Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant - Austin

★★★★☆
  • 301 San Jacinto Blvd

    Austin, TX 78701

    Map & Directions
  • 512-476-8300

About Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant - Austin

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BEST MEXICAN MARTINIS EVER!

2
★★★★★

BEST MEXICAN MARTINIS EVER!

Pros: OMG YUMMY!

Cons: HANGOVER

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Stopped by for dinner last night and was pleasantly surprised to find that the restaurant was busy yet I didn't have to wait for a table! The young man who waited on us had an excellent knowledge of the menu and always seemed one step ahead of our wants and needs. I had the El Rey tacos which feature fillet mignon cooked in 9 peppers which were very tasty. This is great except I stopped caring half way through my meal because I was so buzzed from my 2nd margarita!!! I'll be back for my 3 marg limit!!!

4
★★★★☆

Stopped by for dinner last night and was pleasantly surprised to find that the restaurant was busy yet I didn't have to wait for a table! The young man who waited on us had an excellent knowledge of the menu and always seemed one step ahead of our wants and needs. I had the El Rey tacos which feature fillet mignon cooked in 9 peppers which were very tasty. This is great except I stopped caring half way through my meal because I was so buzzed from my 2nd margarita!!! I'll be back for my 3 marg limit!!!

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Went here with a large group for a work happy hour. Had a good time, great drinks, plenty of food options that were great for sharing.

2
★★★★★

Went here with a large group for a work happy hour. Had a good time, great drinks, plenty of food options that were great for sharing.

Pros: Great place for groups!

Cons: Lack of street parking but valet is ok for $6

.

I went to Rio and took them up on the margarita coupon they have listed on Citysearch and was not disappointed at all! VERY good margarita's and good happy hour pricing on food. Definantely going to be of my spots to hit for happy hour from now on!

2
★★★★★

I went to Rio and took them up on the margarita coupon they have listed on Citysearch and was not disappointed at all! VERY good margarita's and good happy hour pricing on food. Definantely going to be of my spots to hit for happy hour from now on!

Pros: Great Margarita's

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Pay attention to the warning on the menu because their margaritas don't mess around. I had 2 and definitely got my money's worth. LOVE IT and love their location in the middle of downtown Austin. This is a great spot to grab a drink with friends after work or before a night on the town - especially with their close vicinity to 6th St and the Warehouse District. We ordered both the Chile Con Queso and the Scratch Guacamole which were both good. My only suggestion would be to give their salsa a little more kick. Overall, nice atmosphere, good service, and some tasty drinks and Mexican food.

2
★★★★★

Pay attention to the warning on the menu because their margaritas don't mess around. I had 2 and definitely got my money's worth. LOVE IT and love their location in the middle of downtown Austin. This is a great spot to grab a drink with friends after work or before a night on the town - especially with their close vicinity to 6th St and the Warehouse District. We ordered both the Chile Con Queso and the Scratch Guacamole which were both good. My only suggestion would be to give their salsa a little more kick. Overall, nice atmosphere, good service, and some tasty drinks and Mexican food.

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Great Margaritas and beer prices. I had a Rio Grande house margarita. It was perhaps the best I have ever had. Be careful. they are strong and can sneak up on you.

2
★★★★★

Great Margaritas and beer prices. I had a Rio Grande house margarita. It was perhaps the best I have ever had. Be careful. they are strong and can sneak up on you.

Pros: Appetzers

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Great GreatGreatGreatGreatGreatGreatGreatGreatGreatGreatGreatGreatGreatGreatGreatGreatGreatGreatGreatGreatGreat Great

2
★★★★★

Great GreatGreatGreatGreatGreatGreatGreatGreatGreatGreatGreatGreatGreatGreatGreatGreatGreatGreatGreatGreatGreat Great

Pros: Best

Cons: Simply Nothing

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The first time I had dinner at this place it was ok.. so I went back to give it another try. First the service was horrible! The waiters are very very slow to bring out food and drinks. We waited 45min to get our food they never brought out water and chips we had to ask for it. We had to ask for our bill.. Boy they were quick to bring us our check though
I will never go back there again!

0
★☆☆☆☆

The first time I had dinner at this place it was ok.. so I went back to give it another try. First the service was horrible! The waiters are very very slow to bring out food and drinks. We waited 45min to get our food they never brought out water and chips we had to ask for it. We had to ask for our bill.. Boy they were quick to bring us our check though
I will never go back there again!

Pros: no good customer service and pricey

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If you really like Mexican food then this might not be the place for you. The food wasn't exactly terrible, but I have had better Mexican. The price is pretty reasonable, and the staff was all helpful and friendly. If you are a fan of The Real World Austin however, this place is pretty neat considering they changed it from the house into the restaurant. On a plus for those fans, Big Tex is still in there and they still have half of the pool left.

