The only safe places to hold the fiery flavors of Mexican fare are inside naturally insulated tortilla shells or the stomach of a fire marshal. Stow away edible embers with today's Groupon: for $12, you get $25 worth of Mexican street fare at Rokito's.
Chefs tame flames in Rokito's open kitchen to show diners the fresh ingredients incorporated into every dish on their menu of classic Mexican street fare. A generous sprinkling of onion and cilantro dusts the Mexican-style street tacos ($1.95–$3.75 each) to check their savory fillings of chorizo, fish, and other meats for flavor tampering. The thick, steamy purée of butternut-squash soup ($6–$8) thaws veins slowed by winter's chilly grip. A moat of rice and beans guards the two-taco ($8.25–$10) and two-burrito ($12–$22.25) dinners from encroaching forks or hordes of tiny Visigoths. Cups of Mexican coffee ($1.95) accent warm sips with cinnamon and a hint of chocolate, and horchata ($2.50–$3.50) cools roasted palates with a traditional blend of ingredients.
A walk-up counter and window draw in passersby with brief glimpses of culinary feats in progress. Inside, Rokito's displays a collection of cultural paraphernalia, including walls plastered with Day of the Dead paintings and photographs of mighty luchadors wrestling with each other or their emotions.
Roaring trains from Uptown’s Wilson L stop reverberate overhead as cooks prepare Rokito’s eclectic Mexican street food. An open-exhibition kitchen flaunts Rokito’s commitment to freshness as chefs craft breakfast burritos for early risers, classic tacos and empanadas for commuters, and late-night taco specials for nocturnal bar crawlers and their pet owls. Sunlight spills through the sprawling windows of the artsy interior, skating across dark brick peppered with south-of-the-border artwork and murals from artist Randy Pestka.