Rocco's Tacos and Tequila Bar Enchants Sarasota With Bold Flavors and A Vibrant Atmosphere

Good Bite

Pictured: The tableside guacamole made fresh at Rocco's. Photo courtesy of Rocco's Tacos and Tequila Bar.

Yesterday marked the long-anticipated opening of Rocco’s Tacos and Tequila Bar at University Town Center. Owner Rocco Mangel opened the first Rocco’s Tacos in 2007 in West Palm Beach, FL. Having grown up in the restaurant industry alongside his parents and extended family, Mangel is well-versed in the food world. Before opening Rocco’s, he collaborated with the company’s current culinary director Rich Garcia at a Mexican restaurant called Moquila. At Moquila, Mangel and Garcia delved into the country’s diverse cuisine and culture, traveling to Mexico for inspiration. Their combined expertise has helped differentiate the Rocco’s brand, which emphasizes fresh and authentic flavors.

The tableside guacamole, made with Mangel’s recipe, is a staple at the restaurant, which prides itself on using the right technique to get the most out of the avocado. “Avocados are such a unique fruit because once they’re opened they start deteriorating,” says Garcia, “and to make the guacamole fresh right in front of you sets us apart from the rest.” Another unique dish is the molcajete, a stew served in a hot volcanic rock bowl sourced from Mexico. “The molcajete is a sharable and fun conversation piece,” adds Mangel. The molcajetes come with tortillas and garnishes which guests can use to make their own tacos at the table. “We’ve made the switch at the majority of our locations to cook, grind and form our own fresh corn tortillas,” Garcia says, “because the most important ingredient in a taco is the tortilla, and it’s a labor of love.” The tortillas stand out in the restaurant’s many street taco offerings, like birria, mahi and shrimp tacos. Rocco’s beverage menu also highlights well-thought-out flavors. “Our bartenders use fresh berries in our craft cocktails,” Mangel adds.

In addition to the food itself, the restaurant’s decor transports guests to the enchanting country of Mexico. The UTC location boasts metal star lanterns, intricate mosaics and a section inspired by artist Frida Khalo. The vibrant and mesmerizing setting provides a fitting backdrop for diners wishing to be whisked away, if only for one meal. “We’re looking forward to showcasing what we do and bringing joy and happiness to the people of Sarasota,” says Garcia.

Rocco’s Tacos and Tequila Bar, 243 N Cattlemen Rd., Sarasota, roccostacos.com

Pictured: The tableside guacamole made fresh at Rocco's. Photo courtesy of Rocco's Tacos and Tequila Bar.

Rocco's Tacos and Tequila Bar

« View The Tuesday Mar 7, 2023 SRQ Daily Edition
« Back To SRQ Daily Archive

Read More

Banh Mi & Tea Brings Vietnamese Cuisine and Bubble Tea Delights to Miromar Outlets

Banh Mi & Tea Brings Vietnamese Cuisine and Bubble Tea Delights to Miromar Outlets

Feb 20, 2024

Arts and Central Adds a Creative Flair to the Rosemary District

Arts and Central Adds a Creative Flair to the Rosemary District

Laura Paquette | Feb 20, 2024

Beat the Winter Blues at Riviera French Cafe

Beat the Winter Blues at Riviera French Cafe

Laura Paquette | Feb 6, 2024

A New Taco Spot on Fruitville

A New Taco Spot on Fruitville

Laura Paquette | Jan 23, 2024