2
★★☆☆☆

If you really like Mexican food then this might not be the place for you. The food wasn't exactly terrible, but I have had better Mexican. The price is pretty reasonable, and the staff was all helpful and friendly. If you are a fan of The Real World Austin however, this place is pretty neat considering they changed it from the house into the restaurant. On a plus for those fans, Big Tex is still in there and they still have half of the pool left.

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I've lived in Texas all of my life and have had my share of "Tex-Mex" and what I've found in my experiences is that places either execute poorly and sloppy, or they keep the par. What makes places stick out is their twist on the menu.
Let's face it, Tex-Mex is simple. The plates should be as well. There's nothing spectacular about the cuisine and I think that's why it appeals to so many people. I usually just cook the stuff at home, but if I DO go out, I go to a specific place for a specific thing. And with the Rio, I go for the atmosphere and clean, fresh food, and of course, the booze. I go there before bouncing around other places to put some grub and drink and enjoy the company I'm in.
I like their beer selection--nothing crazy--the bar has what it needs to satisfy any palate. I don't like how the liquor is limited to tequila, but hey, when in Rome...Now, margaritas are fine for hanging around in the summer, but when it's cold out, i'll go for the good stuff "neat" and sip. I think they have something like 15 or so quality blue agave tequilas so the hardest part is choosing which one. I don't know about the no Grand Ma in the Top Shelf issue though but I was taught: never ASSuME. Ask for it.
The staff for the most part is extremely friendly and seem to really enjoy showing you a decent time! As for the food, I like the wood-fired grill--it's a change from Austin standard. I think it's the wood that you're tasting, NOT liquid smoke or "burn". The salsa is simple, tasty and gets the job done, if not you can get the spicier one. Tex-mex in Austin loves crazy sauces & melted cheese. The Rio doesn't fall into that mess and I like that--it's their twist. You're not tasting sauce, you're tasting the food. I think the way to go at this place are knife-n-fork burritos, seafood ench, or smoked tacos.Judging Tex-Mex by fajitas is lame since the cut is horrible anyway. The best are done at home.
I say: go in grab a bite and enjoy yourself

2
★★★★☆

I've lived in Texas all of my life and have had my share of "Tex-Mex" and what I've found in my experiences is that places either execute poorly and sloppy, or they keep the par. What makes places stick out is their twist on the menu.
Let's face it, Tex-Mex is simple. The plates should be as well. There's nothing spectacular about the cuisine and I think that's why it appeals to so many people. I usually just cook the stuff at home, but if I DO go out, I go to a specific place for a specific thing. And with the Rio, I go for the atmosphere and clean, fresh food, and of course, the booze. I go there before bouncing around other places to put some grub and drink and enjoy the company I'm in.
I like their beer selection--nothing crazy--the bar has what it needs to satisfy any palate. I don't like how the liquor is limited to tequila, but hey, when in Rome...Now, margaritas are fine for hanging around in the summer, but when it's cold out, i'll go for the good stuff "neat" and sip. I think they have something like 15 or so quality blue agave tequilas so the hardest part is choosing which one. I don't know about the no Grand Ma in the Top Shelf issue though but I was taught: never ASSuME. Ask for it.
The staff for the most part is extremely friendly and seem to really enjoy showing you a decent time! As for the food, I like the wood-fired grill--it's a change from Austin standard. I think it's the wood that you're tasting, NOT liquid smoke or "burn". The salsa is simple, tasty and gets the job done, if not you can get the spicier one. Tex-mex in Austin loves crazy sauces & melted cheese. The Rio doesn't fall into that mess and I like that--it's their twist. You're not tasting sauce, you're tasting the food. I think the way to go at this place are knife-n-fork burritos, seafood ench, or smoked tacos.Judging Tex-Mex by fajitas is lame since the cut is horrible anyway. The best are done at home.
I say: go in grab a bite and enjoy yourself

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This place had good food once upon a time. Maybe the management has changed - I'm not sure. However, I there in October 2008 and was hugely disappointed. I intended to take 8 co-workers from Chicago out for "authentic Tex-Mex" and what I got was anything but authentic.

The beans were completely inedible. The flavor, texture and even smell was disgusting. I couldn't touch them.

In a previous review someone said the Fajitas had a ?burnt? flavor. I know exactly what he mean but I?ll go one step further. That flavor he was describing is ?Liquid-Smoke?. It made the fajitas taste burnt and chemically unnatural.

NO ONE liked their food. Honestly, I?ve only had worse Mexican food once in my life and that was in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania at a restaurant that was once a McDonald?s.

HOW CAN THIS PLACE HAVE A 4.5 STAR RATING? Just look at the combined reviews. There are more ratings below 3 Start than anything else. It?s a City-Search conspiracy :-0

0
★☆☆☆☆

This place had good food once upon a time. Maybe the management has changed - I'm not sure. However, I there in October 2008 and was hugely disappointed. I intended to take 8 co-workers from Chicago out for "authentic Tex-Mex" and what I got was anything but authentic.

The beans were completely inedible. The flavor, texture and even smell was disgusting. I couldn't touch them.

