With neighbors such as WhataBurro, Taco Fish, BK Tacos, and El Guero Canelo, it takes more than solid tacos and Sonoran hot dogs to stand out on South 12th Avenue. Newcomer Rollies Mexican Patio respects traditional cuisine of the region with fun, modern interpretations sure to be a hit.
The 12,000-square-foot space previously housed El Jalapeño Cocina Mexicana. The 55 seats are all in a semi-outdoor patio room with sliding garage doors, string lights, and space heaters for a cozy, casual feel. Mexican art and teal-painted accents keep the vibe fun. Customers order from a window before sitting down at one of the wooden or stainless steel tables.
While Rollies is currently open to the public via soft opening, its official grand opening is Saturday, December 30.
Owner and chef Mateo Otero began his culinary career at El Minuto at age 18, then worked the kitchens of Casino Del Sol Resort and Sir Veza’s Kitchen & Kantina. Most recently, he focused on cooking for a sorority at the University of Arizona and his own catering business. His personal background with the South 12th Avenue area is what brought him back.
“I’m from this area,” Otero said. “I went to St. John’s church school from kindergarten up to seventh grade. I have a lot family in this area and my grandfather was a chef here down the street.”
Shrimp Flats at Rollies Mexican Patio (Credit: Jackie Tran)
Going after Mexican cuisine with a modern feel, Otero created a menu with his personal take on classics. Don’t miss out on the Flats, or flat enchiladas, made with a gordita-like masa base. Those with a sweet tooth should order the Cochi Ice Cream Sandwich, which features ice cream between two Mexican cookies shaped like cute little pigs.
Rollies Mexican Patio Menu Highlights
Rollies Tacos (3 for $6.50 or 5 for $8.50) – choose chicken, beef, or cauliflower, then rojo sauce or queso sauce
Rojo sauce topped with cabbage, crema, pickled onion, cotija cheese
Queso sauce topped with green onion, crema, roasted green chile
Tucson Foodie is dedicated to providing opinions, reviews and information on a wide variety of topics relating to food, dishes, recipes, restaurants, reviews, bakeries, cafés, sustainability, farming, CSAs, composting, the local food movement, gardening, events, and more in Tucson, Arizona.
We're always looking for phenomenal writers, photographers, videographers, social media experts, marketers, news hounds, viral content creators and curators, and designers.
We're also always on the lookout for interesting and intriguing stories. Have one? Reach out to us here and if it's a fit, we'll consider it.
And, by the way, you can keep up with us all over the web on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, YouTube, Snapchat, and via our email list.