Why Don’t I Ever Go To Rio Anymore? – Rio Grande

Susan says…

Recently, Fork You met another Twitter friend, @msjamie, and her husband for lunch at Rio Grande.  Being that I love Mexican food, my tummy was really looking forward to the excursion.

It had been about a year since I had patronized any Rio Grande location.  Why had I stopped going there?  Was it because I had to arrive early or there were no tables available?  No, I love to have an excuse to eat even earlier than noon.  Was it because I had moved from Cross Lanes to Teays Valley a few years ago?  No, there is a Teays Valley location as well as Nitro.  Plus I work and eat downtown every weekday.

Ron's Pepper Patch

Well, it only took me the 30 seconds required to cut into my chimichanga to remember: my tortilla was full of onions.  I mean, about 50% of the space occupied inside the rolled-up flour tortilla was due to onions.  I thought I had ordered a chicken chimichanga.  Onions and I are friends.  I cook with them on a regular basis.  In fact, last night’s home-cooked Indian food required not one, but TWO, onions.  I do not pick these onions out of the finished product, either.  I eat them.  I also enjoy some chopped sweet (or fresh green) onion on my salad.  Why else would I plant what seems like 200 onion sets all over Ron’s Pepper Patch and in my potted annuals?  I do not have some strange aversion to onions like I do the dreaded mayonnaise.  But come on, people – do have to use SO MANY???  You can barely taste anything but the onions when there’s as many onions as meat.  There are plenty of other Mexican places that fill the entire tortilla with meat for me to have to tolerate this kind of treatment.

So I was going to start picking out the majority of the onions, leaving just what was appropriate for some flavoring when I noticed an interesting anomaly: I apparently received an “Onion and Mystery Meat” chimichanga.  I had no idea that they had added new items to menu.  I should have read more carefully.  See the photo below.  There were what appeared to be three different kinds of meat mixed in with those onions.  (I moved the onions aside so I could get a better photo.)

I took a quick survey of my dining partners.  “Do you think it’s beef?”…. “Well, maybe…but there’s chicken, too”……”That definitely looks like chicken over there”….”I think you got pork in there, too – do they serve pulled pork here?”

lunch chimichanga $4.75

No one knew what I had and it made me a little nervous so I inquired of our server and she said she would bring out a CHICKEN chimichanga.  Which she did.  Unfortunately, it had just as many onions as the Mystery Meat one did.  So I started picking onions out all over again.  I got to take a bite about the same time Jamie had to leave to go back to work.  At least I got in plenty of conversation.

Rio Grande – downtown Charleston location
160 Court St # 7
Charleston, WV 25301
(304) 344-8616

Rio Grande on Urbanspoon
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12 responses to “Why Don’t I Ever Go To Rio Anymore? – Rio Grande

  1. demosthenes.or.locke

    I used to eat at Rio Grande more often a couple years ago, and it was never fantastic or anything, but it does seem to have really gone downhill lately. The guys in the kitchen there really need to lay off the tequila or something.

    The last time I went they screwed up 2 out of 3 orders (we ordered by number and name of item) plus when they brought out the items, one of them was missing the beef from the beef taco salad.

  2. Domino – the tequila is the only thing going here!

    Everyone has to admit Rio’s Margaritas are the best

    POTENT its a chemical wedding

  3. They certainly are the Tudor’s or the Gino’s of Mexican food.

    This post had me thinking, though, that I also haven’t eaten at one of the 342 local Rio Grandes lately.

  4. I have eaten at the downtown Rio dozens and dozens of times and have never had anything less than great tasting food and at least adequate service. I can’t say the same for any other Mexican place. I’ve eaten at some of those only a few times and had at least one bad meal at every one.

    Viva La Rio!

  5. Rio is wildly inconsistent.

    The chimichanga was once a favorite of mine, but I’ve learned to stay clear from it, as the mystery filling inside often turns to gravel in the deep fryer. Chipped teeth have a way of ruining dinner.

    Lately I’ve been getting the burrito mexicana (or whatever it’s called). It’s filled with pork and fajita veg, then doused in that white cheese they put on everything. Everything that’s worth ordering, anyway.

    And man, they have to be making a killing on those margaritas.

  6. I’ve heard they use grain alcohol in their margaritas. Probably just a rumor, but maybe that’s why they are so potent. To quote a friend of mine at their Cinco De Mayo celebration many years ago when they sold glasses of margaritas for $1.25, “You got $3.75? OK, you’re wasted!”

  7. Rio is one of my favorites! I love “Mexican” food and they’ve got the best in town (though I’ve been making some trips to the “Rio” Shoney’s in South Charleston and am liking it, more and more – except for family night).

    After reading your review of Profiro’s (I’m not sure if I spelled that correctly) I made my b-friend take me there yesterday – also an excuse to check out the Borders – and it was nowhere near as delicious as Rio. (we now know if we’re making the drive, we might as well go a little further for Chili Willi’s)

  8. Terrible and Bland. Some of the worst Mexican food I have ever eaten! I think if anyone gives this place a good review they either caught it on a good day or just don’t know what good Mexican good tastes like!

  9. Leah Who Works on Capitol Street

    The few times I’ve eaten at this Rio the food has been delicious and served very quickly. My wait time for dining in and ordering out is always less than ten minutes. The food always matches my order and I’ve never had any complaints!

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  12. I pretty much always order the jumbo beef burrito with a few cold Mexican beers….and I’ve never been disappointed. I guess if I ventured across the menu a bit more I might be, but I like what I like. The servers are friendly enough…even if you do have to point at what you want because most of them can’t understand basic English. Besides, the portions are big, the price is good, and the food (again, based only on a small sampling) has been tasty. I’ll wade through the muck of the transit mall for a meal before a happy hour session at the Outback anytime!

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