Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Morgantown Edition: Rio Verde

Rio VerdeDuring my time in Morgantown, I've come to know two parties when it comes to Tex-Mex: There are the Los loyalists and the Rio loyalists. I belong to a small not-a-huge-fan-of-Mexican-food contingent. But, when I recently learned that Rio Grande III changed to Rio Verde, I was tasked with checking it out.

Rio VerdeUnfortunately, I have no idea if the menu is different, because I had only been here previously like once. So, it could just be a change in name - or it could be owners or a whole overhaul. I'm not sure. Someone who was a Rio Grande devotee, lemme know.

Rio VerdeThe interior was a bit sparse, but it looked to have a cool mural on the far wall. Basic, quick service with no devoted server - just whoever was free to top off drinks or fill our chip basket. But, a fairly steady stream of people coming in for lunch.

Rio VerdeSo, my best bet for satisfaction at a Tex-Mex restaurant is queso. It's my saving grace. So, after the initial chips and salsa came out, I immediately put in a request for queso. And, it was fine. It seemed kind of ... condensed? I dunno; I've had better.

Rio VerdeAll of the lunch options are essentially some combination of tacos, burritos, quesadillas, enchiladas, or chalupas. I've had tacos and burritos more times than I can count, so I went with Special Lunch #16, which had a chalupa and chicken enchilada with rice.
  • Burrito: Flour tortilla folded and filled with meat or beans, topped with cheese and covered with our special burrito salsa.
  • Chalupa: Flat crisp corn tortilla with beans, lettuce and guacamole on top.
  • Chile Relleno: Poblano pepper stuffed with cheese and potatoes, served with cheese notop & covered with a special egg batter with gravy salsa on top (mild, hot)
  • Enchiladas: Corn tortilla folded round and filled with your choice of meats or cheese or beans, cheese on top and gravy salsa.
  • Tostaguac: Flat, crisp tortilla with beans, beef, lettuce, guacamole and tomatoes on top.
  • Taquitos: A corn tortilla filled with beef or chicken and rolled, fried golden brown, nice & crispy.
  • Tamales: Corn husks wrapped around a layer of corn mealwith chicken inside. Served with cheese & special gravy salsa on top.
  • Quesadilla: A Mexican version of turnover or a grilled cheese sandwich made by folding a flour tortilla in half and cooked with cheese inside over low heat.
  • Chimichanga: Crisp and flaky, deep-fried burritos, served with nacho cheese on top and available in chicken or beef.
  • Mole: A highly flavored gravy made with chiles, spices, chicken broth and secret array of herbs. Rich and flavorful.
  • Mole Poblano: Made like mole but with extra flavors of chocolate and nuts. Very good and flavorful.
  • Chorizo: A mildly spiced Mexican style sausage.

Rio VerdeSo, it's fine. Everything is this sort of same mushy texture, and it all just tastes a bit bland to me. I don't get the appeal, and I'm not sure I ever will. The enchilada was decent - but I think some fresh veggies inside would've made it something I'd appreciate. The chalupa was soggy, and that's just not my jam.

I think some variance in texture or flavor would help make this more well-rounded for me. Maybe I just choose the wrong things. I don't know. I am already preparing for the backlash from this review, so, yes, I know I'm the worst for not loving Tex-Mex.



Grade: C
Rio Grande III Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato