Taco Tuesdays just got better with Taco Rock


Taco Rock spread2

Taco Tuesdays just got better — and tastier — with the opening of Arlington’s Taco Rock.

The latest effort by Northern Virginia restaurateur Mike Cordero, Taco Rock is a 2,467-square-foot fast casual taco restaurant and tequila bar located at 1501 Wilson Boulevard.  Formerly housing Spinfire Pizza, the taqueria seats approximately 50 guests with its main bar holding 18 barstools.

“Taco Rock is an epicurean delight giving a nod to street food but includes a gourmet twist with our signature Blue Rock tacos,” says Chef Mike Cordero, owner of Taco Rock. “We know the Rosslyn community will welcome our new concept as a neighborhood spot for a quick bite or to socialize around our tequila bar. I’m thrilled to open Taco Rock as my first fast-casual concept with my newly formed restaurant group Team Cordero that includes my two sons and Chef Stefano Marzano.”

Taco Rock’s lunch and dinner menus feature affordable, gourmet tacos served on homemade tortillas made with blue corn tortillas.  Highlights include the “Key West” with tequila battered grouper, chipotle mayo, diced tomato and granny smith apple slaw, and the “We Jammin'” with jerk chicken, cabbage, jerk sauce, mango pico de gallo,  and fresno peppers.  In addition, it offers an extensive tequila bar, offering specialty tequila cocktails and imported Mexican beers. Dessert items include crispy stuffed churros, with your favorite cream filling and gourmet ice cream tacos made to order. Breakfast is also served at Taco Rock, as Chef Cordero has designed premier breakfast tacos.

Designed by notable DC and New York-area designer Yvette Irene, the Taco Rock interiors pay homage to colorful rock-and-roll pop culture without being too literal. While maintaining a street taco vibe, the restaurant also presents a rustic contemporary palette featuring reclaimed wood, an aged quilted copper bar face and pitted tile. Industrial chandeliers showcasing graffiti street art line the interiors of the metal shades and matching scones adorn the blue tiled columns. Lighting above the bar introduces iron beamed linear pendants. Hints of red and black are featured throughout the space, which are the Taco Rock branding colors, and found in the faux cobra-skin banquets and accent guitar strings that flank the bar. Bathroom wallpaper features blue and white tattoo-style art.

A main focal point in Taco Rock is a colossal guitar jutting out from the ceiling that spans the entire restaurant from front to back and highlights the Taco Rock colors. While viewing the interior space for the first time, Irene noticed a large, plain soffit and had the vision to transform it into an artistic ceiling installation with a highly-stylized guitar.

Troy Petenbrink

Troy, also known as The Gay Traveler, is a well known travel and food writer. His has been a regular contributor to a variety of outlets including National Geographic, Travel Channel, DCRefined, CBS Local, and Metro Weekly. He also appears on local Washington news outlets as a travel expert.

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