I hadn't been to Rocco's in Boca since it was the 2nd restaurant in the chain; another Big City Tavern Retrofit that just seemed like a good way to save the location at the time. Since then, Rocco's has becoming the franchise that revived Big Time Restaurants from a coming demise.
It was a beautiful Saturday so I took a drive up to Boca for brunch. If I want Mexican food there are better places; but a Mexican brunch can be something very different than your standard Hollandaise over leftovers. At 12pm, the place was dead; with just 3 tables taken in the cavernous restaurant. It was low 80s, so I opted to sit outside.
They've ruined the courtyard here with a central "stage" and structures all around it. Likewise, Rocco has removed much of the authentic furniture that was here originally; they probably moved it to newer restaurants. Typical Big Chain behavior.
Rocco's Tacos Boca Raton
I ordered coffee and started to decide what I was going to have. I had the Huevos con Short Ribs in Fort Lauderdale and hated the dish. So I was hoping that I wouldn't get burned again. The coffee took a long time, considering the lack of other customers.
Rocco's Tacos Coffee
"Do you need more time", my server asked. No, it's been over 10 minutes. I'll have the Huevos en Cazuela with Chorizo (Eggs and Chorizo in a skillet with black beans and cheese). You can't go wrong with that, right?>
The coffee was decent and the view was tranquil if not very exciting.
Rocco's Tacos Boca Patio View
Another couple of tables arrived. "Bad for Me" and Shania Twain played on the sound system. 15 minutes and Brunch was served.
Rocco's Tacos Huevos en Cazuela
I didn't expect the tortillas, but it looked like a pretty good portion of food.
Rocco's Huevos en Cazuela w/Chorizo
Obviously the egg was cooked an a grill that was way too hot. With hardly any customers, why do you need to cook the eggs in 10 seconds. It's really unfortunate, because you ruin the egg whites when you burn the eggs.
Rocco's Burned Eggs
I started eating this out of the skillet, but it wasn't all that great, particularly with the burned egg. Then I decided to make it into a breakfast taco, and this was definitely the way to go.
Rocco's Taco's Brunch Taco
Lot's of beans and cheese. I didn't even finish. Another dish at Rocco's that could have been a lot better if they had people who knew how to cook in the kitchen.
They have a stupid coffee procedure here. I had about 1/3 cup and my server asked if I wanted more. I said yes, and she took the cup to the back for more than 5 minutes, leaving me without a beverage. Either bring a pot over or bring another cup; don't take my cup away.
As I was getting my check, the people at the next table were getting some tableside Guacamole made. You can't really see what he's doing unless you stand up and get behine him, but I guess you know that they're making it fresh, and you can ask for some customization.
Rocco's Tacos Tableside Guacamole Preperation
There's something about this location that just doesn't work; this shopping center is always dead; I'm interested to see if that will change when Tap 42 opens across the way. When Rocco's opened there weren't many other Mexican places around, and now there are quite a few (another is opening in the old Campagnola's location shortly). The Fort Lauderdale location is much smaller and much more chaotic; if you have a choice this location is a much more pleasant experience. Unfortunately the food is just as inconsistent and sloppily prepared.
Rocco's Tacos is a Mexican themed concept from The Big Time Restaurant Group, who also run the Big City Tavern in Fort Lauderdale. In fact, Rocco's is basically the Big City decor with new lamps, orange napkins and more comfortable chairs. Rocco's bar area is similar to Big City with 2 notable exceptions: the mirrors have been replaced by bottles of liquor and tequila, and they have 2 big 50" Pioneer plasma TVs on either end.
While the menu is Mexican, Rocco's doesn't feel like a mexican restaurant. There's no chips and salsa dropped in front of you when you arrive. You can buy chips and salsa; but no freebies. Also when you get your food there's no extra condiments, no sour cream, no shredded cheese. The food is first rate and the prices are fair; $2.95 to $3.95 for tacos. I had a chicken taco, which are made with shredded chicken, lettuce, tomatoes and crumbled cotija, a hard mexican cheese. I also had a chorizo taco, which is made with spicy crumbled chorizo, onion, a green sauce and crumbled cotija. Both were very good, although I would have liked some sour cream.
This is a pretty cool place to grab some lunch or to hang out at the bar. There's a large outside area and there's a casual feel to the place. Everything is ala carte, so you can eat a little or a lot. If you're into tequila then you're in heaven here, with more than 225 varieties. Guacamole is made tableside. A little bit of Mexico in Boca without the Mexicans.