Foodies across the High Desert are excited about the new Roll-Em-Up Taquitos eatery coming this summer to Restaurant Row on Amargosa Road in Victorville.
The Southern California-based “street casual” restaurant is known for its beef, chicken and cheese taquitos, which are hand-rolled, pan-fried in cast iron skillets and made daily, according to the company.
The Victorville Roll-Em-Up will occupy the building that once housed the Cafe Rio Mexican Grill at the retail development that’s also home to Cracker Barrel Old Country Store and several other eateries.
Cafe Rio opened to much fanfare in 2017 and closed three years later. The company did not disclose the reason for shuttering the location, but industry leaders believe state restrictions on restaurants amid the COVID-19 pandemic led to the closure, the Daily Press reported.
The Victorville Roll-Em-Up store will be the company’s third after opening its first in 2019 in Chino Hills and later in Brea. No exact opening date has been announced. The chain plans to open a minimum of 10 taquito locations by year’s end, and expand to over 500 locations in the next five years, according to a company press release.
Mexican food “aficionado” Sylvia Luna, 45, of Hesperia, told the Daily Press she’s eaten at the Chino Hills Roll-Em-Up several times and is excited about the new High Desert location.
“My mom and grandma’s homemade taquitos are the best I’ve ever tasted, but Roll-Em-Ups is right there with them,” said Luna, who works at a local supermarket. “The taquitos are addicting and I love their dipping sauces.”
Luna said the “freshness of the meat” used in the corn and flour taquitos is “very noticeable and tasty,” along with the potatoes, sauces, guacamole and salsas.
The restaurant’s menu includes street corn — elotes in Spanish — that are served on a stick or in a cup, and come loaded with butter, mayo and cotija cheese. The corn is also served with a dusting of hot Cheetos or Tajin seasoning.
The restaurant offers housemade beans and rice, chips, and fried “churro donuts” that come drizzled with caramel sauce.
Beverages include Coca-Cola products, Batch Craft Soda, agua de jamaica, pink lemonade, assorted flavors of horchata and other drinks.
“We are a family-oriented restaurant that provides a one-of-a-kind consumer experience with each visit and some reggae music for ambiance,” Ryan Usrey, CEO and founder of Roll-Em-Up Taquitos said in a statement.
The inspiration behind the taquito-centric fast-casual restaurant came from Usrey’s mother, Karen, who would make her popular beef taquitos for family parties and other occasions.
“Growing up in Southern California, our family always loved eating all kinds of Mexican food, and especially taquitos,” said Usrey. “My mom would make taquitos every weekend for me and my dad. When they’re cooked fresh and served hot and crispy, it makes all the difference and always hits right.”
As Usrey, his father, Ron, and their family continued to discuss opening a taquitos-only eatery, “Mama Karen” passed away before they could realize the dream together, the company said.
After the company opened its first store, they began selling an average of 3,500 taquitos a day, with a steady stream of cars snaking around the parking lot daily.
The company’s future
The homemade taquito brand is targeting markets across the country, including California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Texas, Colorado and Oregon.
With 38 franchise units in development since it rolled out franchising opportunities in April, the company plans to eventually sell 100 units.
In an interview with FastCasual, Usrey said for franchisees, there will be a three-store minimum and a $20,000 “territory fee” per location, plus an additional $20,000 per location franchise fee.
There is also a 5% royalty fee and a 1.5% general marketing fee. The total investment range is $278,000 to $795,000 and is contingent on construction and location.
For more information, visit www.RollEmUp.com.
Daily Press reporter Rene Ray De La Cruz may be reached at 760-951-6227 or RDeLaCruz@VVDailyPress.com. Follow him on Twitter @DP_ReneDeLaCruz.