Sand Lake Road in Dr. Phillips is lovingly referred to many Central Floridians as “restaurant row” by locals. And there’s been much development there over the past couple of years – places coming and going, popping up and shutting down. One such new development that recently opened is Rocco’s Tacos & Tequila Bar (moving in where Samba Room used to be, if you’re familiar with that location).
New place + new food = we’re there!
So…I’ve always said when a place is new and is just so-so in my book, I’m willing to pay a second visit and give the place another shot. I believe that’s been the case with a couple of places mentioned here on the blog. Let’s just say I’m going to have to give this place another shot.
First let’s talk about some of the good things.
- It’s something new for us Central Floridians. New is always good, right? At least at the beginning. A change of pace and a new place to experience. I’m down for that!
- The food is decent. Not great. Like I’ve talked about before I’m on a mad hunt to find really delicious Mexican food here in Central Florida, and I just haven’t tracked it down yet (if there’s even any to be tracked down). Rocco’s definitely does not fit the bill. That being said, the food’s pretty good – I got a dish to-go to eat at home and was happy with it.
Now some of the areas that could use some improvement.
- The service. This was a really, really big one for me. Now, as I mentioned earlier I’m always willing to give a new place a fair shot, and a second chance if the first experience isn’t up to par. But I have to honestly say the service here kinda blows. None of the bartenders seemed to know what they were doing, were frazzled, and quite frankly didn’t seem to jump at the chance to help serve me and the party I was with. That plus one or two were a tad short with me when I asked if I could have a beer on tap from the “back” bar and have it served to me at the front bar…which the back bartender told me was completely fine. The response from the patio server where I was: “I can’t do that. I only work out here.”
- The crowd. It’s a Dr. Phillips crowd, through and through. If you’ve spent any amount of time at happy hours in the Dr. Phillips restaurants or bars then you know exactly what I mean. No explanation necessary.
So all-in-all I’m going to give Rocco’s a slight thumbs down. I’m eager to go back and experience a meal in the dining room or the back porch, and give it a better shot.
Have you been over to Rocco’s yet? If so, I’d love to hear about your experience and see if it’s any different from mine.
Rocco’s Tacos & Tequila Bar
7468 West Sand Lake Road
Orlando, FL 32819