You might expect one thing from a place that refers to itself as STP. You’d definitely expect another once you knew that the initials stand for Sloppy Taco Palace. You get both at this fun little place in South Orlando. The walls are covered with assorted signage, some of which would bring to mind the motor oil company, and the menu filled with tacos, sloppy or otherwise.
You won’t get a palace, that’s for certain. STP is decidedly a bar. Think Johnny’s Fillin’ Station but with tacos instead of burgers. There are some hightop tables, but this is the sort of place that if you walk in and there are places to sit at the bar and no one sitting at tables you’d be considered odd not to hop onto a barstool.
Which is what I did on my recent lunchtime visit.
The bartender/server greeted me warmly and asked if I was thirsty. I was, but it being lunchtime I opted for a glass of water. I ordered a Sloppy Taco basket option that allowed me to choose two tacos and included a cup of black beans and rice. I was allowed, apparently, to substitute other sides — chips and salsa, fries, etc. — but stuck with the beans and rice.
I chose a pork and steak as my taco fillings. They were served in soft flour tortillas even though the menu stated that they were made with a “fried, flaky flour shell.” The thing that made them sloppy, presumably, is the ladling of queso onto the tacos. This is the cheese sauce that looks like the stuff that is pumped onto chips at movie theaters and sporting events.
That said, I liked my tacos. There were plenty of fillings inside, especially the shredded pork. The steak was well grilled with a charred outside. OK, it was ashy, but it added a nice crunch. And the black beans and rice were good, too. Everything benefitted from a couple of shakes from the hot sauce bottle provided on the bar.
STP features live music on Thursdays and Saturdays, and while the atmosphere was fairly quiet during lunch, I can easily imagine when the place if full that there’s a lot more that’s sloppy than just the tacos.
STP Sloppy Taco Palace is at 4892 S. Kirkman Road, at Conroy Road in the same strip mall that also has Agave Azul restaurant. It is open for lunch and dinner daily, including late nights. (Remember, this is primarily a bar.) The website’s menu does not include prices; my two-taco basket was $7.95. The phone number is 407-574-6474.