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Thread: Cafe Rio Sucks!

  1. #61
    Quote Originally Posted by mpfunk View Post
    Lonestar is fantastic.
    Yes it is. My ex-girlfriends family owns it. They immigrated here and opened the restaurant. Killer stuff.

  2. #62
    Quote Originally Posted by Diehard Ute View Post
    Chipotle was THE most overrated food I've ever had. I had a friend hype it like this to several of us, all of us went at her urging, none of us liked it.

    I have one 2 blocks from me...but Lonestar Taqueria is only 7, it wins
    The first few times I went to Chipotle I would've agreed with you. However, it was just a matter of finding what I like. If you get the right thing, it can be delicious and nutritious.

    My favorite is the burrito bowl with: chicken, steak, brown rice, black beans, extra lettuce, red hot sauce (hold the cheese, sour cream and guac)
    705 Calories, 18g fat, 65g carbs, 67g protein. All for like 10 bucks!

    I was in Vegas 2 weeks ago and really enjoyed both these places:
    http://www.opentable.com/el-segundo-sol (braised beef tacos were awesome)
    http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restauran...as_Nevada.html
    Last edited by utebehindenemylines; 04-09-2013 at 12:33 PM.

  3. #63
    Quote Originally Posted by utebehindenemylines View Post
    The first few times I went to Chipotle I would've agreed with you. However, it was just a matter of finding what I like. If you get the right thing, it can be delicious and nutritious.

    My favorite is the burrito bowl with: chicken, steak, brown rice, black beans, extra lettuce, red hot sauce (hold the cheese, sour cream and guac)
    705 Calories, 18g fat, 65g carbs, 67g protein. All for like 10 bucks!
    It's still McDonalds Latin lol

  4. #64
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diehard Ute View Post
    This explains a lot...

    Does your wife know of your lust?
    She also likes Cafe Rio, so we are good there. I like Chipotle too. Neither Chipotle nor Cafe Rio food is authentic Mexican. I find it tasty, however.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  5. #65
    Uniform Fashion Expert HuskyFreeNorthwest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by utebehindenemylines View Post
    Had Cafe Rio this weekend for the first time probably 6 months. Got the pork salad... It's no Chipotle.

    Wish I didn't have to drive all the way to Bountiful to get Chipotle, but so help me, I'll do it if I have to.

    Fake Mexican food heirarchy:
    Chipotle>>>>Barbacoa>Cafe Rio>Costa Vida
    Barbacoa is, or at least was, far superior to Chipotle. That was my vice in 99 when I was running Video Vern's in Holiday.

  6. #66
    Quote Originally Posted by HuskyFreeNorthwest View Post
    Barbacoa is, or at least was, far superior to Chipotle. That was my vice in 99 when I was running Video Vern's in Holiday.
    Agreed...and Video Vern's, there's something I haven't heard in years

  7. #67

    Cafe Rio Sucks!

    Quote Originally Posted by sancho View Post
    Wasn't there a Cafe Rio / Barbacoa lawsuit a while back? What happened there? I thought it was pretty funny that Cafe Rio would think their secret recipe was special. Just add a cup of sugar to a pound of pork and put it in a crock pot.
    I know Cafe Rio sued Costa Vida in 2005

    I can't be certain, but I think Barbacoa was open before Cafe Rio

    Barbacoa opened in 1998 in Salt Lake. Cafe Rio opened in 1997 in St George it seems
    Last edited by Diehard Ute; 04-09-2013 at 12:54 PM.

  8. #68
    Handsome Boy Graduate mpfunk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sancho View Post
    Wasn't there a Cafe Rio / Barbacoa lawsuit a while back? What happened there? I thought it was pretty funny that Cafe Rio would think their secret recipe was special. Just add a cup of sugar to a pound of pork and put it in a crock pot.
    A cup of sugar is being generous, I think the recipe is a pound of brown sugar per pound of pork, add cooks Coca-Cola, and slow cook.

