By: Jason Perlow
Food trucks are an increasingly popular way for budding restaurateurs to hone their skills and to test out wild concepts on captive audiences, such as at outdoor music venues when the very smell of food coming off a grill and being pulled out of a deep fryer is enough to create an impulse purchase in virtually anyone to satisfy their most base hunger cravings.
Such is the case with B.C. Tacos, the caveman-themed cafe recently opened in Coral Springs, which serves all kinds of wacky tortilla-wrapped creations that could only have been inspired by nights of late night partying and very long days of serving the hungry hordes at flea markets, rock concerts, and art festivals.
Owner Brett Chiavari (“B.C.”) cut his caveman teeth in food service at country clubs, often working long hours and late nights, only to come home starving. Like any working man, he would throw together his after work meals using whatever he had around — often on tortillas.
Soon, his unconventional taco creations became infamous among his friends and family, and thus B.C. Tacos, his food truck, was born.
The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It has a beer and wine license and keeps microbrews in bottles and a few local brews on tap. The soda dispenser is filled with flavors by Jones, a boutique pop producer based out of Seattle and specializes in cane sugar-sweetened soft drinks.
They’ve also got a commercial espresso machine for pulling basic latte and cappuccino drinks, so you won’t have to make a separate trip to the mermaid after having your meal.
It has literally everything a respectable caveman needs, all in one spot.
The small and tightly packed 35-seat cafe has quite an extensive menu of themed taco offerings, which runs the gamut from the conventional Tex-Mex style to Asian Fusion and Southern comfort foods and is organized by type of protein, such as Beef, Chicken, Pork, Seafood, and Vegetarian.
We began with Chicharrones, which are thick but airy fried pork skins served with a pineapple sweet and sour dipping sauce. This was great for opening up the palate, as was the Avocado Salsa, a creamy smooth puree that’s similar to a guac but without much of the fireworks and is served with tortilla chips.
Pretty much everything at this place can be amped up with the four signature salsas — pico de gallo, pineapple, green tomatillo, and habanero — our personal favorite — which are provided gratis at a toppings bar.
While some of the tacos have special signature shells, many can be had with your choice of hard or soft corn or soft flour wrappings. Most of the tacos are between $4 and $6 apiece and a meal can be made with two or three of them.
Let’s start with the Beef. The Caveman, which is filled with a hamburger patty and braised beef short rib and wrapped with lettuce, tomato, and cheddar cheese, topped on a hard corn shell, and then wrapped in a soft tortilla, was not the most photogenic of the tacos we had, but it was definitely a substantial one which satisfied basal instincts.
The Steakhouse — which in my opinion is a must-order — has filet mignon, creamed spinach, fried onions and bearnaise aioli. It’s a night out at Morton’s, all in a single wrapper. I could eat just these.
The Short Rib Pastrami — while an ambitious monster of a taco — with slices of boneless beef short rib, sauerkraut mustard seed slaw, and a rye tortilla flatbread is super creative, we found that the bread was hard (and not in a crunchy way) and the meat was a bit too toothy.
Chicken and Waffles is sure to please anyone with a sweet tooth and is one of their most popular menu items. The taco shell is replaced with a thin waffle-style wrap and is stuffed with fried chicken breast and cheddar cheese. My wife felt it was a bit too sweet with the pancake syrup flavor but I really enjoyed it. They will fly out the door.
The one pork item we ordered, Banh Mi — meant to evoke the famous Vietnamese sandwich of the same name — has Asian marinated pork belly, cucumber, pickled daikon, shredded carrot, jalapeño, cilantro and a sweet peanut sauce. We liked the combination of flavors but felt the pork itself was a bit too fatty for the application. Sliced pork chops would probably work better.
Similarly, we were a little underwhelmed by the Spicy Tuna, which is chopped cubes of tuna sashimi with seaweed salad, crispy rice, spicy sriracha mayo and a fried flour tortilla. This was not quite spicy enough, something was missing in terms of flavor element (such as a soy-based poke marinade) and we felt this one was a bit underfilled.
The Shrimp and Grits — a Southern breakfast staple — have grilled shrimp, fried cheese grits, bacon, scallions, old bay aioli over a fried flour tortilla. Everything else overwhelmed the shrimp and it tasted a bit too carby, but one of our dining party thought there weren’t enough cheese grits on it.
But the breakfast item we thought was truly superior was the Breakfast Enchiladas, stuffed with scrambled eggs, and topped with pork chorizo sausage, black bean sauce, pico de gallo, queso fresco, and slices of avocado. It is as delicious as it is beautiful. Be sure to hit it with that habanero salsa.
The vegetarian section has some interesting combos on it, to say the least. The Gatherer, which is deep-fried avocado pieces, lettuce, mozzarella, and chipotle mayo was a real eye-opener. But it was practically begging for bacon.
Can you get it with bacon? Of course, you can. Any taco on the menu can be prepared with any ingredient in another taco. This is the “secret menu” their taco truck fans rave about.
While we did not order one, we were intrigued by the Fried Cauliflower taco, which gives everyone’s favorite cruciform vegetable the Buffalo Chicken Wing treatment, with carrot celery blue cheese slaw and buffalo hot sauce.
If your caveman stomach still isn’t full by the time you are done, they do have dessert tacos as well. While many will undoubtedly go for the S’mores — a sticky mess of graham cracker, marshmallow and chocolate chips all melted into a flour tortilla — definitely get the Creme Brulee, which is a vanilla egg custard stuffed into a crispy flour shell and topped with caramelized shards of sugar candy. When you eat it, it’s like a pudding explosion in your mouth.
5781 N Coral Ridge Dr
Coral Springs, FL 33076
Mon-Thu 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Fri 7 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Sat 9 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Sun 9 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Jason Perlow is a long-time foodie who spent 20 years in the New York City and New Jersey metro areas reviewing restaurants for The New York Times and his personal food blog, Off The Broiler, which he started in 2006 and ran for ten years. He is also the founder of eGullet, a popular food discussion site and not-for-profit organization that was formed in 2001, which was featured on Tony Bourdain’s “No Reservations” cable television program.
As a technologist by profession, he writes the Tech Broiler blog for CBS’s ZDNet web site. He has been a Coral Springs resident since moving to South Florida in 2012.