Greenwood and Opinion and Dining Reviews

DINING: Quick-serve Roscoe's Tacos keeps quality intact

June 1, 2009

 It's no secret that Mexican eateries have boomed in Indy over the last 10 years. Whereas Acapulco Joe's and El Sol De Tala used to be about it when you craved a tortilla stuffed with anything, now there are intersections with multiple Mexican options, from Chipotle to Adobo Grill and dozens of mom-and-pop joints.

With all those options, why add another to your culinary rotation?

I'll make the case that Roscoe's Tacos (642 S. Madison Ave., Greenwood) deserves a spot there because it knows what it wants to do and does it well. This quick-serve eatery focuses on the quality of its core meals, offering them in customer-friendly combinations at reasonable prices.

Don't worry that many of the dishes are named after non-Mexican personalities. You don't go to Roscoe's for a cultural experience. You go for good grub.

My guest and I started by sharing a half-order of Chicken Nachos ($5.39). It looked like the kind of chips-and-cheese platter you'd get from a concession stand at a high-school sporting event—until we hit the marinated shredded chicken. It didn't quite redeem the platter, but it pointed toward a more promising future for the meal.

That promise was met in my Super Sampler platter ($7.89), which featured a trio of tacos. The Chicken Paul Bunyan Taco encased the same shredded chicken as the Nachos, but to a more unified effect. The Paul Bunyan Taco offered chili in addition to the usual toppings. But the big winner was the Tesla Taco, with tender and juicy slow-cooked beef. Black Beans and Rice and a fountain drink were included in the well-worth-it price.

We also sampled the Black Bean & Rice Burrito ($3.99), which was plenty satisfying even without any meat. The sizeable tortilla held up well despite being stuffed with its namesake ingredients and an ample representation of Roscoe's version of "everything"—sour cream, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, black olives and onions.

Of course, your experience will largely depend on whether you match the right sauce to your taste. The six squirt-bottled offerings here range from the extremely mild Cincinnati City Slicker and Texas Brushfire to Tonsillectomy and its stronger cousin, Lava. Proceed with caution.
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First in our month-long series of reviews of "possessive" restaurants.

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