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“Hmm not really poor, but below average TexMex” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Uncle Julio's

Uncle Julio's
4870 Bethesda Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814 (Formerly Rio Grande Cafe)
301-656-2981
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Ranked #86 of 299 Restaurants in Bethesda
Price range: $0 - $20
Cuisines: American, Southwestern, Mexican
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Dining options: Reservations
Nebraska
Top Contributor
122 reviews 122 reviews
78 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 61 cities Reviews in 61 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
“Hmm not really poor, but below average TexMex”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2012 via mobile

The salsa was great...as was the guacamole; chips a bit on the thin and oily side. I had chicken enchiladas, and they had sort of a smoky flavor that leaned toward burnt. The tomallio sauce was okay...but a long way from the best. My wife had fish tacos...sent them back. My daughter had steak and enchilada plate, she was pleased. The server was very nice, and the manager was very considerate. I travel a lot to the southwest, so perhaps I'm a bit spoiled...but Uncle Julio's won't be on my gotta go back list.

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85 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    16
    25
    29
    10
    5
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
washigton d.c.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
“Good, not Outstanding”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2012

Have been going for about 30 years. The food is still very good, although it has gotten very expensive. I always get the same, a frozen margarita (great!), guacamole (great), chips and salsa (great), fajitas - usually good. I find the service to be very responsive. The ambiance is what I really dislike. Every since they moved into this new location (about 8 years now) I have not enjoyed it. It is like a large warehouse and really, really loud. Has no homey feel which it used to have. Now it is just another chain. But, after all my complaints, I still go back because I love their margaritas, chips and salsa.

  • Visited November 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Douala, Cameroon
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Bad service! Got rotten shrimp.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2012

This used to be one of my all time favorite Bethesda spots. I have often taken large crowds to Uncle Julio's (when it was still just Rio Grande) so I was really looking forward to sharing a meal there with out of town friends. How incredibly dissapointing! Service was horrible and food was below par.

I went with a couple of friends for a fun night out. The appetizers weren't too bad. We got the Ceviche Royale, Mexican Shrimp Cocktail. As main course we got the Plato Gordo. The shrimp had turned! It had the strong taste of almost rotten seafood. We told the waiter who could not care less. We asked him to remove the bad shrimp. Instead he handed us a plate and asked us to remove it ourselves. He never once apologized. Never offered to bring fresh shrimp.

We saw the waiter again only when he came to bring the bill. We asked to see a manager but had to ask several times before one finally came. By then, we had paid our bill including full price for the rotten shrimp. The manager told us that he had smelled the shrimp and it did not smell bad!

We told him we had other shrimp dishes and that they were fine and that we could really tell the difference. Again, he started by being defensive and not apologetic. He finally offered to make amends but it was too late. We had paid (over $140 for a party of 3) and were on our way out. We did tell him we would post on review sites.

Still love their chips and salsa though! That's why they still get 2 stars.

  • Visited August 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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Potomac, Maryland
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
58 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Good not outstanding”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2012

The ceviche was outstanding but the fajitas had no sizzle. Decor is ordinary; the place has a semi-warehouse feel.

  • Visited August 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
120 reviews 120 reviews
83 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
“The service is lacking”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2012 via mobile

I have been coming to this restaurant for years. The food is still good. The service is just OK. It becomes like fast food sitting down.
Will still visit for the food.

    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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