In a neighborhood of fast food, burgers-at-the-bar and a few high-priced trendy joints, I was pleasantly surprised with the food quality, service, and lack of attitude at this unpretentious little café. The first time I visited was for Sunday brunch with friends who had each been there a couple of times before. The tacos, curried vegetable dishes and other items that we ordered were delectable. Our server was attentive. This is a tapas restaurant, so plates are on the smaller side, but the three of us were still satisfied with one plate each since we weren't looking to gorge.
A few weeks later, we were looking for a place to take some friends who are very particular diners so we could celebrate one of their birthdays - on the night before Thanksgiving. These friends prefer to eat late, so I called ahead to Tapa That and learned that they close at 8:00 PM on week nights. However, the person who answered the phone told me that "if we know ahead of time that you are coming, we will be happy to seat you at 8:00." So we reserved ahead for a party of 10 to be seated right at 8:00.
The staff was very friendly and helpful. We ordered one or two of almost every item on the menu. I particularly enjoyed the chorizo tacos, the quesadillas, and some of the vegan plates. The vegan cheese was my least favorite dish - but cheese lovers should generally stick with real cheese anyway, right? They offered a selection of wines, none very expensive. Even though they did not have rabbit on the menu, my friend who organized the night out for his mother asked in advance if they could prepare several entrees of rabbit, and they did.
Overall, this restaurant is a great addition to Jacksonville's urban core dining scene. I look forward to going back soon.
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