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2
    So I said to David Eckstein, "You promised me, Eckstein, that if I followed you, you would walk with me always. But I noticed that during the most trying periods of my life, there have only been one set of prints in the sand. Why, when I have needed you most, have you not been there for me?" David Eckstein replied, "Because my little legs had gotten tired, and you were carrying me." And I looked down and saw that I was still carrying David Eckstein.
    --fjm.com

  9. #69
    Quote Originally Posted by sancho View Post
    I live in CO. While driving this weekend I saw that one of the buildings going up nearby will be a Cafe Rio, the first I've seen since moving here. Boooo! I guess the silver lining is that it may draw crowds away from the good places I will eat in. The Denver area is full of good taco stands and even has a hip, expensive taco stand for foodies.

    FM is correct about Cafe Rio and their sugar burritos. His opinion on this is in fact truth.

    I haven't seen a mention of Beto's here. If you want fast food, Beto's is better and cheaper than Cafe Rio.
    On a positive note, if you ever have a hankering for large groups of mormons and don't want to go to church, you have your location.

  10. #70
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Applejack View Post
    On a positive note, if you ever have a hankering for large groups of mormons and don't want to go to church, you have your location.
    Or yo could go to the Red Iguana and get real Mexican food. msn_eyeroll.png

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  11. #71
    Living in the past ... FMCoug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    Or yo could go to the Red Iguana and get halfway decent Mexican food. msn_eyeroll.png
    FIFY.

    RI is good for Utah ... I'll give you that much.

  12. #72
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    Or yo could go to the Red Iguana and get real Mexican food. msn_eyeroll.png
    Or if you want really good food, you can go to one of FMCoug's favorites: The Olive Garden.


  13. #73
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    Or yo could go to the Red Iguana and get real Mexican food. msn_eyeroll.png
    My take is that Red Iguana gets more kudos than it deserves, and that Cafe Rio gets more bad reviews than it deserves.

    I don't know anyone who says that Cafe Rio is authentic Mexican food. But it isn't bad food. And if you like it, why not eat there? Also, I have been to RI, it is good, but in my opinion not any better than other Mexican restaurants in the area.

  14. #74
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FMCoug View Post
    FIFY.

    RI is good for Utah ... I'll give you that much.
    I think Red Iguana is kind of a joke. But I know that is a blasphemous statement in certain circles. It's OK, but nothing to write home about.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  15. #75
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    I think Red Iguana is kind of a joke. But I know that is a blasphemous statement in certain circles. It's OK, but nothing to write home about.
    I agree.

  16. #76
    Quote Originally Posted by sancho View Post
    I guess it's all a matter of opinion, but the Red Iguana is one of the highest Zagat rated restaurants in Utah, and it's easily the highest rated Mexican place. I routinely see it on lists of nationally acclaimed Mexican restaurants. So the critics definitely disagree with you.

    Part of the glory of the Red Iguana is the depth of the menu. There are 6-7 moles and 20 or so other dishes that you would have a very hard time finding at 99% of Mexican restaurants.
    My opinion is based solely on what I like. I generally don't care what the critics say. The only time I care about the critics is if they absolutely hate a place that I like, and there is danger of them going out of business. Regarding the mole, we went to RI so my wife could get the mole because she loves it. I don't care for it at all (at any restaurant). That may be part of the reason that I think there is nothing special about RI.

  17. #77
    Quote Originally Posted by Newbomb Turk View Post
    My take is that Red Iguana gets more kudos than it deserves, and that Cafe Rio gets more bad reviews than it deserves.

    I don't know anyone who says that Cafe Rio is authentic Mexican food. But it isn't bad food. And if you like it, why not eat there? Also, I have been to RI, it is good, but in my opinion not any better than other Mexican restaurants in the area.
    Well if yo think Rio should be more highly regarded I think we've established your taste

    I spent my summers growing up in rural Northern New Mexico. I ate at residences as well as small restaurants in small towns, amazing food.

