Disclaimer: As part of the Tampa Bay Bloggers, I was given a meal and gift cards in exchange for my complete review. All reviews and opinions are 100% my own.
To understand how truly excited I was about being invited to a tasting event at Tijuana Flats, first you have to understand my love for Tijuana Flats. It started almost 10 years ago in Gainesville. My roommate and I, being poor college students, would always look through the coupons we got in the mail. One day we found one for free queso at Tijuana Flats and decided to check it out. That day our lives were changed, from them on we would collect the coupons from everyone we knew. But we didn’t just go for the free queso (even though it was delicious), we loved the nachos. They were so huge they would feed us throughout the weekend until the sorority house opened again on Monday. This was pretty much our weekend ritual for the remainder of our time in Gainesville.
Soon after I moved back home from college a Tijuana Flats opened down the road from my parents in Oldsmar. I would go often and reminisce of my time in Gainesville. And then two years ago the first Tijuana Flats opened in North Clearwater, a mere 5 minutes from my house (both old and current, couldn’t move too far from my favorite place). The opening date was the same day as my college roomates birthday. Fate? I think so. She was living in Denver so I celebrated from a far by dining at our old favorite. We have become regulars at the Clearwater location – Taco Tuesday and all of the amazing specials really draw us in. But even after all these years dining at Tijuana Flats I had only tried a small portion of the menu. My go to is the chicken and black bean tacos on wheat with all the toppings, but after Monday night I may have some new favorites.
When we arrived for the tasting we were greeted by the local manager as well as a few regional directors. The Tijuana Trio was already on the table and you know Tijuana queso is the way to my heart. As I ate, probably a few too many chips, we chatted while we waited for everyone to arrive and the tasting to begin. Through the end of this month Tijuana Flats is offering ground turkey as a meat option, so if ground beef isn’t your thing head in while you can to try out the limited time only turkey. Plus on Valentine’s Day this Sunday they are having $2 tacos and $1 drafts. My husband has already declared that is where we will be going.
The first turkey item we tried were the turkey tostadas. They were hands down my favorite of the night – and probably are going to be competing with my chicken and black bean tacos for new regular order. The tostadas are lightly fried corn tortillas, refried beans, melted cheese, choice of meat, toppings, and a side of salsa. The turkey was the perfect meat choice for the tostadas because it’s not as big and chunky as the steak or chicken, so you get a little bit in every bite. It was seasoned very well and makes a great lighter alternative to their ground beef.
After trying the turkey we moved on to some Blackened Mahi Mahi Tacos. I’ve been racking my brain to figure out if I have had these before. They were very good and a table favorite. I even got to bring one home and can I say it might have been even better for lunch the next day. I warmed up the fish and put it back in the taco and it was delicious. The flavors had all have a chance to mingle together. It sure made one tasty lunch.
Next up was the flautas, but not just any flautas, blackened chicken flautas. The blackened chicken is my husbands favorite. I think he may have found his new go to order in this dish. Plus it comes with queso…
And lastly, as if I had room for anymore food at this point, we tried the Norrito bowl. A burrito without the burrito, all your favorite burrito fillings served in a bowl rather than a tortilla. Another item I had never tried before. I managed to enjoy a few bites in the restaurant before hearing that I should be saving room for dessert. You don’t have to tell my sweet tooth twice. The rest of the norrito bowl also made an excellent lunch.
After 10 years of frequenting Tijuana Flats I had never tried dessert, and I was really missing out. These cookie dough flautas with chocolate dipping sauce were even more amazing than I could imagine. It’s not even fair to give something like this to a pregnant woman because pregnancy cravings… I haven’t stopped thinking about them since Monday and you can bet I will be getting an order on Valentine’s Day.
If my love for Tijuana Flats hasn’t convinced you to get in and let them #GiveYouTheBird I don’t know what will. Make sure to stop in before the end of the month and try the ground turkey, you won’t be disappointed. Maybe we can run into each other there on Valentine’s Day – make sure to share your cookie dough flautas with me!