In a previous review someone said the Fajitas had a ?burnt? flavor. I know exactly what he mean but I?ll go one step further. That flavor he was describing is ?Liquid-Smoke?. It made the fajitas taste burnt and chemically unnatural.

NO ONE liked their food. Honestly, I?ve only had worse Mexican food once in my life and that was in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania at a restaurant that was once a McDonald?s.

HOW CAN THIS PLACE HAVE A 4.5 STAR RATING? Just look at the combined reviews. There are more ratings below 3 Start than anything else. It?s a City-Search conspiracy :-0

Pros: If all you want is an $8 margarita this would be suitable.

Cons: Everything else

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I've lived in Austin a little over a year but have had little time to dine out. This past week a friend of mine was visiting town so I finally got an excuse to venture out and do some exploring. The concierge at my friend's hotel recommended 'the Rio" to him, so we decided to grab a bite before heading out on the town.

When we arrived I immediately noticed the large number of beautiful women working at the restaurant. Even the manager was cute. Whoever is doing the hiring at this place, keep it up! We grabbed a seat near the bar and ordered a couple of margaritas and some 'surf and turf' tacos. Our drinks arrived quickly and were surprisingly strong. The food arrived shortly thereafter. I was impressed by the quality of the shrimp and tenderloin and enjoyed the fresh flour tortillas immensely. We ended up sticking around for a few more drinks so we could enjoy the 'scenery'.

The food and drinks were good enough to bring me back to the Rio by themselves, but the quality of the staff sealed the deal for me. I will most definitely be back again soon.

2
★★★★☆

I've lived in Austin a little over a year but have had little time to dine out. This past week a friend of mine was visiting town so I finally got an excuse to venture out and do some exploring. The concierge at my friend's hotel recommended 'the Rio" to him, so we decided to grab a bite before heading out on the town.

When we arrived I immediately noticed the large number of beautiful women working at the restaurant. Even the manager was cute. Whoever is doing the hiring at this place, keep it up! We grabbed a seat near the bar and ordered a couple of margaritas and some 'surf and turf' tacos. Our drinks arrived quickly and were surprisingly strong. The food arrived shortly thereafter. I was impressed by the quality of the shrimp and tenderloin and enjoyed the fresh flour tortillas immensely. We ended up sticking around for a few more drinks so we could enjoy the 'scenery'.

The food and drinks were good enough to bring me back to the Rio by themselves, but the quality of the staff sealed the deal for me. I will most definitely be back again soon.

.

This place is as terrible as it is gimmicky! They are very proud of their mediocre food and charge unreasonably for it ( $17 for 6 shrimp, $15 for two tacos- okay if they're good, but they're not). The service is terrible, and the margaritas... how they were voted the BEST alludes me. A top shelf margarita has Grand Marnier... it just does. Everywhere you go that's what "top shelf" means. Not here. These cheapies just give you a "better tequilla." Really it's already supposed to have a better tequilla. They cut corners wherever they can (food, service, drinks, etc.) and it is apparent. This place is a joke.

0
★☆☆☆☆

This place is as terrible as it is gimmicky! They are very proud of their mediocre food and charge unreasonably for it ( $17 for 6 shrimp, $15 for two tacos- okay if they're good, but they're not). The service is terrible, and the margaritas... how they were voted the BEST alludes me. A top shelf margarita has Grand Marnier... it just does. Everywhere you go that's what "top shelf" means. Not here. These cheapies just give you a "better tequilla." Really it's already supposed to have a better tequilla. They cut corners wherever they can (food, service, drinks, etc.) and it is apparent. This place is a joke.

Pros: building is intersting

Cons: you can't eat the building

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I've been here for happy hour several times and they have some GREAT deals! Cheap (and very tasty) appetizers and very inexpensive drinks! I think I got a drink and enough appetizers to qualify for a meal for less than $4!

The staff was VERY busy, so it was a little slower than I would have hoped, but with so many friends and good drinks/food, it wasn't much of an inconvenience at all!

4
★★★★☆

I've been here for happy hour several times and they have some GREAT deals! Cheap (and very tasty) appetizers and very inexpensive drinks! I think I got a drink and enough appetizers to qualify for a meal for less than $4!

The staff was VERY busy, so it was a little slower than I would have hoped, but with so many friends and good drinks/food, it wasn't much of an inconvenience at all!

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.

I went to this place thinking, "I've heard it advertised as pretty good, let me go check it out." Keep in mind, that this was my 4th option on what was a very busy Wednesday afternoon lunch hour. I waited about 15 minutes to be seated. I ordered the chicken burrito and my girlfriend ordered the chicken fajitas. This food wouldn't even pass for mexican food if you didn't even know what mexican food was... call me spolied, or call it that I've had better quality food off of construction site taco trailers. It was definitely a white-person attempt at mexican food (no offense, I am white myself). It remined me of what my parents would pass off as mexican food in northern Michigan. Although my burrito was rather large, it was very sloppy and soggy-almost watery. The fajitas had what totaled 5 small strips of chicken- they reminded me of the generic pre-made fajita strips you can buy at HEB. And the taste was awful... another reviewer put it best that they tasted like a smokey Worchestershire sauce. The tortillas were okay, but seemed like the kind you would buy in the store, not the homemade version that so many of the mexican restuarants in Austin use. And what they tried to pass off as sopapillas were just awful.

