The Corner Kick – Street Tacos & Sports Cantina Review
Written by Stacy Winters
After being open only a few months they are quickly gaining quite the following at their casual sports Cantina located in a non-descript strip mall in the heart of Millard, where they’re serving up street tacos and wings. Juan Magaña and Jose Luis Gutierrez, the proprietors behind the concept, are on to something that might be a little hard to classify, but The Corner Kick melds sports bar, restaurant, and taqueria successfully into the appropriately dubbed sports cantina.
The Corner Kick is casual with a reflection of the owners’ clear passion for soccer. There are approximately twelve television screens placed throughout so no matter where you sit you will have a good view of the day’s games. The atmosphere is bright and pleasurable, almost guaranteed to lighten any mood.
The Corner Kick has a full bar menu offering several popular draft beers on tap including the local Infusion Vanilla Bean Blonde, Lagunas I.P.A, Dos Equis, Modelo as well as a few other domestics. The careful selection of draft beers shows they understand their clientele. While they’re not looking to be a craft beer bar, they are offering enough variety to appeal to the masses. They also offer up a reasonably priced margarita (frozen or on the rocks) as well as a Mexican (Tequila) or my personal favorite Moscow Mule (Vodka) that are big on taste.
The food here is pretty special, setting it apart from the chains and long-standing restaurants in the area. For starters, the group I was with sampled the salsa, bean dip, queso, and guacamole. The dips were served with a combination of flour and corn chips. Of the four, the standout by far was the guacamole. This was some of the freshest guacamole I have had short of the tableside guacamole that a few restaurants offer. Juan confirmed that they make their guacamole several times throughout the day so it is always fresh. This was very evident.
While The Corner Kick offers a variety of wings, all of which can be ordered in the ever-popular char-buffed style, the char-buffed Hot Trick wings are every bit as good as Oscars in Omaha. These wings have a tinge of Teriyaki, a bit of heat and a nice char that make them quite addictive. All wings are served with the standard celery and carrot sticks as well as your choice of ranch or blue cheese.
I appreciate that street tacos have become approachable to the masses. They are fun, flavorful, creative, and The Corner Kick’s tacos are every bit as good and authentic as the street tacos you can get on South 24th. They may not have all the meats you would find in an authentic taqueria such as lengua or cachete, but you can find the staples that you would expect such as asade, al pastor, carnitas and barbacoa. I have tried all of the street tacos and my personal favorite is the al pastor. It is served in the traditional style with double corn tortillas, onion, cilantro, bits of pineapple and a wedge of lime. If I had one complaint it would be that the carnitas was a tad dry. We shared that thought with Juan during our visit and he took our feedback very seriously, understanding that success will only come if they continue to improve.
The Corner Kick’s tacos are every bit as good and authentic as the street tacos you can get on South 24th
The standout of the meal were the steak fajitas. Everyone in the group during this visit agreed that these were the most flavorful fajitas any of us had ever eaten. I don’t know what was in the seasoning but it made us want to keep eating them. The peppers and onions were fresh, crisp and not overcooked. The steak was a tad overcooked, but the flavor profile more than made up for it.
The menu also includes a variety of taco shell options, enchiladas, burritos, nachos, and quesadillas as well as few dessert options including churros. In talking to Juan, they are also looking to add tortas to the menu but will not do so until they can find the perfect bolillo bread for their sandwiches. This is just another example of their focus on quality and unwillingness to compromise.
The service on our visit was very attentive but not overly obtrusive. Juan acknowledged that their service has been inconsistent at times, making this issue a major focus for them to improve on. He knows that they need to hire additional servers but they are also focused on hiring the right people for the atmosphere they’ve created. I personally appreciate that Juan and Jose are not willing to sacrifice their vision just to get employees in the door. In chatting with the servers, they expressed appreciation for the way Juan and Jose operate the business and treat the employees. They shared that they feel like valued contributors to the success of the business and the customer experience. Juan and Jose have allowed their chef to have significant input into the menu and how the food is prepared, which is evident in the freshness and flavor of their dishes.
The Corner Kick has a very active social media presence promoting daily specials and happy hour specials as well as information about recurring live music performances. I encourage you to follow them on Facebook to keep up with all the happenings at this new and exciting concept in west Omaha.
The Corner Kick Street Tacos & Sports Cantina is located at 13806 P St, Omaha, NE 68137 in Millard.
Photography by Aaron Kessler/Omaha Town Square