After six years of hosting pop-up events around town, Baja California-style food truck operation Rosarito is opening its long-awaited cevicheria at 1812 E. Sixth St., in the parking lot beside Whisler’s cocktail bar.
The open-air eatery will begin serving permanently on Thursday, March 5, marking the first time either of the food trucks has occupied a static location. Alongside traditional, lime-pickled shrimp ceviches, the new location will offer more exotic, sashimi-style fish specials sourced from Mexico, plus a host of vegan options including beet tostadas and salads.
Founded in 2014 by cousins Carlos Acosta and Mauricio Davila, Rosarito began as a taco-focused operation, serving Tex-Mex alternatives such as tempura-battered shrimp tacos and burritos. Following an overwhelmingly positive reception, the duo added a second truck to the mobile lineup in late 2018, this one focused solely on fresh ceviche.
“The cevicheria was our first idea, actually,” says Acosta. “But tacos just made more sense in Austin. Six years ago, we couldn’t imagine Austinites being open to things like Nixta Taqueria’s duck carnitas. Now it seems they’re hungry for variety.”
The permanent outpost of Rosarito’s cevicheria will retain proven pop-up favorites like Valentina’s shrimp, lime-marinated shrimp ceviche tossed with chopped cucumber and Valentina's hot sauce, served as-is or on a tostada with a splash of cool cilantro mayo. As a nod to the original taco truck, they’ll also offer select Ensenada-style tacos, including shrimp, fish, and avocado.
More exotic options will include locally sourced, sushi-grade salmon and tuna, as well as weekly whitefish specials shipped directly from Baja. Such options will be garnished with various fresh fruits and herbs and served as either full tostadas or sized down as part of a “tostada flight.” Rounding out the experience are seven kicked-up mayo creations (e.g., ginger mayo prepped in-house with freshly chopped dill), which guests can mix-and-match for further variety.
While Acosta recognizes Rosarito won’t be the first east side spot offering what he calls “a more mature” taste of Mexico, the chef sees the new location as a brunch-time companion to eateries like Suerte and Comedor. For this reason, Rosarito will not only be BYOB but will also sell house-made michelada mixes made with a fiery combination of árbol, ancho, and guajillo chilis.
The new location signals the end of Rosarito’s ceviche-focused catering operation — at least for now. The Rosarito taco truck will continue to host pop-up events, the dates of which can be found on their website.
Beginning March 5, the cevicheria will be open Wednesday through Sunday, 11 am-5 pm.