The lunch truck; the catering truck; the mobile kitchen; kitchen on wheels; the roach coach. No matter what you call them, we’re all familiar with them and they’re becoming more and more a real part of the dining scene. Some are even starting to take up permanent locations (like Taqueria El Dolar at 10th and Penn in OKC). Despite how pervasive and popular they’re becoming, I had decided when I started doing this that I wasn’t going to include them. I intended to stick to the traditional brick and mortar locations. All that changed when I recently stopped for a couple tacos at Rosie’s Taco Stand in Cleveland, OK.
Cleveland is a tiny little semi-rural town about 35 miles NNW of Tulsa. Your typical little Mayberry. The last place you’d expect to find some really good Mexican food. Well, you’d be wrong.
I stopped in at Rosie’s on the way through Cleveland a few days ago and got a torta asada and a couple tacos al pastor. Now the torta was not really anything to write home about. The beef was a little dry and overcooked; the bolillo was dry (Which is kindof to be expected. The bolillo has to be fresh to make a really good torta and, let’s face it, not a lot of Mexican bakeries in Cleveland, OK); and the beans were more like a ranch style instead of a nice, mushy refried variety.
What I really want to talk to you about are the tacos. The al pastor was, quite simply, perfect. Not overly greasy. Beautifully sauteed onions. Perfectly grilled tortillas. And, oh my, the salsa verde… The salsa verde was the best I have ever had, period.
Now let me put this in perspective. I’ve lived in OKC for 10 years. The first 3 of those I lived in a Mexican neighborhood. I regularly eat at taco trucks and authentic little hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurants. I am not a stranger to salsa verde. I’ve had it all over the place. I’ve had it made fresh at people’s homes. None of them hold a candle to Rosie’s.
So, folks, if you ever find yourself ANYWHERE near Cleveland, please take my advice. Stop in at Rosie’s and get yourself a couple tacos al pastor and make sure they give you plenty of the salsa verde. You won’t regret it.