Just Opened: Rockin' Taco | Bleader

Just Opened: Rockin' Taco




"It's a California take on tacos and burritos. We don't want to have it as bland as the Mexican food in this area. And none of this sitting in a tin for two hours. It's gonna be more authentic and more homey than anything else."

Excuse me, player?

That's what San Francisco native Robert Vojnovich told me months ago about Rockin' Taco, the "California-style" taqueria he and partner Aurora native Cristian Saenz planned to open in Lakeview. In a town with taco slingers set up on nearly every block—to say nothing of world-class chefs getting into the act—those are fighting words.

Well, the sign for the old Urban Cafe is still in place, and until they install a proper trompo, they're griddling their al pastor pork on a flattop. But as of three days ago those ballsy claims are ready to be tested.

The partners, whose combined restaurant background includes stints at Potbelly, Noodles & Company, and TGI Fridays, are working from a menu of tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and flautas (with some vegetarian options) and hot dogs. Beans are refried to order, and a guy comes in every morning to make horchata, "but he won't give us the recipe."

Finally, they're promoting a "Friday Night Fight," a $16.66, five pound, ten-taco challenge, "smothered covered, and served with a sauce so hot it's not allowed in Hell!" Finish it in one hour, with one drink, and one napkin and it's free. Plus you're awarded a T-shirt and your picture on the wall, along with Bob Marley. But for now they're just open from 11 AM to 5 PM daily.

Rockin' Taco, 1467 W. Irving Park, 773-975-8226