Tucson >Food & Dining > Rio Cafe
2526 E Grant Rd, Tucson, AZ | Directions 8571632.250353 -110.934384
Neighborhoods: Ward 6, Blenman-Elm
great food great price great service – We have been going to Rio since they opened.. The quality has always been 100%. Rio is a perfect example that a small owner operated restaurant is the best choice.
perfectly cooked food every time – Rio Cafe has been one of the more delightful finds in the fantastic Tucson culinary scene in quite some time. The two owners, Richard and Eduardo, are there almost every night and Eduardo is the Executive Chef. The menu is rather American with strong influences from South America - a sort of Brazilian nouvelle affair. I'm not sure why the listing comes up as Mexican in Citysearch, as it is definitely far from it. Every single time we've been there, the food is absolutely terrific. One of the amazing benchmarks has been the seafood products....the fish comes out very hot...it is still cooking as it is served, and after a few moments it is there right in front of you at a great temperature and cooked to perfection. That's seriously hard to do.
Among other delights, I'll mention that the braised short ribs are spectacular, they fall off the bone and melt in your mouth. For lunch, the fish tacos are sensational., they have a great fresh succulent taste and an spice/relish blend to give it some kick. Best in town IMO. I also have enjoyed the pan seared scallops. They come with skewered vegetables that are always cooked to my liking (like, um, perfect: fresh, still with a slight crisp, with all the flavor of the grill, and hot!).
They have a full bar and decent winelist. Their Mojitos are delicious; better than the ones up at J-Bar. It's a small restaurant with a caring staff and active owners. I always feel good visiting and the food has never come short for anyone we've brought there (at least 20 different people, all with decent palates).
As for ambiance, I think it has a very fitting understated elegance to it. We've seen it packed and seen it sparse. When it is packed, the acoustics seem to balance the sound out and hearing your guests is never a problem.
I really think that this place is among the best of the best mid-town bets. Did I mention that it's independent? Ahh, Tucson food rocks.
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