If you live in the Cross Lanes/Nitro area or frequent Cross Vegas (Tri-State Racing and Gaming Center) then you have probably been to one of the restaurants that have inhabited the building at 30 Nitro Market Place. It started its life as a Char House, then it became a BMW’s (barbeque, mexican and wings), and now it is La Roca. I never had the pleasure of eating at the Char House (thank you Baby Jesus), but I did eat at BMW’s once. In my opinion, when you can’t decide what kind of restaurant you want to be you’re doomed to fail.
La Roca was busy during my midweek visit. There wasn’t a wait on Thursday, but I notice they had a pager system that must get put to use on the weekend. We were seated promptly and I inquired about the draft beer selection. I was stressed and thirsty. A 22 oz Dos Equis would have hit the spot, but I would have to settle for a bottle of Negro Medelo in a frosted mug. Yes, I realize there is a Man Law outlawing fruit in beer, but I like a squeeze of lime it my Mexican beer. It is so much more refreshing.
Our chips and salsa hit the table before we opened the menus. The chips where freshly fried and still hot. The salsa was mild and was lacking the cilantro and jalapeno kick that I enjoy. La Roca also serves a creamy dip for the chips. It is salad dressing (it adds a tangy zip ;) ), sour cream, salt, pepper, and seasonings. It was ok, but I’d rather have guacamole any day. The menu is a little different from your typical Mexican joint. They have quite a few grilled entrees. One item that got my attention was the Pina Roca. It was grilled steak, chicken, shrimp, chorizo and vegetables in a hollowed out pineapple for $13.99. It came with a side salad. I was looking for a more inexpensive item, because I planned on ordering a tamale ala carte. My coworker had never seen one and didn’t understand how it was steamed in a corn husk.
In addition to special entrees, they had the order by number combinations that are typical of all Mexican restaurants in the area. I had seen Susan’s shrimp fajitas at Lunch (yes I ate Mexican for lunch, too) and decided I wanted shrimp. I settled on the Arroz con Camarones for $8.99 and a tamale for $2.25. My friend got a Chimichanga. He always orders the chiminchanga. We ate at CJ Maggies, chimichanga. We were in Phoenix together, chimichanga, chimichanga, chimichanga. What can I say? he likes fried burrito goodness. He reported that La Roca’s chimichanga was smaller and not as good as others he has consumed. It is pretty safe to say that he knows what he is talking about.
The Arroz con Camarones was too cheesy for my tastes, but the shrimp were cooked perfectly. The portion was fair for the price. The tamale was stuffed with pork and the flavor was flat. It was topped with cheese, which is different from how I normally see them. I finished my meal with a sopaipilla. My coworker and I went to Arizona on a work trip and really enjoyed the sopaipillas they served out west. We have yet to see the version we enjoyed there in the east. This grilled fluffy tortilla topped with honey and chocolate was delicious, but failed to meet our Arizona sopaipilla expectations. It was $1.99. (Side note: sopaipilla can also be spelled sopapilla or sopaipa.)
This place is busy on the weekend, but generally no lines, and no waiting through the week. Stop in and give this THREE FORK restaurant a go.
I apologize but all my pictures are missing in action. The sopaipilla was taken with my phone.
30 nitro market place
nitro, WV 25143