Monday, February 29, 2016

Rocco's Tacos - Orlando

Last Sunday, we had lunch with friends at the Rocco's Tacos on Sand Lake Road, which is about 5 minutes away from Universal Orlando.  They also have restaurants in Palm Beach Gardens, West Palm Beach, Delray Beach, Boca Raton, and Fort Lauderdale.  Outside of Florida, you can find Rocco's Tacos in Brooklyn, New York.

I love the Day of the Dead theming at Rocco's Tacos, and they even incorporated some of my favorite Star Wars characters.  Just look up near the stand where you check in to see them.

Rocco's Tacos does not have a gluten free menu, but both of our servers were very knowledgable about gluten free options.  I was told that I could order any of the tacos on handmade corn tortillas.  Enchiladas are another safe option, and I am pretty sure our server told me that the molcajetes, Rocco's version of an authentic baked fajita, could be prepared gluten free as well.

When dining at Rocco's Tacos, we like to order their guacamole prepared tableside.  Unfortunately, the chips that it is served with are made in a shared fryer, so I asked if they could bring me corn tortillas instead, which they were happy to do.  After my kids already dug in with chips, I found out that the queso fundido is gluten free.  I look forward to trying it the next time we dine at Rocco's Tacos.

I liked the guacamole on the corn tortillas, but I saved most of it for my tacos.

I ordered three individual tacos on corn tortillas.  They were all served with taco sauce (on the side), pico de gallo, cilantro, pickled red onion, and cotija cheese.

My shrimp taco was super flavorful, and it was packed with a generous amount of shrimp.

When I couldn't decide on a third taco, our server recommended the slow roasted pork, which was just as delicious as the shrimp.

I saved my grilled skirt steak taco for last, because I love steak, and it did not disappoint.  I enjoyed all three tacos, but the grilled skirt steak was my favorite.  The meat was tender and flavorful, and cooked to a nice temperature.

I was excited to see that Rocco's Tacos has two gluten free options on their dessert menu.

I ordered the classic Mexican flan with vanilla bean whipped cream and strawberries.  Rocco's flan is one of the best I have ever had.  It was super thick and creamy, and the portion size was pretty large.

Rocco's has indoor and outdoor seating, with a beautiful lake view.  

My friend Sarah from Gluten-Free & Dairy Free at WDW dined at Rocco's Tacos a few weeks before we did.  Here is her review:

Our server went through the options with us, and did note that we could not have the tortilla chips as they are fried in the same fryer as gluten-filled items.  This was a bit of a bummer, but I was glad to see some options available for gluten free and dairy free diners.

For appetizers, since we couldn't get chips, we ordered the Huevos Diablos and Elotes.  The Huevos Diablos were essentially deviled eggs, and were both gluten free and dairy free.  These were very delicious, but super spicy, as they had chipotle in them.  We liked the added smokiness from the bacon in the deviled eggs, but thought the chipotle was a bit overpowering.

The Elotes is Mexican street corn grilled with chipotle mayo and smothered in cotija cheese.  They can be made dairy free by removing the cheese.  Overall, this was a big winner at our table.  The sweet grilled corn was very tasty, and the chipotle mayo was the perfect balance of spicy.  The soft cheese balanced out the heat of the mayo, and cooled down your palate.

For my entree, the server recommended that I order the enchiladas or some of the tacos de calle (all served on handmade corn tortillas).  I was eyeing the Brooklyn, which was made with pulled pork, smoked bacon, chorizo, pork belly, cilantro, onion, and salsa verde cocida.  Thankfully, no modifications needed to be made for this to be gluten free and dairy free.

The Brooklyn tacos were outstanding.  If you love pork, you'll love these tacos.  The pork belly and chorizo were the highlight of the tacos - the chorizo being very mild, but flavorful, adding a bit of spicy depth to the tacos.  The pork belly was perfection.  Add in smoked bacon and pulled pork along with some salsa, and you've got a winner of a taco.

Overall, I liked Rocco's Tacos a lot and enjoyed what I ordered.  I do think I might prefer Antojitos at Universal CityWalk over Rocco's Tacos as they clearly mark their GF items on the menu, and they have safe gluten free tortilla chips.  But, I would definitely go back to Rocco's Tacos again to dine.  I do hope they might get safe chips in the future!

A big thank you to my friend Sarah for writing this review!  I definitely plan on trying the Brooklyn tacos the next time we dine at Rocco's Tacos.

June 22, 2016 Update

On Father's Day, our daughters were out of town staying with family, so Mitch and I decided to go to Rocco's Tacos for dinner.  We ordered their amazing guacamole prepared tableside, which I ate on their handmade corn tortillas.  Mitch and I split an order of the Brooklyn Tacos, and grilled skirt steak tacos, my favorite taco from our last visit.  I thought the Brooklyn Tacos were great.  How can you go wrong with four kinds of pork on one taco, especially when bacon is involved?  I ate all of my tacos with guacamole, because there was way too much for the two of us to eat as an appetizer, and it was great on all of our tacos.  I was impressed that all of our plates came with a little allergy sticker on the side of them, which was removed by our server when they were delivered to the table.

You can read more about Rocco's Taco's on their website here.  What are your favorite gluten free options at Rocco's Tacos?


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