Change of taste

Five-year-old Nathan Herr gets set to chuck a penny in the fountain at Rosita’s Cocina.

Five-year-old Nathan Herr gets set to chuck a penny in the fountain at Rosita’s Cocina.

Photo By David Robert

Rosita’s Cocina

7689 S Virginia St.
Reno, NV 89511
Ste. N

(775) 853-2521

I don’t know about you, but I get tired of eating the same old thing over and over—that’s why I was so happy to come across Rosita’s Cocina. I love Mexican food, but I need a change of scenery from time to time. Whenever I think of a Mexican restaurant, I always come up with the same handful of good Reno spots, but I don’t want to get burnt out on a good thing. Last time I went in search of new and interesting Mexican eats, I found La Fuente in Sparks, which became a new favorite, but it’s kind of off the beaten path for me.

This was my first time at Rosita’s, so I didn’t know what to expect. Was it going to become my new favorite Mexican restaurant ever? Or was I going to be horribly let down? Well, I’d have to say it is somewhere in between the two.

I was supposed to go mountain biking with my buddy Andrew on Sunday, but I blew my shock out and ended up spending the first part of the day at the bike shop getting it fixed. Since I was in the southern part of town, I decided to pick up some treats for my dogs at Scraps and say hello to my friend Kate while I was there. I wasn’t even planning on having lunch, but I saw Rosita’s. I was getting hungry, so it seemed like a good time to check the place out.

The restaurant was pretty quiet, only one or two other tables of diners besides me—it was a Sunday afternoon, and apparently I got there after the lunch rush. I liked the atmosphere. There’s a fountain that creates some good energy with the soothing sound of trickling water when you walk through the door.

The friendly waitress—who seemed to be running the place by herself—took me to my table next to the window in this festively decorated restaurant. As I read the menu, she brought me some killer chips and salsa. As soon as I started eating them, my appetite soared.

The menu was mainly comprised of run-of-the-mill Mexican favorites like enchiladas, tamales, carne asada and chicken mole. The last item on the menu was huraches homemade corn. I had no idea what this was. I liked the sound of homemade corn, but huraches? Isn’t that Spanish for a type of sandal (huaraches)? Anyway, I ordered the huraches homemade corn for $10.55, and it turned out to be homemade corn tortillas topped with beans, carne asada, cheese and salsa verde with rice on the side. I really liked this dish, and it was like nothing I had ordered at any Mexican restaurant I had ever been to. What stood out right away to me was the rice. That is usually a good sign of what’s really going on in the kitchen. The rice was awesome: light and fluffy, moist and full of flavor. I can’t stand bad rice. I think you might as well give up cooking if you can’t even cook a basic staple like rice.

The meal was delicious, loaded with tender steak, frijoles rancheros, sweet and salty salsa verde and gooey melted cheese all on top of two thick, fresh tortillas. Well, you get the point: The food here is pretty good. I would certainly come back again.