Las Rocas Family Mexican Restaurant, Independence



(now closed)
Las Rocas Family Mexican Restaurant, took over J. Bella Ristaurante in March 2011. So when N and I read "under new management" on Las Rocas' sidewalk specials board, we were curious whether they experienced some early bumps in the road.

Except for some minor decor changes, the interior is pretty much the same since the name change in March. We were greeted immediately and told we had our choice of tables. I spotted seating on the patio (out the back door) and asked if we could sit there. "Yes, follow me!" It was one of those perfect summer evenings to sit on a patio, in the shade of the neighbor's tree. Even though the occasional breeze forced us to be creative in how we anchored our napkins.

Once we stepped out onto the patio I couldn't help noticing two basketball hoops (one toddler sized). I'm guessing the hoops must provide entertainment for the owner's children when diners aren't using the area. On one side of the patio was a building (not horrible, but obviously not built to be attractive)  housing the kitchen. While the patio may not have provided the same fresh decor as the dining area, it was still a pleasant spot to enjoy our dinner.

N ordered a raspberry margarita and I picked a tequila sunrise to sip while we browsed the menu. After delivering our drinks our waitress asked if we had any questions. When we asked what menu items she would recommend, she made a point of noticing which section of the menu both of us had paused on and not only answered our questions, but made several helpful suggestions.

We both chose one of her suggestions, for me- Pollo a la Diabla (breast of chicken sauteed with mushrooms, onions and medium or hot sauce) and for N - Expreso Burrito (filled with rice, beans, choice of meat, covered with green sauce, white cheese, tomatoes, onions, guacamole and Parmesan cheese).

My meal came with house made tortillas, which I always enjoy using to creating combinations of ingredients from my plate. I chose medium heat for my sauce and that's exactly what I received. I'd characterize the sauce's tangy, tomato based flavor as being similar to a delicious barbecue sauce. We asked for extra salsa, so we could use it as a condiment to liven up the standard rice and beans. N enjoyed his burrito. Taking extra care to make sure his avocado, salsa and sour cream were present in each and every bite. A definite sign that he had no complaints.

About halfway through our meal, a younger waitress took over our table. She was sweet, funny and made sure not to forget us, even though we were the only diners outside. I'm sure we'll be returning whenever we get a hankering for Mexican-American food. Even if it's not a perfect summer evening. Because whenever we receive that kind of friendly, helpful service, it beckons us back again and again.

Hours: Sun.-Thurs. 11am - 9pm; Fri. & Sat. 11am - 2pm
114 S. Main St., Independence.
503 837-0325Link to to-go menu
Link to Polk County Itemizer article

3 comments:

Chuck Bradley said...

We too liked this place very much. Our server, Irma, (who was great BTW) let me double up on the White (Navy or Great Northern) Refried Beans and forgo the Rice. I had never had White Refried Beans before. They were delicious!

KandN said...

Chuck, Your mention of white refried beans intrigue me, but I didn't see them on the menu on our second trip. I wonder if it one of the things that changed when they switched managers?
When our girls were small, I used to make refried beans by the potful and then freeze them for quesadillas. It was probably the garlic and bacon fat, but it was a wonderful smell to fill a house with.

Chuck Bradley said...

When we were there it was just after their opening in mid-March. As I look back on it, I'm not sure they were a menu item. I saw them on a neighbor's plate and asked if I could double up on them. It never occurred to me that they might not be a regular item. I will follow up at first opportunity and let you know what I discover. Sure hope they still have them. They were mighty good.