    The only Mexican restaurant in Utah that's on that level is Red Iguana, not only in the quality but the style of food. Cafe Rio should never be compared to Red Iguana and vice versa. One is a restaurant, the other is a fast food restaurant.

    I think the reason Cafe Rio gets so many bad word of mouth reviews is two fold. First, it's fast food that really can be obtained at many similar type places in Salt Lake. But the bigger reason is the hype created for it by so many people.

  18. #78
    Quote Originally Posted by Diehard Ute View Post

    The only Mexican restaurant in Utah that's on that level is Red Iguana, not only in the quality but the style of food. Cafe Rio should never be compared to Red Iguana and vice versa. One is a restaurant, the other is a fast food restaurant.
    I don't believe I compared the two, but okay. Just saying that blasting people for going to Cafe Rio is ridiculous. There are plenty of folks who do that, and also plenty who put RI on a pedestal and ridicule those who don't.

    For the record, by favorite "Cafe Rio Type" place was Pistol Petes. I was very sorry to see it close.

  19. #79
    Sexy Cougar SoCalCoug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diehard Ute View Post
    I think the reason Cafe Rio gets so many bad word of mouth reviews is two fold. First, it's fast food that really can be obtained at many similar type places in Salt Lake. But the bigger reason is the hype created for it by so many people.
    The hype is the thing. I heard about Cafe Rio long before I ate there. I do enjoy Mexican food, but it's sometimes hard to know what's authentic Mexican and what's not. With Cafe Rio, that's easy to say - it's not. Maybe that's the reason for the derision. It's such a departure from what people know as Mexican food. I guess it's like how the original Volkswagen Beetle was designed by Ferdinande Porsche - but if you try to equate it with a Porsche, you're going to get laughed out of the building.

    Yeah, there's Tex Mex and Cali Mex, but I guess that the real difference is that a lot of the Cali-Mex and Tex-Mex restaurants have a true Mexican influence, while Cafe Rio was started by a caucasian, Mormon couple from St. George and is headquartered in Cottonwood Heights, Utah. For example: one of my favorite Cali-Mex chains is Wahoo's. It was started by brothers who grew up in Brazil, moved to California and became surfers, spending lots of time in Mexico - they brought the Mexican fish tacos they grew to love into California.

    Utah Mex, on the other hand, is much more counterintuitive. Cafe Rio is just so white. It's way too sweet, and strikes me as a returned missionary version of "authentic" Mexican food that he sweetens way too much because if he has to be honest, he doesn't really like the taste of the real stuff, but it's the cool thing to be obsessed with your mission food.

  20. #80
    Quote Originally Posted by SoCalCoug View Post
    but it's the cool thing to be obsessed with your mission food.
    "Yeah man, I learned to drink this cool drink, maté, on my mission. It totally tastes like hay, but you get to drink it out of this cool cup with a cool straw."

  21. #81
    Quote Originally Posted by SoCalCoug View Post
    The hype is the thing. I heard about Cafe Rio long before I ate there. I do enjoy Mexican food, but it's sometimes hard to know what's authentic Mexican and what's not. With Cafe Rio, that's easy to say - it's not. Maybe that's the reason for the derision. It's such a departure from what people know as Mexican food. I guess it's like how the original Volkswagen Beetle was designed by Ferdinande Porsche - but if you try to equate it with a Porsche, you're going to get laughed out of the building.

    Yeah, there's Tex Mex and Cali Mex, but I guess that the real difference is that a lot of the Cali-Mex and Tex-Mex restaurants have a true Mexican influence, while Cafe Rio was started by a caucasian, Mormon couple from St. George and is headquartered in Cottonwood Heights, Utah. For example: one of my favorite Cali-Mex chains is Wahoo's. It was started by brothers who grew up in Brazil, moved to California and became surfers, spending lots of time in Mexico - they brought the Mexican fish tacos they grew to love into California.