I will admit that the waitstaff was curtious. My girlfriend had casually made a comment that her food was awful as one passed by, and they promptly had a manager come speak to us about our experience. Luckily they have a money-back guarantee on the quality of their food. Needless to say, we did not have to pay the nearly $11 for her food.

All in all, the food was awful. This place is more about the experience of being in the "old Real World House" than it is about the food. With so many other Mexican places with WAY better food at WAY better prices, I will never have a need or a desire to return here... unless it is a weekend evening to have a drink, then they may get a second chance, but it defintely won't be for the food!

0
★☆☆☆☆

I went to this place thinking, "I've heard it advertised as pretty good, let me go check it out." Keep in mind, that this was my 4th option on what was a very busy Wednesday afternoon lunch hour. I waited about 15 minutes to be seated. I ordered the chicken burrito and my girlfriend ordered the chicken fajitas. This food wouldn't even pass for mexican food if you didn't even know what mexican food was... call me spolied, or call it that I've had better quality food off of construction site taco trailers. It was definitely a white-person attempt at mexican food (no offense, I am white myself). It remined me of what my parents would pass off as mexican food in northern Michigan. Although my burrito was rather large, it was very sloppy and soggy-almost watery. The fajitas had what totaled 5 small strips of chicken- they reminded me of the generic pre-made fajita strips you can buy at HEB. And the taste was awful... another reviewer put it best that they tasted like a smokey Worchestershire sauce. The tortillas were okay, but seemed like the kind you would buy in the store, not the homemade version that so many of the mexican restuarants in Austin use. And what they tried to pass off as sopapillas were just awful.

I will admit that the waitstaff was curtious. My girlfriend had casually made a comment that her food was awful as one passed by, and they promptly had a manager come speak to us about our experience. Luckily they have a money-back guarantee on the quality of their food. Needless to say, we did not have to pay the nearly $11 for her food.

All in all, the food was awful. This place is more about the experience of being in the "old Real World House" than it is about the food. With so many other Mexican places with WAY better food at WAY better prices, I will never have a need or a desire to return here... unless it is a weekend evening to have a drink, then they may get a second chance, but it defintely won't be for the food!

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I am normally the BIG MEXICAN that eveyone ask where to go eat. I made the call RIO GRANDE and I should had ran for the BORDER. Let me start with the positive: the drinks...strong and pretty good. Ok now for the problems. Food: Very expensive for what you get. We ordered the Mixed fajitas, one plate wtih shrimp and beef the other with chicken and beef. Not only was there a lovely burnt flavor but the tenederness of cardboard. The rice and beans were fine just like at most places simple and not much to them. The portion was small for the price. $17+ for get 3 shrimp and enough meat to fill a TACO BELL taco. I can't make this stuff up!...The server spent more time hanging out with the other tables about 4 other large table through out had hot girls going to party that night so maybe the looser thought he had a chance? The queso was as good as the Cinemarks nachos and the Salsa was a snooze fest also. I know i was not looking for REAL mexican food cause i would have gone to like POLVOS or El RINCONCITO LA MICHOACANA, but this stuff was down right bad even for you white Folks that love TEX MEX. When we complained we did not get the food compt even though we left half of it and i never leave food. What we did get is $10 each to come back and eat more rubber dog food at RIO GRANDE! yeah no thanks...anyone want $10 gift card for $5?

1
★★☆☆☆

I am normally the BIG MEXICAN that eveyone ask where to go eat. I made the call RIO GRANDE and I should had ran for the BORDER. Let me start with the positive: the drinks...strong and pretty good. Ok now for the problems. Food: Very expensive for what you get. We ordered the Mixed fajitas, one plate wtih shrimp and beef the other with chicken and beef. Not only was there a lovely burnt flavor but the tenederness of cardboard. The rice and beans were fine just like at most places simple and not much to them. The portion was small for the price. $17+ for get 3 shrimp and enough meat to fill a TACO BELL taco. I can't make this stuff up!...The server spent more time hanging out with the other tables about 4 other large table through out had hot girls going to party that night so maybe the looser thought he had a chance? The queso was as good as the Cinemarks nachos and the Salsa was a snooze fest also. I know i was not looking for REAL mexican food cause i would have gone to like POLVOS or El RINCONCITO LA MICHOACANA, but this stuff was down right bad even for you white Folks that love TEX MEX. When we complained we did not get the food compt even though we left half of it and i never leave food. What we did get is $10 each to come back and eat more rubber dog food at RIO GRANDE! yeah no thanks...anyone want $10 gift card for $5?

Pros: Drinks were very Strong and Good

Cons: Food was burnet, very expensive, small portions, very bland and just bad!

