Friday, April 4, 2014

Rio Rio

My husband and I are in San Antonio today, and we decided to check out the Riverwalk.  We bought tickets for a boat tour and then decided to find some place to eat.  I was in the mood for Mexican food, so we stopped at the first Mexican restaurant we saw, Rio Rio.

There wasn’t a wait, but we waited anyway because we wanted a table by the river.  We looked over the menu while we waited.  It didn’t take too long for the perfect table to open up.  

When we were seated, our waiter brought over chips and salsa.  They weren’t the best ever, but they were pretty good.  We had a coupon from a guidebook for free queso and 10% off our entrees.  While we waited for the queso, my husband broke off pieces of chips to feed to the ducks.  The ducks were quite entertaining.  It was a meal and a show! 

The queso was pretty good, but I haven’t had a lot of queso.  It mainly just tasted like melted Velveeta with Ro-tel mixed in, but that’s what queso tastes like to me.  I liked picking out the tomatoes from the queso and just having a slightly cheesy flavor with the tomato chunks.  My husband ate most of the queso.  He thought it was really thick and not in a good way.

For his meal, my husband ordered the One Enchilada & One Taco combination, which is described on the menu as “one chicken, beef or cheese enchilada topped with mild sauce and melted cheese, plus a crispy taco with your choice of beef or chicken, shredded lettuce, tomato and cheese.”  He chose a cheese enchilada and a ground beef taco.  His meal was served with rice and beans.  The ground beef in the taco tasted bland and under-seasoned, and the shell tasted like a store-bought shell.  The enchilada needed to be cooked longer.  The cheese wasn’t really melted.  The sauce was fine.  The rice tasted like you’d expect but it wasn’t special.  The beans tasted like they came from a can.  They were pretty much what you’d expect.  Overall, he thought the food wasn’t really bad; it just wasn’t anything special.

I was a little more disappointed in my meal.  I was really in the mood for a fajita salad, so I ordered the House Salad, which is described as “Fresh greens, queso fresco, diced tomatoes and tortilla strips.  Served with your choice of signature house or ranch dressing.”  I added “grilled marinated chicken” to the salad for $2.99 and requested the ranch dressing on the side.  The salad was much smaller than I expected.  I unwrapped the silverware in my napkin and discovered that I only had a fork, no knife.  We asked the waiter for knives.  I needed one to cut the chunks of chicken.  When I finally got the knife, I cut up the chicken and optimistically dug into the salad.  The chicken tasted weird to me.  I had my husband taste it, and he said it just tasted cold.  Then it dawned on him that it tasted like thigh meat instead of breast meat.  He was right.  That was it.  I had been expecting nice strips of white meat like you’d get with fajitas.  I gave most of the meat to my husband because I just didn’t like it.  I didn’t like the dressing either.  It didn’t have that Hidden Valley Ranch flavor I expected.  I’m not convinced they gave me ranch.  It may have been their house dressing.  I didn’t like it.  I ended up pouring salsa on my salad and didn’t eat the dressing. 

I left this meal not feeling full.  I asked my husband if we should look at a dessert menu, but considering how unimpressed we were with our meals, I didn’t really want to chance a mediocre dessert.

In short, it was a great location on the river.  I enjoyed the experience of sitting there and watching the ducks and the boats floating down the river, but my husband and I didn’t love the food.  If I were going to eat at the Riverwalk again, I'd eat at Casa Rio, which was the first business to open its doors on the river.  I just checked out their menu, and they have a fajita salad that sounds way better than what I ordered at Rio Rio for the same price, my husband could've ordered the Casa Rio Deluxe Dinner (their #1 seller) which includes a cheese enchilada, a tamale, a crispy beef taco, chili con carne, guacamole salad, chili con queso, Mexican rice, and refried beans all for the same price as his meal at Rio Rio.

Happy eating!

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