While we were feasting outside Rock Hard Tacos yesterday, a half dozen of people asked us what we liked among the many items in our spread, which led to inspiration for today's post. After all, how often have you dined at a place that's new to you, wishing you had ordered a dish that looks more interesting as it wafts by the table? Read on for today's crib notes.
Black beans. Served as a side to fish tacos, laced with a hearty dose of cumin, a hint of bay leaf, and a douse of lime, these black beans are the benchmark.
Guacamole and chips. You'd think making something so basic is a given, but I've had a handful of lousy renditions lately. Here, it's made with a ton of cilantro as well as the salt, lime, and garlic standbys. The only thing off-putting about this guac is that it's served in a tiny container. Ask for two, since you'll want to finish the house-made chips.
Carnitas tacos. Since the menu items here aren't particularly novel, I wish the kitchen would take the purist's path and confit the hell out of pork butt with some lard and perhaps some OJ and oregano. Though the shred and crispy bits of pork were nice, it's seasoned with brown sugar, which was too sweet for me (and my table wasn't crazy about them either) ($2.95).
Corn tortillas. It's always disappointing to learn a taco shop doesn't make its own tortillas, especially when it goes out of the way to make chips. Of what's in-house, the flour tortillas are standard (store-bought) fare, while the corn tortillas end up crumbling. Why sell them when they don't do the duty?
Nachos. We'd have ordered nachos had the kitchen not run out of queso. Addictive chips with pico de gallo, jalapeños, sour cream, and guac make this a solid cheap eat. Available without meat ($3.95) or topped with chicken, steak, beef, or pork ($7.95).
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Beer. Despite that the place has been open since June -- and taunts customers with a wall of tequila -- it's BYO for now. Owners plan on snagging a liquor license by the grand opening on August 20 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.