The Jacksonville woman opens a restaurant inspired by her mother’s kitchen

Mel Chan and her husband opened CO3 VIETaco, inspired by Chan’s mother and the traditional food she grew up on over the holidays.

JACKSONVILLE, Florida – Mel Chan moved to Jacksonville from Atlanta about a year and a half ago. She loved the city, but she felt that one thing was missing: Vietnamese food.

She wanted her culture to be represented in the food scene. Based on her mother’s recipes, Chan and her husband opened CO3 VIETaco on Beach Boulevard.

CO3 is a Vietnamese nickname for her mother. VIETaco is its namesake, mixing traditional street food with someone everyone loves: tacos.

Chan had a gentle opening in September to perfect the dishes with the help of her mother.

“That takes a lot of seasoning. Lots of different ingredients, “said Chan.” So she spent a whole month preparing with us and our Chef to make sure he cooks it right, to bring the culture and display it properly. “

Wake up and smell the COFFEE! A Jacksonville couple bring traditional Vietnamese street food to our streets and the menu features Vietnamese iced coffee! Check out CO3 VIETaco on Beach Blvd. @ FCN2go @FirstCoastFoodi pic.twitter.com/BWgpA0mOnZ

– Leah Shields (@LeahShieldsNews) October 2, 2020

The menu focuses on dishes based on Vietnamese crepe: Banh Xeo, Banh Khot and VIETaco.

“When we were growing up, we ate every other holiday (Banh Xeo and Banh Khot) so it was a special dish for our family and we wanted to make it available to the public,” Chan said.

The crepes contain a wide variety of proteins, from squid to chicken. They look like eggs, but Chan says they’re yellow from the turmeric. The crepes are made from turmeric, coconut, wheat and rice flour.

The third dish on their menu, the namesake, is something that Chan created. She turns the crepes into a taco bowl by frying them and shaping them into the shape of a taco bowl. The taco will debut on Sunday when it opens.

To find out more about new restaurants and unique bites on First Coast, follow First Coast Foodies on Facebook.

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