As a taco lover and Mexican food fanatic, I’ve had my fair share of authentic Mexican food. So I was eager to try the new local restaurant Iron Daisy, where they serve “Florida Mex,” but it was a big miss.
Iron Daisy, located at 507 Gaines St., is owned by City Commissioner Jeremy Matlow and business partner Ryan Smith.
Matlow and Smith also own Gaines Street Pies and The Wilbury.
The restaurant was previously known as Taco Bout It, but closed down after two years of operation.
Upon entering the restaurant, my two friends and I were greeted by a hostess who instructed us to pick a table and order at the counter.
The inside was painted with bright hues of blue, red and green. The menu was also written in bright colors and Dia de Muertos masks hung across the walls.
The menu consisted of chips, salsa, queso, enchiladas, tacos and quesadillas. Although I’m not vegan, I was impressed by the variety of Mexican vegan options on the menu, which can be difficult to find in such a meat dominated culture.
For starters, I tried their chips and queso.
The queso dip was hot and pleasing with the savory flavors of green chiles, peppers and onions.
I highly recommend the queso and chips as a starting appetizer, but my entree was beyond disappointing.
I wanted to order something I would usually get at an authentic Mexican restaurant. So I ordered a Mexican street taco which consisted of your choice of meat, a corn tortilla and toppings that include onions, cilantro and salsas.
I ordered the street chicken taco with sour cream and cheese as my toppings, along with green salsa on the side.
Nearly 12 minutes later, my tacos were brought out to our table.
Upon first glance, I could already tell that these weren’t gonna be the authentic tacos I was hoping for.
The cheese wasn’t melted and my entire plate looked cold. But I still gave it a chance anyway.
I poured salsa verde on top of my taco and took my first bite.
It was disgusting.
The chicken didn’t have enough seasonings and was slightly undercooked. Chicken is supposed to be seasoned before being cooked and sometimes after, depending on the style of chicken.
But these pieces of chicken tasted as if they went from the freezer to being tossed in a sauce that was also bland.
In essence, zero seasoning.
I also noticed how the corn tortillas were cold. In traditional Mexican cooking, the corn tortillas are placed on a flat top with oil for a few minutes before preparing the taco.
Even though I didn’t like my first bite, I asked for the tacos to be reheated.
The cook decided to remake the tacos and had them back out to me within another 10 minutes.
The results were the same, just slightly warmer. The cheese still wasn’t melted and the chicken was still undercooked.
I didn’t want to waste my $15, so I dumped the chicken out of the taco and ate the corn tortillas by themselves.
It was very disappointing, to say the least.
It seemed like Matlow and Smith had the right idea of opening a Mexican restaurant, but their efforts to put their own twists on the food failed.
After my visit, I felt like they should have done more research on Mexican food, its seasonings and style of cooking.
The service and decorations were lovely, but the food was awful.