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This place is all right, easy to walk to from a couple hotels near the Convention Center, able to seat small or large groups, and provides good-tasting TexMex food at reasonable prices. The bar has televisions to catch the latest on ESPN, the main dining area is spacious. The chips were fresh and crisp; the salsa had a good kick. I like how they offer mini margaritas for those who just wanted a little nip with the food. I ordered an entree salad and substituted in marinated steak which had a great flavor on its own. It was Sunday evening, while there was a large private party in the private room, there weren't too many other patrons, so service was prompt and efficient. A decent place for the business traveler.

1
★★★☆☆

This place is all right, easy to walk to from a couple hotels near the Convention Center, able to seat small or large groups, and provides good-tasting TexMex food at reasonable prices. The bar has televisions to catch the latest on ESPN, the main dining area is spacious. The chips were fresh and crisp; the salsa had a good kick. I like how they offer mini margaritas for those who just wanted a little nip with the food. I ordered an entree salad and substituted in marinated steak which had a great flavor on its own. It was Sunday evening, while there was a large private party in the private room, there weren't too many other patrons, so service was prompt and efficient. A decent place for the business traveler.

Pros: Location, food, prices

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Seeing such strongly worded for-and-against arguments for this restaurant has led me to sign up and post the first of my own. I am a long-time downtown resident who loves to cook and eat out and besides experiencing pretty much every downtown restaurant, I have visited Rio several times since they opened over a year ago. They had good food but some of the other elements were shaky when they began but have happily improved steadily. If you visited a year ago and didn't care for the soundtrack or thought their wait-staff was a bunch of newbies, I'd suggest giving them another shot because they really do have excellent margaritas and a refreshingly relaxed vibe for a downtown restaurant.

A couple of other notes is that they're active in the neigborhood and that counts for a lot in my book. People knock the place because Rio got their start in Colorado and then they walk down the street to P.F. Chang's or something. To me, being local is a mindset more than an address (though my understanding is the the owners are originally from Austin). Second, is that the place is big which can mean with a normal crowd it can still feel empty and with a capacity crowd on Friday or Saturday it can get loud. Someone mentioned or else implied that it's popular with women - I don't know if it is or isn't (I'm a guy) but it's popular with birthday parties and bachelorette parties because it can accomodate people...and yes I guess they're mostly girls. Third is that they have a good private room in the back if you need it for meetings, etc... and don't want to go to someplace so formal as Louie's 106's downstairs or something similar. I'm in several organizations and have used them at different times and it has always went over well with attendees.

So in conclusion...I give it four stars because this is Austin and competition is stiff. Bright points are the Margaritas and Sunday brunch. If you haven't been in a while - you should check it out again.

2
★★★★☆

Seeing such strongly worded for-and-against arguments for this restaurant has led me to sign up and post the first of my own. I am a long-time downtown resident who loves to cook and eat out and besides experiencing pretty much every downtown restaurant, I have visited Rio several times since they opened over a year ago. They had good food but some of the other elements were shaky when they began but have happily improved steadily. If you visited a year ago and didn't care for the soundtrack or thought their wait-staff was a bunch of newbies, I'd suggest giving them another shot because they really do have excellent margaritas and a refreshingly relaxed vibe for a downtown restaurant.

A couple of other notes is that they're active in the neigborhood and that counts for a lot in my book. People knock the place because Rio got their start in Colorado and then they walk down the street to P.F. Chang's or something. To me, being local is a mindset more than an address (though my understanding is the the owners are originally from Austin). Second, is that the place is big which can mean with a normal crowd it can still feel empty and with a capacity crowd on Friday or Saturday it can get loud. Someone mentioned or else implied that it's popular with women - I don't know if it is or isn't (I'm a guy) but it's popular with birthday parties and bachelorette parties because it can accomodate people...and yes I guess they're mostly girls. Third is that they have a good private room in the back if you need it for meetings, etc... and don't want to go to someplace so formal as Louie's 106's downstairs or something similar. I'm in several organizations and have used them at different times and it has always went over well with attendees.

So in conclusion...I give it four stars because this is Austin and competition is stiff. Bright points are the Margaritas and Sunday brunch. If you haven't been in a while - you should check it out again.

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Previous reviews were either 5 stars or 1 star. Seems the 5 stars were a fake review by employees, or some one else with a vested interest.

We found the place to be nicely decorated, in fact we though it pretty cool. We sat in the bar, while waiting for the rest of our party to arrive. We found the bar to be very nice, however quite empty.
I ordered a Vodka soda. The bartender snapped that they didint serve vodka, all they had was tequila and beer, which did I want?
Well franky, I didnt want either. I am not much of a tequila drinker, and I didnt feel like a beer. My group (including myself) are big drinkers, and we are not kids. We apriciate good liquer and fine wines. I wasnt looking for fine wine in this place, but I did expect a full bar. Let me say that we did try the margaritas, and they were less than average. I moved on to a Mexican martini, that was just plain bad! They served it in the normal shaker that you normally get with a mexican martini, it was all ice. There was about 1.25 glasses of mixed drink in it. The waiter told me that it was mesured, and that is all that is what I was supposed to get.

