Downtown eatery flourishes with creative takes on the taco and a friendly dive vibe
"Citrus Street Taco" from Taco Dive. Purchase the November issue for the entire recipe!
If passion, zeal and an undiluted love of good food could be packed into a flour tortilla and sprinkled with imaginative juices, you would have the latest addition to downtown’s culinary repertoire, Taco Dive. Located on the corner of 14th Avenue and 19th Street, the eatery is the fourth in an iteration of restaurants to open here in as many years. But Taco Dive’s take on “fresh food, fast” has somehow managed to hit the sweet spot with Vero residents, seeming like it’s been here forever.
Owned and operated by Bonnie Turk, Allison O’Connor, Kelly Greiner and Joel Rucker, the restaurant hit the ground running when it opened in July 2016, not in small part due to the reputation of their first operation in Fort Pierce. With the opening of the Vero location, many devotees accustomed to driving the 15 miles down U.S. 1 can now assuage their cravings closer to home.
As I sit chatting to the four partners, there’s a palpable air of excitement, enthusiasm and camaraderie rarely encountered in the frenzied world of food. While O’Connor brims to bubbling point with fresh ideas; Turk is the measured one; Greiner, the steady, diligent partner; and her boyfriend and O’Connor’s cousin, Rucker, is inventive, in charge of creating new recipes and overseeing the kitchen. Finishing one another’s sentences and sharing how much they love turning customers into friends, they laugh (a lot) as they describe the kind of food, business and environment that makes them enjoy coming to work every day.
We’re foodies,” O’Connor states, emphatically. “We love food, and we wanted to be different, creative and add a lot of flavor. When we came up with the menu, we sat in Bonnie’s kitchen and just bounced ideas off each other. We just all have a passion for it. When we watch a customer take that first bite and then they’re taking pictures, we’re like ‘Look, look!’ We get giddy about that stuff. It means something to us.” Rucker agrees. “Being creative, it’s really cool to see our customers appreciate what we put together,” he says. “We put our sweat and tears into this place and it’s nice to get the (positive) feedback.”