Run for the Border

To me, Mexican restaurants in NYC fall into one of two categories: great food, or great margaritas and crappy food. So, when you come across one that fits into both categories, it's worth making note of it. I had been to Rio Grande numerous times for drinks. The two large bar areas (and large patio areas when the weather is nice) attract a huge after-work crowd that comes for one thing, and one thing only...the margaritas. Ask anyone who works in Midtown, and they're bound to have had one of these small, but lethal drinks. They are available in different flavors such as strawberry and pomegranate. But, be warned, the flavored, frozen ones are much stronger than the regular flavor because the tequila is added by hand rather than pre-mixed.

Ok, so the drinks are great, but how was the food, you ask? Well, when I finally went to Rio Grande for dinner, and not just drinks, I discovered that the food is actually very good. And dinner there last week was no different.

The tortilla chips they bring out to the table are nothing special, but what turns them into fabulous are the two salsas that are served with them. One is a more familiar pico de gallo-style salsa. The other, though...I haven't been able to figure out quite what it is (my waiter didn't even know), but it has become my favorite salsa-type dip. What one of my friends and I have coined "the green sauce" could best describe it as a tomatillo, cilantro salsa. Pure deliciousness.

I ordered a chicken quesadilla, and it was delicious. Unlike some Mexican restaurants in this city, they actually use white meat chicken. It was marinated and cooked really well, giving it a great flavor. My friend ordered the Burrito San Francisco, and really liked it as well. It was a good size, but not overstuffed, and was served with rice and beans.

Whether you are looking for a fun place to grab a drink cold drink on a hot day, or a restaurant serving quality, tasty Tex-Mex fare...Vamos al Rio Grande!

El Rio Grande
160 East 38th Street
b/t 3rd & Lexington Avenue
Menu Pages listing


Anonymous said…
Viva el salsa verde.