Realizing the job was theirs for the taking, the SoCal trio got together and collaborated to create Rock Hard Tacos, setting up shop just blocks from the ocean near the intersection of A1A and Palmetto Park Rd.
Step inside Rock Hard and you're instantly transported to the West Coast. The team has infused everything they love about their hometown culture into the tiny space from the decor to the food -- even the hyped-up punk rock pumping through the place.
You'll feel like you're being barreled in beach-easy cool just walking down the long hallway from the back door, surrounded by wallpaper-like plastered color photos of surf shots and all manner of extreme sports. It gives Rock Hard a distinct rock-n-roll, edgy feel you'd expect with a name so tough, and a logo that sports a skull-and-crossbones.
"We wanted the experience to feel like you're in Southern California by the beach, with that SoCal-swag," said Elizabeth. "And it must be authentic and fresh -- everyday. And we take a lot of pride in that."
So much so that the chefs even grate the cheese fresh from a block, and taste-tested salsa recipes beside Chris before deciding on the precise size to chop the tomatoes. Even the refried beans are something special, deliciously fragrant with a tantalizing hint of cumin.
Rock Hard Tacos sports a Chipotle-style ordering station where patrons can see their food before adding it to salads, nachos, tacos, burritos or quesadillas. You'll get a great view of the ingredients, including pork chorizo, carnitas (shredded pork), machaca (shredded beef), carne asada (steak), shredded chicken, and the place's own classic or refried cumin-infused black beans.
And whether your out for dawn patrol, or in need of a late night snack, Rock Hard is ready to serve. At 8 a.m., it's an upbeat way to start the day. Especially if you're ordering their signature dish (served all day from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.): a massive breakfast burrito.
Served with a copious amount of scrambled egg, breakfast potatoes, Mexican cheeses, and pico de gallo it comes with your choice of applewood smoked bacon, pork chorizo, machaca, veggies and beans. Or get all of it, like Charlie did -- not a single bit lacking a lick of flavor from any of the ingredients. Buy it in a burrito or bowl ($6.95), or a smaller version served up in a soft taco ($2.95).
Anyone who loves good (cheap) food should go. And if you want to grab something fast and healthy for your family of five, don't expect to shell out more than $20 with hard or soft tacos ringing in at just $2.50 apiece.
891 E. Palmetto Park Rd.
Hours of Operation: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Sunday