Here is my comment on the bar: The owner/manegement left a lot of money on the table, by not serving us what we wanted. Our bar tab was probebly 1/4 of what it could have been, if they had allowed us what we prefered to drink. If they were going to encourage people to drink margeritas or other tequila drinks, they should make them exceptional, not batch mixed, as they were. I think its poor business, to jump through the hoops to get a full bar permit, then not use it.

Now for the food:
The chips were served in a (dinner) salad bowl, so they ended up all over the table. The queso reminded me of the stuff from Sam's Club in the big one gallon cans that says Nacho cheese sauce (only thinner)

My origanal review ran over by 1200 charicters. This is the condensed version.

Bad food, Bad overpriced drinks, bad service, all a great looking place!

0
★☆☆☆☆

Previous reviews were either 5 stars or 1 star. Seems the 5 stars were a fake review by employees, or some one else with a vested interest.

We found the place to be nicely decorated, in fact we though it pretty cool. We sat in the bar, while waiting for the rest of our party to arrive. We found the bar to be very nice, however quite empty.
I ordered a Vodka soda. The bartender snapped that they didint serve vodka, all they had was tequila and beer, which did I want?
Well franky, I didnt want either. I am not much of a tequila drinker, and I didnt feel like a beer. My group (including myself) are big drinkers, and we are not kids. We apriciate good liquer and fine wines. I wasnt looking for fine wine in this place, but I did expect a full bar. Let me say that we did try the margaritas, and they were less than average. I moved on to a Mexican martini, that was just plain bad! They served it in the normal shaker that you normally get with a mexican martini, it was all ice. There was about 1.25 glasses of mixed drink in it. The waiter told me that it was mesured, and that is all that is what I was supposed to get.

Here is my comment on the bar: The owner/manegement left a lot of money on the table, by not serving us what we wanted. Our bar tab was probebly 1/4 of what it could have been, if they had allowed us what we prefered to drink. If they were going to encourage people to drink margeritas or other tequila drinks, they should make them exceptional, not batch mixed, as they were. I think its poor business, to jump through the hoops to get a full bar permit, then not use it.

Now for the food:
The chips were served in a (dinner) salad bowl, so they ended up all over the table. The queso reminded me of the stuff from Sam's Club in the big one gallon cans that says Nacho cheese sauce (only thinner)

My origanal review ran over by 1200 charicters. This is the condensed version.

Bad food, Bad overpriced drinks, bad service, all a great looking place!

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This place is great!! I went with a group of 10 girls after work, and the happy hour was fabulous! The food is delish and the margaritas are yummy. The service was great too, everyone was attentive making sure we had drinks and water and chips and salsa. They were friendly and I will definitely go back!

Oh, I have also been here for dinner and the Enchildas del Mar were delicious. I need to go back for that, but I highly reccomend this place for Happy hours.

2
★★★★★

This place is great!! I went with a group of 10 girls after work, and the happy hour was fabulous! The food is delish and the margaritas are yummy. The service was great too, everyone was attentive making sure we had drinks and water and chips and salsa. They were friendly and I will definitely go back!

Oh, I have also been here for dinner and the Enchildas del Mar were delicious. I need to go back for that, but I highly reccomend this place for Happy hours.

Pros: food, drinks, service

Cons: can be pricey

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"fake review by employees" ..??? I am not an employee and I don't have a clue who owns The Rio Grande. What I am is a vegetarian who enjoys seeing a large and clearly outlined vegetarian selection on a menu. I wish they had vodka too, but I'm fine drinking a margarita because it's MEXICAN FOOD! If you didn't like the bar selection, why didn't you just leave? I wouldn't stick around somewhere just to complain later. Regardless, I think you either love Rio or hate it. If you hate it, fine with me. Stay away. I won't have to wait to be seated.

2
★★★★★

"fake review by employees" ..??? I am not an employee and I don't have a clue who owns The Rio Grande. What I am is a vegetarian who enjoys seeing a large and clearly outlined vegetarian selection on a menu. I wish they had vodka too, but I'm fine drinking a margarita because it's MEXICAN FOOD! If you didn't like the bar selection, why didn't you just leave? I wouldn't stick around somewhere just to complain later. Regardless, I think you either love Rio or hate it. If you hate it, fine with me. Stay away. I won't have to wait to be seated.

Pros: Large Menu Selection, Vegetarian

Cons: Still No Full Bar

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The restaurant decor feels slapped together from different worlds (including MTV's Real World). The food is so-so, but the drinks are good and the bar area is bright and fun, and a good place to meet friends for happy hour.

1
★★★☆☆

The restaurant decor feels slapped together from different worlds (including MTV's Real World). The food is so-so, but the drinks are good and the bar area is bright and fun, and a good place to meet friends for happy hour.

