Monday, September 28, 2009

Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant - Take 2

301 San Jacinto Blvd.
Austin TX, 78701

Well, we finally made it back to The Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant like promised. My usual suspect Jeff was not able to make it, so I met up with Chris Lynn @atx4u, editor-in-chief of, and my buddy Jorge Reyes to see if this place had changed any. BOY! what a 180 turn around since the first time we went. Shit, the first time we practically had to beg to get in. I don't know about you, but when I was a waiter if we closed at 11. We closed at 11, not 10:45.

Show Me Your Taco was invited to a Food Bloggers Happy Hour and tasting at Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant. To be honest I am not sure if I would have ever made it back if it weren’t for this event. I figured well, I can go ahead and get it out of the way. Rio Grande was introducing a new menu and invited the foodie community to check it out, plus they were also having a margarita tasting to see which Margarita should be their signature drink. But as always, we are talking tacos not drinks.

A few of my foodie friends said they felt like the food was way too salty. I didn’t feel like what I tried was too salty but since this was a majority of the feedback the food must have been. Since this was a taste testing of the new menu, they made sure to let Rio Grande Owner and Executive Chef Ron Hurley know their thoughts. Here’s the best part. He listened.

I went back to Rio Grande about three weeks later to have dinner with some friends. Ron was walking around greeting people, serving dishes and being an excellent host. When he got to our table, not only did Ron remember me from the Food Blogger Happy Hour he mentioned that he had gotten feedback that the food was salty. He said he took the feedback and made adjustments to cut down the salt amount. He said that he loved the feedback and it made a change to the dishes for the better.

The Food. There were additional items but we’ll focus on the main three.

El Rey tacos – What I liked most about these tacos was the simplicity. It was steak, avocado, red onions, jalapeƱos, tampico sauce, and queso fresco.

Nine pepper shrimp – We couldn’t get Ron to tell us what the 9 peppers were. But the main thing was that they were big, they were spicy and they were good.

Mahi tacos – I swear he can just call this Ceviche Tacos. These tacos were topped with a mango salsa and spicy slaw. I liked this one. It was also a tongue twister they was they served it.

The Rio Grande is not the most authentic Mexican food place in Austin. Ron’s view of Healthy Tex Mex should tell you that. But they do have a chef and staff that care and the changes from the interior to their food shows that they are listening.

3.5 out of 5 Tacoism.

Watch the review.

The Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant - Take 2 from Nelson Flores on Vimeo.

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