Rio Grande feels sort of medium, but it’s still a Happy Birthday

I chose a rather new joint on the Liverpool restaurant scene for my birthday dinner last week.

My dear wife Karen and I had been to the Rio Grande previously in our two months spent in the neighborhood of Galeville before she asked me what I’d like to do after work on the night I turned 59 years old.

Oh, we like Mexican. Taco Bell makes the take out hit parade. Cantina Laredo in Destiny USA is really good, but very pricey. And this place has gotten pretty good word of mouth with my co-workers a few blocks away at the Liverpool Public Library. But our drive-bys have left me with a rather uninspiring impression.

Formerly fast food.

Formerly fast food.

The place is located in a former Burger King. That’s a tough nut to crack in my mind.

What they've done inside.

What they’ve done inside.

The tables have been turned in the interior, but still the burger-and-fries feeling remains.

Sign of new times.

Sign of new times.

Not even the pretty sign near the road could change my mind about that.

And then after we sat down and were handed our menus, the friendly waiter brought bad news for my dear wife. The selections had been bursting with beer and exotic drink selections. Her request for a Blue Light was denied. No liquor license, he said.

So water is was for both.

Chips and salsa.

Chips and salsa.

A bowl of chips and carafe of salsa came quickly, without us having to ask. The tortilla chips had a few red and green tossed in for the season. We poured the medium-heat salsa into the dipping bowl ourselves. Pretty tasty.

Hover over a gallery photo for a description. Click on an image for an enlarged slide show.

Karen ordered a three-in-one plate for her meal, featuring chile releno, chalupa and enchilada. I went with steak fajitas.

She liked her trio a lot, and didn’t even have to touch the side dish. She took that home for lunch the next day.

My sizzling fajita platter was huge as well. I was puzzled that only two wheat roll-ups were inside the tin foil on the tiny side plate. I also wondered which plate I was supposed to use to make the rolled fajita. I rolled and ate off the main platter, careful not to burn myself on the metal. Indeed, after I’d eaten the two, two-thirds of my ingredients remained. I used a fork to eat until full.

It was OK. I used the salsa from the chip course and the sour cream from the other side plate to top it. The veggies seemed to have been fresh before sautéed. The meat was very well done. I thought it was a cut of beef that left the result semi-tough.

Full, we passed on any dessert. I think Karen paid about $30 including tip for my birthday dinner.

The company and conversation were great and I had a very happy birthday dinner, but the restaurant itself, I’d give a five out of 10. Maybe for a quick lunch, Karen said.

What would you order for a Mexican sit-down meal? What looks good in these food photos? What plate would you have used to eat the fajitas?

23 thoughts on “Rio Grande feels sort of medium, but it’s still a Happy Birthday

  1. feliz birthdaysito! (fractured spanish), and i’m still just a tiny bit older. i love all things mexican so it’s hard to go wrong, but sorry it wasn’t exactly as you expected. i think you did well improvising, as far as plates and combining things and keep your search up for one that you enjoy that is also reasonably priced. like you said, the important things were in place, you were with your special person to celebrate your special day. ole!


  2. Happy Birthday Mark! That establishment appears to serve Tex-Mex and not authentic Mexican food. I sometimes crave Tex-Mex, though since I am a native Texan! If you can find authentic Mexican food in your area I’m sure your experience would be more pleasant. 🙂


  3. Ya know, Marc, I get you in my ‘inbox’ every day. No need to say: “You are grinding them out…(posts)” I admire that. I like that. Hell! I am impressed. And not enuff often, I do drop in (and of course, rarely leave any digital footprints behind), but, rest assured: I do read you. You write well. You have… what’s the word? an exuberance..Never to be denied; never to be discounted. It is refreshing. You are refreshing.
    I am proud to call you “Friend” Just keep on doing what you are doing…
    OH! And by the way: “Rio Grande feels sort of medium” as a Texan, well, you had me at that.
    Cheer My Dear Friend.


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