Happy Hour: Rocco's Tacos and Tequila Bar In Fort Lauderdale
When I moved back to Fort Lauderdale from New York, I moved hungry. I asked everyone I knew for their list of places I had to check out. Rocco's Tacos and Tequila Bar tucked itself into most of those lists. Everyone raved about its alcohol-heavy margarita pitchers and the guacamole -- made table-side in a pig-faced molcajete. I was stoked. Of my years working in the restaurant business, over half were with Mexican cuisine. I love the spice and flavors of Mexican food, and I'm convinced there's no greater feeling than that of being stuffed of tacos and enchiladas. Well, maybe cheesecake. Can Mexicans make cheesecake?
I made a reservation for their highly touted Tuesday night;
We headed to the busy, but inviting, bar and ordered Dos Equis lagers ($3) while taking in the rustic Mexican decor. Like the place itself, everyone around us looked great. Rocco has done well, making Mexican hip and trendy, with dim lights and a live DJ playing mellow bar anthems in the background. It's the definition of modern Mexican. Salsa and skinny ties.
After being summoned by the buzzer we headed to our big booth and kicked things off with guacamole, chips and salsa ($15). It was creamy and enough for three, but at that price it would've been better served in a jeweled turtle shell. I know enough about food costs to assume half of their rent is paid via haas avocados and corn tortillas. It's good, but expensive for a starter. Note to the industry: Just because everyone else began over-charging for guacamole doesn't mean you have to follow suit.
We did another round of beers and margaritas ($5) and ordered all you can eat tacos and the mole enchiladas. I think a Yelp review described the enchiladas best as: "tasted like mole licorice." Mole poblano is the most popular Mexican sauce in America and with good right. Comprised of twenty-plus ingredients it's a rich, earthy sauce with spice and depth. This on the other hand tasted like bad a churro topping. I truly can not imagine anyone liking this. My dinner guest ate the refried beans and left the plate for a busser. Rocco's is better than that dish.
And the reason why the place is packed on Tuesdays... the tacos, served semi-sloppy, are all winners. You can't go wrong with any of them. I know this because I ate eight of them. The carne asada probably came in as king, with the grilled mahi as a close second. If you can really eat tacos (Am I allowed to say, "that's what she said"?), it's a good deal. But if you're going to fill up on three, just order them per taco and save room for more alcohol. Besides, it's easier to stay skinny on tequila.
Whatever you do, know that it is possible to feel chic and sexy while getting down on some spiced chips and chimichangas. Iron your button-up or put on your best heels, because Rocco's pouring free shots at the bar and you're thirsty as a mother. Just remember, make sure to show up on time!
Who: You and the hostess... but hopefully after she's had a tequila shot and a Xanax.
What: $1 off all drinks, no food specials.
Where: 1313 E Las Olas Blvd Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
When: Mon-Fri 4pm-7pm (Note: Tuesday night is $3 Dos Equis, $5 margaritas, $15 margarita pitchers and $15 all you can eat tacos.)
How: With Rocco on the bar and the mole sauce far far away.
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