Pros: Downtown

Cons: Downtown

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The food was alright- nothing special in the least bit. We had heard great things about the margaritas... what a let-down. They say they put "3 shots" in the margaritas- baby shot? None of us could taste ANY alcohol and it wasn't because "they were made so well that you can't taste the alcohol." What I found to be the worst part of the experience was the TASTELESS interior- tacky is an understatement. It reminded me of being at Chuck E Cheese's. The airconditioner above us was dripping on my shoulder and on the table. We will not be returning.

1
★★★☆☆

The food was alright- nothing special in the least bit. We had heard great things about the margaritas... what a let-down. They say they put "3 shots" in the margaritas- baby shot? None of us could taste ANY alcohol and it wasn't because "they were made so well that you can't taste the alcohol." What I found to be the worst part of the experience was the TASTELESS interior- tacky is an understatement. It reminded me of being at Chuck E Cheese's. The airconditioner above us was dripping on my shoulder and on the table. We will not be returning.

Pros: The food was warm...

Cons: Atmosphere, Margaritas

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I've been on a search for the best margarita in Austin...the vast majority are way too sweet, but Rio Grande got it right. You can order 2 mini's during happy hour ($2 each) or go ahead and order your big boy ($6). The waitstaff is very friendly as is the owner, who stopped at our table and chatted with us. Very cool atmosphere.

2
★★★★★

I've been on a search for the best margarita in Austin...the vast majority are way too sweet, but Rio Grande got it right. You can order 2 mini's during happy hour ($2 each) or go ahead and order your big boy ($6). The waitstaff is very friendly as is the owner, who stopped at our table and chatted with us. Very cool atmosphere.

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We hosted our company holiday party at the Rio last week and had a wonderful time. It was extremely easy to make the reservation. The staff confirmed everything with me the day of and had everything set up for us when we arrived. The room was private and festive. They even decorated the tables for us without me asking. They did a fajita buffet for us and the food was delicious, served hot and fresh. For the price, there was more food than we can eat. I would definitely use their private party services again!

2
★★★★★

We hosted our company holiday party at the Rio last week and had a wonderful time. It was extremely easy to make the reservation. The staff confirmed everything with me the day of and had everything set up for us when we arrived. The room was private and festive. They even decorated the tables for us without me asking. They did a fajita buffet for us and the food was delicious, served hot and fresh. For the price, there was more food than we can eat. I would definitely use their private party services again!

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I love this place! The atmosphere is fun, serivce is great, and the food is tasty. I can be a tough judge on a margarita but I have to say, they have a good one.

2
★★★★★

I love this place! The atmosphere is fun, serivce is great, and the food is tasty. I can be a tough judge on a margarita but I have to say, they have a good one.

Pros: Great atmosphere, fun location, good food.

Cons: Parking

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I went to The Rio Grande on a Thursday night last week and had a great time. We went in at 8pm and sat down right away. The chips and salsa are the best in town. We started off with the Chile Con Queso with flour tortillas, I could not get enough. I got one of the top-shelf margaritas, the Patron one. So Good! So good, I had a second one. For my dinner I got the Chicken Tacos, they came with rice and black beans and sour cream. I was happy about the black beans because I get tired of the lard everyone has in re-fried beans. They were great. Our server was great, she was friendly and prompt. I can't wait to go back and try some other things. Great location for going out on 6th st. after dinner.

2
★★★★★

I went to The Rio Grande on a Thursday night last week and had a great time. We went in at 8pm and sat down right away. The chips and salsa are the best in town. We started off with the Chile Con Queso with flour tortillas, I could not get enough. I got one of the top-shelf margaritas, the Patron one. So Good! So good, I had a second one. For my dinner I got the Chicken Tacos, they came with rice and black beans and sour cream. I was happy about the black beans because I get tired of the lard everyone has in re-fried beans. They were great. Our server was great, she was friendly and prompt. I can't wait to go back and try some other things. Great location for going out on 6th st. after dinner.

Pros: Food, service, enthusiasm of server

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I'm a very easy person to please when it comes to food and service, but unfortunately, this place left me unsatisfied. From the time we got there, the bad experiences came. We headed to the bar to wait for our table and I ordered 4 drinks for my party. The total was $16. I gave the bartender a $20, expecting him to give me change and then I expected to tip him off of that change. He took my $20, and moved on to the next customer. I let that go, but in my mind, that was strike 1. We got seated and two of us ordered the tortilla soup, one of us had the Rio Nachos and one of us had the enchiladas. Enchiladas came out fine, but what restaurant can screw that up. The tortilla soup was WAY too spicy, and didn't have any cheese. Strike 2. The Fajita Nachos came with no Fajitas!! Strike 3. I hate complaining to waiters since they don't have anything to do with making the food, so the the only thing we complained about was missing the Fajitas on the Nachos, which the waiter brought promptly and apologized. On the bright side, the place was not very crowded (for a Satruday night) and the waiters were great. If you're a big fan of the Real World and just need to see this place, I'd say go for it, since you'll see some familiar items (like Big Tex, and the pool has been converted into a fountain), but otherwise, save your time and money.

