Hidden Gems – Rolando’s

8 11 2010

Welcome to Rolando's! Photo by Michael West.

It’s coming down to the nitty gritty on my ten-stop Hidden Gems Tour, and stop number nine took me to into North Phoenix and a place they call Rolando’s.

After hitting up Pedro’s in Glendale, I wanted to see what North Phoenix had to offer in terms of Mexican food that’s not in my normal neck of the woods (aka Tempe).

I went to the well again as I used the trusty Yelp iPhone app to scope out some of the quality local spots, and since I was driving up the 17 freeway anyways, I figured to hit a little place called Rolando’s which wasn’t too far West of the 17.

Whoever said the road needed to be made of yellow bricks was clearly lying. I'm looking at you, Oz. Photo by Michael West.

Rolando’s is just a couple hundred feet North of the intersection of Peoria Ave. and N 35th Street in Phoenix. Hot damn am I hungry for some tacos!

I walk inside of this little place and see just over a handful of little tables, one of those claw machines that you see in an arcade, as well as some sticker machines, a bouncy ball machine and even an old school arcade game. Rolando’s has a family friendly interior, that’s for sure. But are they price friendly?

The big board and some of the interior of Rolando's. Photo by Michael West.

The answer to that question is most definitely a yes. I initially was going to order two carne asada and two carnitas tacos, but the man at the register basically said, there’s no way in God’s beautiful and luscious green Earth that you’re gonna be able to get through four tacos, buddy. So, I cut the order in half and went with one carne and one carnitas taco. My bill ran to roughly five and a half bucks, (carne taco – $2.10, carnitas taco – $2.60).

Rolando’s also offers burritos, tortas, chimichangas, enchiladas and tostadas among a slew of other most likely delicious menu options.

My food was ready in maybe three minutes flat, and at first look, these were no doubt the biggest tacos I’ve ever laid my eyes on.

I'm diving into these tacos head first. Photo by Michael West.

BAM! Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about! These puppies are HUGE.

You’ve got a whole lot of meat. You’ve got cheese. You’ve got onions, cilantro, pico de gallo, and hell, even a couple healthy spoonfuls of guacamole!

Does the above picture not make your mouth water enough. ZOOM TIME.

Oh yeah brother, now you've hit the big time. Photo by Michael West.

Holy taco!

On my quest, I’ve had some damn good tacos. The Valley has plenty of quality spots.

But to-date, nowhere, I repeat, NOWHERE, has better tacos than Rolando’s. All that was packed inside of those two tortillas of deliciousness blew my freakin’ mind.

There’s delicious, and then there’s Rolando’s.

The carne asada was as good as it gets, and the carnitas was darn good in it’s own right.

But wow, these were some of, if not THE best tacos I had ever sank my teeth into and if Rolando’s wasn’t so far away, I can guarantee you I’d be there on the reg (but maybe it’s a good thing that it’s a decent hike, otherwise my bank account would get drained way too easily).

Rolando’s is open from 5 am to midnight every day of the week… how’s that for awesome?

This is the best taco joint I’ve been to in the Valley, and recommend this place to anyone willing to drive 20-25 minutes to get a taco. Seriously, it’s that good.

Overall: 9.5 out of 10.

Information on Rolando’s Mexican Food

  • Rolando’s Mexican Food
  • 10639 North 35th Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85029-4260
  • Phone: (602) 439-5424
  • Hours: Monday – Sunday: 5 am – midnight

Rolando’s Mexican Food on Urbanspoon

Rolando's Mexican Food on Urbanspoon



One response

30 07 2012

I’ve been going there for ten years now, so amazing!

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