The food disappointed too: In addition to the wilting salad, dinner included a plate of badly burnt steak fajitas accompanied by overcooked rice and black beans with a distinct canned flavor.

Then again, it's best to stick with the tacos at Rock n Tacos. There's a reason the restaurant's not called Rock 'n' Enchiladas. The chicken enchiladas I sampled—at lunchtime, so there's no temporal excuse—were beautified by a zebra-patterned quilt of mole and sour cream but spoiled by an unpleasantly bitter mole that sent a lingering hit to the back of the throat. The enchiladas, densely packed with dried-out chicken, probably wouldn't have been much better without the mole.

If you know anything about Rock n Taco, you probably know it serves an $18 taco, a dish that's as much conversation piece as culinary achievement. The two rib-eye tacos look oddly swampish, loaded with muddy pureed black beans, hunks of avocado and tentacles of fried onions. The cubes of meat are buried beneath that morass, and there aren't quite enough of them to justify the price tag. The savory flavors make sense together, but my rib-eye was cooked to medium-well, ruining what tasted like a good piece of beef.

Rock n Taco prides itself on pretty plates.
Sara Kerens
Rock n Taco prides itself on pretty plates.

Location Info

Map

Rock 'n' Taco

2916 McKinney Ave.
Dallas, TX 75204

Category: Restaurant > Tex-Mex

Region: Uptown & Oak Lawn

Details

Rock n Taco Corn on the cob $6 Guacamole $8 Chicken tortilla soup $5 Caesar salad $8 Carnitas $10 Picadillo $10 Fajitas $14 Rock n Taco $18 Sublime taco $12 Chicken enchiladas $10 Churros $8 Banana burrito $5

I had better luck with Rock n Taco's slow-cooked meats: The carnitas was supple and well-seasoned, and I could have eaten a full serving of the faintly sweet picadillo, a peppery stew of ground beef, onions and tomatoes. But the best taco I tried was the Sublime, featuring moist braised pork shoulder the color of pumpkin flesh, set against a crisp slaw of jicama and corn. The pork's juices, tropically exuberant, spilled across the plate. That taco sells for $12, and it's worth it.

Rock n Taco makes its own desserts, including churros and a banana burrito, which is pretty much churros filled with bananas. Both dishes were light and cleanly fried.

I understand why Rock n Taco might not be an obvious lunchtime draw. What sensible employee's going to corral a coed group of colleagues to eat at a restaurant that looks like a strip club and serves shrimp tacos that cost twice what a home-style Tex-Mex restaurant might charge for a similar dish? And really, I'm not suggesting workers race across the city to try it. But if my office was in Uptown, I wouldn't hesitate to add Rock n Taco to my lunch-spot list.

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