    Utah Mex, on the other hand, is much more counterintuitive. Cafe Rio is just so white. It's way too sweet, and strikes me as a returned missionary version of "authentic" Mexican food that he sweetens way too much because if he has to be honest, he doesn't really like the taste of the real stuff, but it's the cool thing to be obsessed with your mission food.
    Bravo! This is the perfect depiction of Cafe Rio hate. It is your garden variety self-loathing of LDS and Utah culture masquerading as hipster foodie condescension.

    I am not a big Cafe Rio fan, but it tickles me to see it succeed so wildly and franchise out into other states. The cognitive dissonance this causes is hilarious to watch.

  22. #82
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoCalCoug View Post
    The hype is the thing. I heard about Cafe Rio long before I ate there. I do enjoy Mexican food, but it's sometimes hard to know what's authentic Mexican and what's not. With Cafe Rio, that's easy to say - it's not. Maybe that's the reason for the derision. It's such a departure from what people know as Mexican food. I guess it's like how the original Volkswagen Beetle was designed by Ferdinande Porsche - but if you try to equate it with a Porsche, you're going to get laughed out of the building.

    Yeah, there's Tex Mex and Cali Mex, but I guess that the real difference is that a lot of the Cali-Mex and Tex-Mex restaurants have a true Mexican influence, while Cafe Rio was started by a caucasian, Mormon couple from St. George and is headquartered in Cottonwood Heights, Utah. For example: one of my favorite Cali-Mex chains is Wahoo's. It was started by brothers who grew up in Brazil, moved to California and became surfers, spending lots of time in Mexico - they brought the Mexican fish tacos they grew to love into California.

    Utah Mex, on the other hand, is much more counterintuitive. Cafe Rio is just so white. It's way too sweet, and strikes me as a returned missionary version of "authentic" Mexican food that he sweetens way too much because if he has to be honest, he doesn't really like the taste of the real stuff, but it's the cool thing to be obsessed with your mission food.
    The discussion of this subject has always seemed odd to me. (BTW, the guy who started Cafe Rio was from Bountiful - he's since passed away, and far too young -- in his early 40s). It's just food, and every kind has its buyer, it seems to me. There used to be a place in Bountiful called Casa Melinda, and it was the most Gringo-ized Mexican-themed food I've ever tasted. But my in-laws loved it. So did lots of other Bountiful folks. But we are not talking about Mexican food, we are talking about Mexican-themed food, IMO.

    Cuisine evolves. The only place to get "real" (i.e., less-evolved) Mexican-themed food is in Mexico. The same is true of most ethnic dishes. For example, on the very rare occasion when I want a pupusa (Salvadoran), there are plenty of pupuserias in L.A. The more recently the owner immigrated from El Salvador, the more it reminds me of the pupusas I used to eat on my mission. The ones at farmer's markets are the most authentic from that standpoint. But the longer the purveyor has been in the USA, the more creative he or she gets (different ingredients, different type of preparation, oil used for frying, etc.), and the more evolved the food is. I'll bet if I went back to El Salvador I'd find that pupusas are different and more varied now than they were 30 years ago. I could say the same thing about Guatemalan tamales. Or "Italian" pizza, for that matter. When it comes to food I guess I am a firm believer in evolution.

    So when I am in Salt Lake and want Mexican-themed food, I can choose Cafe Rio or Chipotle (I prefer Chipotle) or Red Iguana or that place at the Rio Grande terminal. I'll go based on what sounds good to me at the time. But I am under no illusion that I will be getting "real" Mexican food. I'm not even sure what that means, or if I can get it even in Mexico.

    End of rant! Not directed at you, SC Coug. Just at the subject in general.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  23. #83
    Quote Originally Posted by sancho View Post
    I don't think this is it. I think the derision comes from two places: (1) a counter culture backlash, (2) too much sugar. Many of the people expressing distaste for Cafe Rio like the other un-authentic Mexican places. I know I do.

