Black Rooster, the popular taqueria from the Mills 50 district, has opened a second location in Curry Ford West. It occupies an end unit in a repurposed and redesigned building that used to house an ABC Fine Wine and Spirits store (and onetime lounge) at the corner of Crystal Lake Drive and Curry Ford Road (but not West Curry Ford Road because such a designation does not exist).
I had enjoyed the original Black Rooster – indeed, it is a previous winner of the Best Craft Tacos Foodster Award for Independent Restaurants – so I was anxious to try the new location. Although it opened the second week in November, the Curry Ford location is still claiming soft opening status with limited hours (lunch is not currently offered and it’s closed both Sunday and Monday whereas Mills 50 is closed only Mondays and offers lunch each day it’s open).
It was offering a limited menu to begin, too, but it now seems as though the menu is the same at both locations. I clicked on the menu for the Curry Ford West store and proceeded to make an online order for pickup a couple of hours later. The online ordering form was easy to use and allowed for detailed changes – deletions, additions, sauce notations – but after I had entered my payment information and clicked to finalize the order, I received an email confirming that it would be ready for pickup – at the Mills 50 location.
No, no, no. That wasn’t convenient. And besides, I wanted to check out the new place.
So I called the Mills 50 Rooster and after some apparent consultations with a manager, it was determined that the order would not have to be cancelled and recreated; the payment would stay with the Mills 50 store but the food would be prepared and ready for pickup at Curry Ford West. Ah, technology.
And indeed, when I arrived at the designated pickup time, my order was sitting on the counter, neatly bagged and waiting for me.
Unfortunately, it seemed to have been waiting there a while.
The tacos I had ordered – Black Rooster Asada, Achiote Pork and Pork Fat – all had soggy tortillas that fell apart when I tried to pick them up. It didn’t affect the flavors – the pork fat was my favorite – but it did detract from the joy of eating them.
The tamale wasn’t so affected. It featured roasted pork formed in corn masa and served atop a corn husk with crema fresca, fresh cilantro and sliced radishes.
The Pozole Verde was less satisfying, and not just because there wasn’t anything verdant about it. There was quite a bit of pork shoulder meat in it but precious little hominy. And the broth was overly greasy and gravylike in texture. In fact, when it cooled it turned solid.
The new restaurant features wood paneling, mismatched tables and stools and garage door walls that may be opened in good weather.
Black Rooster II will get better. The dedication to quality ingredients is the same as the original. It just needs to work through the challenges of opening a new place.
Black Rooster Taqueria is at 3097 Curry Ford Road, Orlando (map). It is currently open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday. The phone number is 407-286-0508.