Rock Paper Taco brings a unique vision to the taco scene
Living at the tail end of the food truck boom of recent years, it’s easy to be unimpressed when word of yet another taco pop-up makes its way into Baton Rouge. Rest easy, though, with the opening of Rock Paper Taco, the latest installment in Baton Rouge-native Josh Duke’s (of Olive or Twist and The Cocktail Experiment) food empire. Josh is making it his mission to bring local flavors and fresh ingredients into his latest endeavor, and the effort shows. We spoke with Chris Lavalais, general manager of Rock Paper Taco, to learn about the newest addition to the local food scene.
Inspired by Torchy’s Tacos (an acclaimed taco pop-up chain that originated in Austin, Texas, and famous for its experimental menus), Josh created Rock, Paper, Taco to be an extension of the quality cultivated by Olive or Twist’s food and bar menu, and with his good friend Jacob Talley being the CEO of Tin Roof Brewery, finding this food truck a home was a no-brainer. Now situated on Tin Roof’s front lawn, Rock, Paper, Taco hopes to breathe new life into the pop-up scene.
“We want to be different. Weird. Savory. We want to make more than just a taco,” said Lavalais, and RPT succeeds.
Offering a range of protein options (including shrimp, oysters, pork, chicken, chicken, beef, and cauliflower) and flavor combinations ranging from “classic” to “post-modern,” RPT consistently delivers an unique experience with every taco. House-made and locally sourced ingredients form the foundation of their ever-expanding menu, with Hola Nola! (a New Orleans-based tortilleria) supplying the bedrock tortillas and chips, and every taco is its own unique concept—like the “Mcclung”, made with Nashville hot fried oysters, avocado ranch, and queso fresco, or the “Perkins Palm,” a taco featuring country fried steak, mashed red potatoes, and country gravy—customers at Rock Paper Taco can expect a delicious meal every time.
Rock Paper Taco isn’t without its challenges, though. “We’re all new to this,” said Lavalais. “We’re in a small space, and in a truck. Every day brings something new, but we want to be ready to open, no matter what.”
So how does RPT decide what’s next?
“Word of mouth. We want to give people what they want,” said Lavalais, a philosophy that shows. RPT offers vegetarian options as well as gluten-free options for most of its menu items, and in the future, RPT intends to include a rotating menu. “We have about 60 tacos already planned. Maybe a stand-alone restaurant. But that’s way down the line. We’re taking it a day at the time,” said Lavalais.
For more information about Rock Paper Taco, its menu, location and hours, visit www.rockpapertaco.com.
Photo by Sean Gasser