Sergio Rubio | Serving hearty portions & family vibes

A burrito and a rotisserie chicken plate.

“Mild, medium or hot?” the lady behind the register at the Golden Rotisserie inquires promptly after I’ve placed my order for my umpteenth burrito, highlighting my indecisiveness in front of a line of eager eaters. On her shirt is a chipper-looking chicken with one wing raised, flashing a thumbs up.

I should be more prepared after all of these years, but then again, how can one ever decide? The diverse texture and crispness of the pico de gallo, the sweet and sour smoothness of the salsa verde, the lingering heat of a saucy habanero cocktail.

“Hot, always hot” are Sergio’s words coming from my mouth. I find myself here often, after circling the town seeking something to satisfy my hunger. There’s nothing that does the trick quite like Golden Rotisserie, a quick and affordable taqueria-esque hybrid joint with slow-spun meats, home-style sides, hearty portions and family vibes in the heart of Truckee.

Sergio Rubio and family opened the doors in 2013 after gracing the kitchens of similar establishments around North Lake Tahoe.

“Hello, my friend,” he says one hand in air, same familiar smile on his face, while I belly up to the bar. I let him know about this article and he seems intrigued, but not so much as to break stride from unhinging a rack of tri-tips from his rotisserie to prepare for the slicing.

“Me? I’m just a cook,” he says flattered and humble.

Rubio came to the U.S. from Michoacán, Mexico, and spent time cooking around Southern California before moving his family to Incline Village, Nev. He’s been in the industry for more than 30 years.

Sergio Rubio preparing the tacos al pastor special.

“I’ve always liked cooking for people, talking to people, the community feel to it,” he says.

Serving more than 200 burritos every day, as well as tacos, tostadas, quesadillas and combination plates of tender meats, he’s established himself as a familiar face and his restaurant as a place you can trust to find yourself a good meal.

And he’s made not only customers out of people, but also friends with thousands of locals and passersby alike — most of whom know him by name. It’s also on his hat, in case you forget.

“The high school is a big part of this place; a lot of the kids eat lunch here every day. Even after they leave and go to college, they find their way back in here when they come home on break,” says Rubio.

Notable are the specialties: the hard-shell chicken taco plate or Sergio’s favorite dish, three small tacos al pastor, which is bits of juicy pork cooked in a spicy sauce balanced with small chunks of pineapple — delicious. Yet not on the menu are the chile rellenos, green chilies packed with cheese and deep fried. You can have them a la carte or stuffed inside your burrito. When available, they are a must try.

Sergio, a legend among local chefs, will surely be spinning the rotisserie in Truckee for many years to come.

“Thank you to everyone for all of the support over the years,” he says asking me to reload my plate. “More chips? Salsa?” | (530) 587-4847,