Roll Em Up, a street-casual concept that’s built a cult-following by putting a new school spin to yesteryear’s old-school taquitos, will soon launch a new franchise program.
The idea for a taquito-centric fast food restaurant came to SoCal native Ryan Usrey when his mother would make her famous beef taquitos for all family parties and occasions.
“Growing up in Southern California, our family always loved eating all kinds of Mexican food, and especially taquitos,” says 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.”
It got to the point where the Usrey family (including patriarch Ron) would always casually declare that they should open a taquitos-only eatery but unfortunately, Usrey’s mom Karen passed before they could realize the dream together.
Fast forward a few years and the Usreys have turned that dream into reality, with a fast-food empire in the making by expanding the menu to include other complementary street-food inspired dishes such as street corn and churro donuts. Roll Em Up’s first location opened in Chino Hills in 2019 and became an instant success, selling an average of 3,500 taquitos a day for the last few years, with a steady stream of cars snaking around the parking lot daily, not to mention more than 40,000 followers on their Instagram account along with TikTok videos that have amassed over a million views.
The menu is simple but focused: Taquitos of course, are the star, with five kinds: braised shredded beef, shredded chicken, potato, cheese and avocado.
Roll Em Up’s taquitos are made with fresh ingredients and are all pan fried to order in custom cast iron skillets – the shells are lighter, more tender and a world apart from the concrete-like ones from the freezer commonly found at most restaurants that offer it. You won’t find a single freezer at Roll Em Up. In fact, Roll Em Up’s taquitos are hand-rolled and fried daily with corn or flour tortillas, just like Mama Karen made ‘em. Traditional toppings like cheese and sour cream are offered, in addition to an array of proprietary, housemade dipping sauces, including a mild or spicy house sauce, guac sauce, queso sauce, and their famous “lit” sauce.
Rounding out the menu is Roll Em Up’s wildly popular takes on Street Corn, whole ears of corn on a stick that come loaded with butter, mayo, cotija cheese; dusted with Hot Cheetos and Tajin or coated in queso, for a craveworthy treat served conveniently in a Roll Em Up cup and lid. Housemade beans and rice are also available and for dessert, churro donuts are fried to order and drizzled with caramel sauce. Beverages include Batch Craft Soda along with assorted flavors of horchata.
Now, Usrey is positioning Roll Em Up for rapid growth and expansion through its franchising program, which is expected to launch in April. In addition to franchising, Roll Em Up will continue opening corporate locations throughout Southern California, with a second location set to open in Brea in April and a third in San Clemente later this year.
“While other guys continue to fight the burger, chicken and pizza wars, we say: peace, love & eat taquitos!” says Usrey.