a restaurant around. I’m not sure he could have done a better job…
Because of the giant-ness of the burrito, I could only eat about half. As wonderful (and reminiscent of some old Iron Horse recipes) as the rice and beans were, I could only take a few bites of those as well. This was a LOT of food!
The best for last…
I’ve been saving the best news for last…
What could make this meal any better, you ask?
Nick, my server, stuck a little cup of green sauce on the side of my plate. He said it was a MUST try. And trying it did indeed make my meal even better. This magical green sauce is called “Mantequilla Sauce.”
I could drink that limey, buttery sauce like sweet tea. I poured a little on my rice, dipped some wayward chicken and onions in it, and even dipped a piece of buttermilk tortilla in it. As if all of these foods weren’t already out-of-the-park homeruns by themselves… The Mantequilla Sauce took them to another level. Mantequilla Sauce, too, is one of John’s brainchildren. He wouldn’t tell me exactly what ingredients were in it, but I’m pretty sure I heard him say there was a dash of Chardonnay in the mix, along with lime and butter. Can we say KILLER COMBO?!
The one word I would use to sum up my visit to Jaco’s Tacos is INCREDIBLE. The outdoor porch made for an enjoyable, casual atmosphere (although they do have nice indoor seating as well!), Nick’s service was second to none (he even fixed a water with lemon for me to go without me asking for it!), John and Allison are just the nicest folks you’ll find anywhere, and the food was breathtaking. The only word that even remotely sums up this place is… INCREDIBLE.
I thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed my meal at Jaco’s Tacos and am itching to go back, several friends and family members in tow. I urge you to make a trip to downtown Jackson as soon as you can so you, too, can experience the magic of Jaco’s Tacos! Be sure to tell them we sent you (and don’t forget to request a side of Mantequilla Sauce!)
Jaco’s Tacos is open Monday and Tuesday 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m., and Friday and Saturday 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 a.m.
318 South State Street
Jackson, MS 39201