It has been almost exactly a year since Dos Rocas opened its doors in SoMa with a strong focus on a mix of Latin flavors throughout the menu. Now owners Jack and Corri Sundell are rebranding and reimagining the concept in the form of Mockingbird Bar and Tacos.
The Sundells also own the Root cafe, and a bit of the new idea is to work in more of a Root-like approach in putting a stronger emphasis on locally sourced comfort food, this time with a Latin twist. Expect a lot of ingredients sourced from local farms, similar to the Root, with a menu that changes based on ingredient availability.
There will still be a big focus on local beers, featuring 15 craft beer tabs and a great line up of cocktails.
The new food menu adds an almost completely new line up of tacos including the return of our personal favorite, the Lengua, that briefly made an appearance on some of the opening menus before disappearing. There are also new braised beef, fried fish, smoked tofu, rajas, and veggie tacos.
The trade-off is that our favorite menu item, the pastels, are now gone along with the pupusas. Empanadas and quesadillas remain, although slightly reworked to add a “local leeks & cheese” option to both as well as a sweet potato adobo empanada. New to the menu is the spicy green chorizo hot dog, which has been tested out as a special a time or two.
The sides, salads, and starters are all mostly changed up. They are adding wings and sweet potato fries seem to have replaced the yucca fries everywhere. All of the additions here seem like a great update except for the casualty of the plantains, which likely do not fit the new local sourced concept. Still they were one of the best menu items, so hopefully, they will find their way back in some form.
The change to Mockingbird is set to take place immediately. Give them a bit of adjustment grace while figuring out new menu items, but do stop in to check out the changes.
Full release below
The state bird of Arkansas earned its name reinterpreting the songs of other birds, and now a local Latin American inspired restaurant is taking a page from the same songbook.
Jack Sundell and Corri Bristow-Sundell, owners of the popular farm-to-table Root Cafe on South Main Street, are bringing the same local food focus as the new sole owners of Mockingbird Bar & Tacos, which opened last year as Dos Rocas.
Effective October 24, the restaurant has been rechristened “Mockingbird Bar & Tacos” and features an updated menu that pays homage to Dos Rocas and Latin American foodways while emphasizing the locally grown food that is Jack and Corri’s calling card.
“Our former partners left for personal reasons and Dos Rocas was their story,” says Jack Sundell. “We want to make it our story and that’s the genesis of Mockingbird.”
Sundell notes that “the mockingbird is the state bird of Arkansas and makes its living reinterpreting other birds’ songs. At Mockingbird we’re approaching Latin American foods and flavors from a distinctly Arkansas local food perspective.”
Mockingbird sources from more than a dozen local farms to bring fresh produce, chicken, pork, beef, and eggs to the table. Culinary staff make most of the menu items from scratch–even hand making the corn tortillas for the eponymous tacos before each shift.
Other locally sourced, handmade menu items to look for:
Fried Fish Tacos–masa-breaded local striped bass served with tomatillo chow-chow and chipotle crema (fish from Arkansas Aquaponics in Lonoke)
Spicy Green Chorizo Hot Dog–ground, spiced, and stuffed in house with pork from Rabbit Ridge Farms, topped with jalapeno relish (jalapenos from Arkansas Natural Produce) served on a Community Bakery bun
Seasonal Grilled Vegetable Quesadilla Plate–medley of local seasonal veggies, grilled with cheese on a flour tortilla from Brenda’s Tortilleria, served with a locally sourced side salad and house cilantro vinaigrette
Nine kinds of delicious tacos, with meats like house made chorizo, spiced braised beef, slow roasted carnitas, and tender lengua all sourced from local farms in Central Arkansas
Favorites from the existing Dos Rocas menu will remain including:
Guacamole and queso
Mockingbird features 16 beers on tap–15 from local craft breweries plus the ever-popular Modelo Especial. For many diners there’s no better accompaniment to tacos than a crisp, cold margarita. Keeping with the restaurant’s focus on scratch-made food, Mockingbird’s house margaritas are made only from freshly squeezed lime juice and are always $5.
While the Mockingbird menu and decor have been evolving for several weeks, the official launch of the new menu and name on October 24 coincides with the Arkansas Cornbread Festival taking place in the SoMa neighborhood on October 26.
Mockingbird Bar & Tacos’ culinary team will be competing in the Arkansas Cornbread Festival and will be available for media interviews.