    I occasionally make "Cafe Rio" pulled pork at home if I have an old pork roast to get rid of and no ingredients to make something better. It's not my favorite, but it's alright once in a while. I hate to pay for something I can make so easily and so cheaply myself. I can't make tacos like the taco stands, and I can't make mole like the Red Iguana. I can't even make a chimichanga like Beto's.
    For me it's the sugar. But I still enjoy it when we go.
    “The world is so exquisite with so much love and moral depth, that there is no reason to deceive ourselves with pretty stories for which there's little good evidence. Far better it seems to me, in our vulnerability, is to look death in the eye and to be grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides.”
    Carl Sagan

  24. #84
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    So when I am in Salt Lake and want Mexican-themed food, I can choose Cafe Rio or Chipotle (I prefer Chipotle) or Red Iguana or that place at the Rio Grande terminal. I'll go based on what sounds good to me at the time. But I am under no illusion that I will be getting "real" Mexican food. I'm not even sure what that means, or if I can get it even in Mexico.

    End of rant! Not directed at you, SC Coug. Just at the subject in general.
    Human beings ever wish to distinguish themselves from others. To me, saying you do or don't care for something speaks to your tastes. Saying that you hate something or love it has more to do with identity, as Jeff suggests, even if in a small way.
    “The world is so exquisite with so much love and moral depth, that there is no reason to deceive ourselves with pretty stories for which there's little good evidence. Far better it seems to me, in our vulnerability, is to look death in the eye and to be grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides.”
    Carl Sagan

  25. #85
    Handsome Boy Graduate mpfunk's Avatar
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    If you ever want to wish you were at Cafe Rio, go to the "Italian" restaurant started by these same people. I've never had a more disgustingly sweet red sauce in my life.
    So I said to David Eckstein, "You promised me, Eckstein, that if I followed you, you would walk with me always. But I noticed that during the most trying periods of my life, there have only been one set of prints in the sand. Why, when I have needed you most, have you not been there for me?" David Eckstein replied, "Because my little legs had gotten tired, and you were carrying me." And I looked down and saw that I was still carrying David Eckstein.
    --fjm.com

  26. #86
    Living in the past ... FMCoug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Lebowski View Post
    Bravo! This is the perfect depiction of Cafe Rio hate. It is your garden variety self-loathing of LDS and Utah culture masquerading as hipster foodie condescension.

    I am not a big Cafe Rio fan, but it tickles me to see it succeed so wildly and franchise out into other states. The cognitive dissonance this causes is hilarious to watch.
    First off I am no foodie nor a hipster. But you are right that aside from the fact that I think the food is disgusting, the orgasmic delight folks around here have over it is what kills me. People who have it as their "favorite restaurant" or squeal in delight when they find out Cafe Rio is catering the work lunch.

  27. #87
    Quote Originally Posted by FMCoug View Post
    First off I am no foodie nor a hipster. But you are right that aside from the fact that I think the food is disgusting, the orgasmic delight folks around here have over it is what kills me. People who have it as their "favorite restaurant" or squeal in delight when they find out Cafe Rio is catering the work lunch.
    And why do you care? Why on earth would that "kill you"?

    Keep in mind that these people probably love the Olive Garden too.

  28. #88
    Living in the past ... FMCoug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Lebowski View Post
    And why do you care? Why on earth would that "kill you"?

    Keep in mind that these people probably love the Olive Garden too.
    Why do you care that I care?

  29. #89
    It is hip to hate on Cafe Rio in some circles it seems. I sometimes go there just to kind of say F#$& you to the haters. I also think Crown Burger is terribly overrated but my opinion seems to go against the established food dogma in this state.

  30. #90
    Quote Originally Posted by FMCoug View Post
    Why do you care that I care?
    I think it's funny.

    Another question for the hater crowd: why the obsession with Cafe Rio with hardly a peep about Taco Bell? You can't possibly find a more bastardized inauthentic form of Mexican food than Taco Bell and they absolutely dwarf Cafe Rio.

    Answer: not a Utah product.

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