When I read the menu description at The Swamp, I knew I had to try them. “Lightly fried gator tail, lime-marinated cabbage and a mango chili puree, served in flour tortillas.” It might seem sacrilegious for a Gator to eat gator tail, but the adventurous side of your stomach will thank you for these yummy tacos. Sign. Me. Up.
If you’re new to the gator tail game, beware: it is a little chewy. A good comparison would be the texture of calamari paired with the flavor of your typical white meat chicken. Some people get nervous about trying chewy food, but the combo of the fried meat and mango chili puree should be enough to convince you to take the plunge and try the first couple of bites.
The only down side to this dish? It really is just that: only a couple of bites. Since these tasty tacos aren’t quite filling enough on their own, try a Swamp starter, like the caprese antipasti, or a sandwich, like the must-try turkey artichoke panini, so that you can hold your liquor. Let’s be honest, we know you’re not leaving The Swamp without having at least one cocktail.
Conveniently, The Swamp Restaurant is a great place to bring parents and out-of-towners. This iconic bar has been named the most popular bar & grill in Gainesville, and since it’s located just a few blocks from the actual Swamp stadium at UF, you can’t miss it. In the evening, the patio is illuminated by string lights that hang in the trees.
If eating gator meat makes you nervous but you still want to join the taco team, they have another section of Swamp tacos where you can choose between chicken, shrimp, tempeh or the catch of the day. Our opinion is that all of the tacos are best served with their traditional side, the yellow rice and beans; the cheese and tomato chunk topping totally enhances the taco you will surely be inhaling. Another viable option, and a personal fave, are the sweet potato fries.
Pro tip: Pair these tacos with a good ole house margarita or a lager, like Yuengling.
Location: 1642 W University Ave, Gainesville, FL 32603
Hours of Operation: Mon-Sun, 11am-2am
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