The Roll-Em-Up taquitos restaurants began in the founders’ home, where Mama Karen’s taquitos were a family favorite. (Courtesy of Roll-Em-Up)
INLAND EMPIRE, CA — Roll-Em-Up Taquitos, a family business launched in 2019 by a father and son in Chino Hills, using their Mama Karen’s recipes, is expanding to a franchise operation with 12 future locations planned for the Inland Empire.
Locales in Palm Desert, Corona and in Gateway Plaza in Colton are slated first, with opening dates set for late 2021. Roll-Em-Up currently runs two restaurants — in Orange County on West Birch Street in Brea and on Pine Avenue in Chino Hills.
Roll-Em-Up serves a simple, straight-forward, five-taquito menu (beef, chicken, potato, cheese and avocado), toppings, guac and its signature “Lit” sauce,” plus such sides as rice, beans, chips, queso, salsa, churro donuts and street corn (featuring butter, mayo, cotija cheese, and optional dusting of Hot Cheetos and Tajin or coated in queso).
According to one reviewer: “They are the best, so delicious, and now I know why the drive-through has long lines. It’s like the Latin version of “In-N-Out burger.'”
Father-and-son founders, Ron and Ryan Usrey, often talked of opening a taquito spot, using their Mama Karen’s beloved, beef taquitos recipe. Mama Karen passed before that dream became a reality, but the pair now are sharing with patrons her specialty taquitos — always hand-rolled and pan-fried to order.
Other upcoming locales in Riverside and San Bernardino counties are planned for Covina, Fontana, Indio, Ontario, Palm Springs, Pomona, Rancho Cucamonga, Redlands, Rialto, Upland and Victorville, according to company officials. No specific opening dates announced.
“As we continue to roll out our expansion plans and share Mama Karen’s famous taquitos,” CEO Ryan Usrey said, the region “is a promising area to continue our growth.”
The new IE restaurants will be owned and operated by area residents Glen Elder and Thelma Lemus, management said.