One thing I love about living in Richmond, VA is the amazing selection of restaurants. There is just about anything you can think of here to eat. One of my favorite cuisines, though, has always been Mexican food. Needless to say, I was excited to hear a new place opening near me to check out. I had never heard of Cafe Rio before, but I kept hearing about it coming in 2015 and how great their food is. Being a skeptic, I honestly thought to myself “could it be THAT much better than any other Mexican style restaurant here already?” Well, I had the opportunity to attend a VIP dinner there last night and lets just say fresh ingredients truly make this place stand out! As I browsed the menu, it seemed slightly small. Not a ton of choices.. but this is actually a plus because it helps them move much more fast paced than any other eatery I have been too!
I decided on a Chicken Enchilada for myself. My son is such a picky eater (he’s only 3) so I am always hesitant to spend much on his meal. Awesome enough, Cafe Rio offers a free Nino Cheese Quesadilla for the little ones under 6! Super simple and easy choice for a toddler! They even added a strawberry!
Cafe Rio is set up with an open kitchen which is awesome! Nothing like the transparency to see everything happening at every minute with your food! From the very beginning my son was amazed. He was able to watch them hand making the tortillas right there in front of you just seconds before they are used on your dish!
After you give your order you move down the line. You are able to choose toppings and sides. Each item is so fresh. I tried to get a photo of the buckets of fresh produce right above you but the lighting wasn’t good enough. But trust me, all of this was fresh!
I chose the chicken enchilada with medium sauce, black beans, rice, lettuce, and pico de gallo. It was amazing! Many times at a restaurant, you wait for food and by the time it gets to you something is no longer hot, lettuce is wilted, chips are mush from sitting beneath the toppings… NONE of this was the case last night (and Cafe Rio was PACKED full of people last night so that says a lot!
When you have dinner with a child, you just can’t skip out on dessert. If there is one thing I love from Mexican desserts, it is Tres Leches cake. If you have never had one, there is really no dessert to compare it to. It is a cake that is so moist it just melts. It is soaked in 3 types of milk (Tres Leches of course translates to three milks) So when you cut into it, it actually oozes a creamy milky sweetness! I saw it on the menu and knew it had t go on my plate!
Its a thing of beauty and was my sons first time eating a Tres Leches cake. as you can see, he is truly a fan! It was so authentic and topped with fresh strawberries. I need more!
The finishing factor making Cafe Rio perfect is the drink bar. You can get sodas from a fountain anywhere. But here, you can also get authentic limeades and even horchatas (again, if you have never had one, no comparison!) and they taste exactly like my little sister and her husband, who is from Mexico, used to make me! I will absolutely be going to Cafe Rio again. I have a feeling once it opens, it is going to be a really hot place to eat! Want to check it out yourself? They open tomorrow! There will be a ribbon cutting ceremony at 10:30 am and everyone in attendance will get a free meal voucher! Make sure you are there! You will want to experience their fresh take on your favorite dishes!