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“Cheap and average.” 3 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 #104 of 296 restaurants in Bethesda
Price range: $0 - $20
Cuisines: American, Southwestern, Mexican
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Dining options: Reservations
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
55 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Cheap and average.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2013

The food at Uncle Julio's is fine. This was my 2nd visit, this time having a messy brisket taco special. Nothing distinctly wrong with the place, and it's a decent option if you're looking for relatively cheap chain-restaurant style Tex-Mex. Went with 6 people, and no one had major complaints but no one said they felt a strong urge to return.The margaritas are pretty good, and they serve Modelo Especial on tap, which is a plus.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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68 reviews from our community

43% Recommend
    9
    21
    26
    8
    4
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
41 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“Always good food.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2013

We are regulars here and I figured it was worth throwing in a reservation. I've been in several cities but most often in Bethesda, MD. It's a large layout meaning the waits are very small unless it's truly weekend prime time. Good bar area to watch a game while waiting. Food is consistently good. Whatever you want -- from quesadillas to large meals. Drinks are fresh. It is VERY kid-friendly.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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.
Bethesda, Maryland
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Roach alert!”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2013

I went to Uncle Julio's last Sunday. The food and service were decent and the restaurant is extremely popular. It wasn't until we ate the last bite of our food that we noticed a roach walking ON our table! The manager comped us for the meal, which was nice, but we will not be going back.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC
Top Contributor
98 reviews 98 reviews
69 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
“my favorite restaurant in Bethesda”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2013

I have been to Uncle Julio's (which will always be referred to as Rio to me) more than 30 times with my friends and family. It's by far my favorite restaurant in Bethesda. While it may be a little overpriced, the food cannot be beat. Compared to the other options for Mexican food in the area, Rio is by far the best. I have never had a bad meal there. The service used to be better than it is now, but it is still very good considering how busy this restaurant always is. The chips are to die for, and the guacamole and salsa are outstanding! If you are looking for delicious Mexican food with a great atmosphere, go to Rio!

Side note: while you cannot make a reservation here, I always call ahead and never have to wait too long for a table.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nebraska
Top Contributor
115 reviews 115 reviews
73 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 58 cities Reviews in 58 cities
61 helpful votes 61 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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