1
★★☆☆☆

I'm a very easy person to please when it comes to food and service, but unfortunately, this place left me unsatisfied. From the time we got there, the bad experiences came. We headed to the bar to wait for our table and I ordered 4 drinks for my party. The total was $16. I gave the bartender a $20, expecting him to give me change and then I expected to tip him off of that change. He took my $20, and moved on to the next customer. I let that go, but in my mind, that was strike 1. We got seated and two of us ordered the tortilla soup, one of us had the Rio Nachos and one of us had the enchiladas. Enchiladas came out fine, but what restaurant can screw that up. The tortilla soup was WAY too spicy, and didn't have any cheese. Strike 2. The Fajita Nachos came with no Fajitas!! Strike 3. I hate complaining to waiters since they don't have anything to do with making the food, so the the only thing we complained about was missing the Fajitas on the Nachos, which the waiter brought promptly and apologized. On the bright side, the place was not very crowded (for a Satruday night) and the waiters were great. If you're a big fan of the Real World and just need to see this place, I'd say go for it, since you'll see some familiar items (like Big Tex, and the pool has been converted into a fountain), but otherwise, save your time and money.

Pros: Great ambiance. Waiters are friendly

Cons: Chefs still learning on the job

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We got a gift certificate to go here, otherwise we probably would have never tried it. This is the best mexican resturant in Austin. I am very picky eater. I don't like black beans or guacamole (sp) but I LOVED IT!!! Everything was excellent. We didn't try the margaritas this time, but I will next time and there will be plenty of those!!!! The service was excellent, my husband LOVED the salsa. Everything is made fresh daily and you can tell.

2
★★★★★

We got a gift certificate to go here, otherwise we probably would have never tried it. This is the best mexican resturant in Austin. I am very picky eater. I don't like black beans or guacamole (sp) but I LOVED IT!!! Everything was excellent. We didn't try the margaritas this time, but I will next time and there will be plenty of those!!!! The service was excellent, my husband LOVED the salsa. Everything is made fresh daily and you can tell.

Cons: parking

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It's new to town and not crowded. Good ritas-not as sweet as most restaurant machine-made ones. Fajitas were dry and flavorless. Good chips & salsa. There are many other better Tex-Mex Restaurants in Austin. Will probably not go back.

1
★★★☆☆

It's new to town and not crowded. Good ritas-not as sweet as most restaurant machine-made ones. Fajitas were dry and flavorless. Good chips & salsa. There are many other better Tex-Mex Restaurants in Austin. Will probably not go back.

Pros: not crowded, atmosphere, service

Cons: food, location, parking

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Being from Colorado, I have made it my mission upon every vacation back home to stop by my all time favorite Mexian food restaurant, The Rio Grande. Imagine my surprise when I saw one was opened here in beautiful Austin!!

It's the fajita steak burrito that does it for me and my entire family. Green chile and cheddar smother the incredibly tender, slightly smokey, slightly sweet beef. It's a can't miss deal.

Enjoy it Austin!! And be careful of those 'ritas because they'll knock you on your butt.

2
★★★★☆

Being from Colorado, I have made it my mission upon every vacation back home to stop by my all time favorite Mexian food restaurant, The Rio Grande. Imagine my surprise when I saw one was opened here in beautiful Austin!!

It's the fajita steak burrito that does it for me and my entire family. Green chile and cheddar smother the incredibly tender, slightly smokey, slightly sweet beef. It's a can't miss deal.

Enjoy it Austin!! And be careful of those 'ritas because they'll knock you on your butt.

Pros: Fajita Steak Burritos, Margaritas

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I've lived in Austin for over 6 years and tried almost every Mexican restaurant in town and their margaritas. I was very impressed with Rio Grande's. The ritas were not too tart and not too sweet. They were strong but drinkable and believe the 2 drink limit! I thoroughly enjoyed my visit there and will return soon!

2
★★★★★

I've lived in Austin for over 6 years and tried almost every Mexican restaurant in town and their margaritas. I was very impressed with Rio Grande's. The ritas were not too tart and not too sweet. They were strong but drinkable and believe the 2 drink limit! I thoroughly enjoyed my visit there and will return soon!

Pros: Margaritas, Patio, Happy Hour Specials

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I was pleased to see a new Mexican restaurant open downtown. I went Saturday with some friends and found my new favorite place for drinks and dinner before heading down to 6th St. The food was hot, fresh, and served quickly considering how crowded it was. The drinks were strong but tasted fantastic. I will definitely return and highly recommend it.

2
★★★★★

I was pleased to see a new Mexican restaurant open downtown. I went Saturday with some friends and found my new favorite place for drinks and dinner before heading down to 6th St. The food was hot, fresh, and served quickly considering how crowded it was. The drinks were strong but tasted fantastic. I will definitely return and highly recommend it.

Pros: Menu, Patio, Location

 

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