In college, any time I wanted to do something that made me feel great for 20 minutes and then disgusting for the rest of the day, I’d head to a place called Tijuana Flats. Located right across campus, it quick and casual, and the steak flautas, deep-fried little rolls of yum with an orange-y queso dipping sauce, were just so good. If I was feeling especially masochistic, I’d order the cookie dough flautas for dessert, deep-fried little rolls of delicious stuffed with melty cookie dough and adorned with a steaming chocolate dipping sauce.
Then I’d get home and hate myself, my stomach, my life choices and anything involving, steak, cheese or a deep frier.
This week, I found a place that rivals the Mexican goodness of Tijuana Flats and actually doesn’t make me feel like swearing off food the rest of my life. It’s called Rock Hard Taco, and it just opened in Boca Raton. No, it is not a rip-off of Rocco’s Tacos: although Mexican food is the restaurant’s specialty, Rock Hard Tacos has a completely different vibe. The small, sleek restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s quick and cheap, more like a fresher version of Tijuana than Rocco’s. Located on Palmetto Park Road just before A1A, it’s all about the beach here; the grungey red and black color scheme is paired with Southern California-inspired decor. Eventually, the restaurant plans to deliver straight to the beach.
The food is good, especially the taquitos (deep-fried but not greasy), guacamole, and chips and salsa (Rock Hard Taco’s hot sauce mixed with tomatoes, onions, cilantro and jalapenos). I’ve never really been a guacamole person, but after eating their guac I am officially obsessed! New batches are made fresh multiple times a day, mixed with chunky avocados, cilantro and onions. At the tasting I attended, I was able to sample large portions of almost everything on the entire menu, so I expected to feel a Tijuana-Flats kind of crappy the rest of the day, but that sick-to-my-stomach feeling never came.
Except for work-related things, I don’t go to Boca often because it’s pretty far from where I live, so at first I didn’t expect to go back to Rock Hard Taco anytime soon. But I’d only been away for 24 hours before the restaurant’s nachos crept into my mind. I give myself a week before I somehow find myself taking a detour on my way home from work. And if I think about the guacamole? Oh, if only I worked closer to Boca.
My favorite dishes at the restaurant: