Hearty Like A Rock Star

By Matt Tapia

Posted May 20, 2010 in Eats

Folks on a quest for one of the Last Great Taco places might be well advised to add Espericueta’s Rock N Tacos to their foodie itinerary. It’s the salsa. Hands down. The salsa.

How else can I explain the fact that I’ve been raving about this Norco Mexican eatery for the past couple of weeks? Never was grub so aptly named (dubbed? christened?) as the Rock N Taco menu so lovingly displays. Ta Loco Tacos? Yeah, these taste sensations might prompt you to plead insanity of the gastronomical variety. Bangin‘ Burritos? Yup, you better believe they’re bangin‘.

Call this place Norco’s gift to Western Civilization’s dining options—it’s that good.

Our recent visit to Rock N Taco took place on a “Burrito Thursday” so—when in Rome—my dining companion and I decided to order up a couple of these 12-inch flour tortilla-wrapped lovelies and blow caution to the wind. Talk about sending my mouth on a direct flight to Tastyville as the carne asada burrito I had chosen danced a happy jig on my taste buds. The savory meat blended exceptionally well with the rice, beans, cabbage (a criminally under-sung ingredient), cilantro and onions that shared real estate inside the warm and supple and wondrous tortilla.

But the dealmaker? The aforementioned homemade green salsa that I chose for this burrito bad boy was simply, for want of a better term, rockin‘. Tangy and bright, savory and just the right consistency, the salsa sojourned and melded and invaded all of my burrito’s contents together in blissful harmony. If Burrito Thursday isn’t a state holiday yet—it sure as hell should be. Step up, raza!

Ambience and location are also Yelp-worthy qualities. The place is conveniently located just north of the 91 Freeway (perfect for any IE-to-OC road trip lunch stops) off Hamner Avenue and inside it’s got a clean, crisp and snappy feel with warm desert earth tones (oranges, reds, browns and yellows), laminate flooring and none of the clutter and bluster and tchotchke decorating schemes that other mom-and-pop grub stops often strive for and fail miserably. The food here speaks for itself. No neon-sombrero décor or cactus ceramic mugs needed, thank you very much.

While the other items of the menu should be quite familiar (quesadillas, tortas, macho nachos, breakfast burritos) to most, what makes the selection of meals here stand out is the nuclear-level flavors, the attention to detail (again, adding cabbage is a nice touch. Cabbage, it’s not just for fish tacos anymore) and the personable service delivered in spades here that earn Rock N Taco that repeat-visit status.

The tacos here are also a gut-filling delight. Make sure you swing by on Taco Tuesdays when 99 cents will provide you a meal ticket straight to Deliciosoburg.

And if the flavor fiesta here hasn’t gotten you too stuffed, live a little and order something from the Rock-N-Desserts side of the menu. Sorry, no fried ice cream here—that’s so El Torito. Desserts here include an Old School Sundae (three scoops of vanilla ice cream topped with your choice of caramel, strawberry or chocolate syrup, whipped cream and the classic, proverbial cherry on top) and the Rock N Root Beer Float. The more decadent might try plowing into the Cookie Craze Friazio, which features cookies-and-cream ice cream hanging out with vanilla mousse and chocolate fudge and then sinfully enjoying a shower of crushed cookies, syrup and whipped cream.

The Candi Caramel Pecan Passion Friazio here is basically the caramel version of Cookie Craze with glazed pecans (feeling weak in the knees yet?) filling in for the crushed cookies.

Burrito Thursdays—God, I love you. Any chance we can make it Burrito Week?

Espericueta’s Rock N Tacos, 1670 Hamner Ave. #9, Norco, (951) 280-0805; espericuetasrockntacos.weebly.com. Mon-Fri 11AM-8PM, Sat 11AM-6PM. AE, D, MC, V.

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