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“MY FAVORITE” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Cafe Rio Mexican Grill

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Cafe Rio Mexican Grill
6158 Arlington Boulevard, Falls Church, VA
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Ranked #74 of 301 Restaurants in Falls Church
Cuisines: Mexican
Restaurant details
Cedar City, Utah
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“MY FAVORITE”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2014

I LOVE CAFE RIO- it is my favorite place. We don't have one in NY so I have missed it dearly. Some of the workers there were a little cranky and ruined the experience when I asked for no cheese on the grilled tortilla, no sour cream, no dairy products. She acted as if I was making her job so hard.

Whatever, I still love the food so so much

Visited May 2014
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24 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    10
    7
    4
    2
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Top Contributor
140 reviews 140 reviews
82 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
“Good food but...”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2014

The food is what you'd expect from a cafe rio. GOOD! The special drinks were out. The trips were out. The men and women's bathrooms were DISGUSTING. That certainly isn't what I expect from a Cafe Rio!

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Alexandria, Virginia
1 review
“Excellent”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2014 credit card Amex Card Member Review

Friendly staff, good food and great service. I would recommend this place it's really good food, good experience

Visited March 2014
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Washington, DC
Top Contributor
369 reviews 369 reviews
252 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 111 cities Reviews in 111 cities
127 helpful votes 127 helpful votes
“Okay Tex-Mex chain, nothing special”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 2013

We've eaten at plenty of Falls Church restaurants, but we never noticed this one until it showed up with a high rating on....wait for it...Trip Advisor. We thought from that rating that Cafe Rio was something noteworthy. It was not. Now it isn't bad. Actually, for the type of Tex-Mex food it serves, it's decent. Fresh ingredients are assembled to order. Meats are a bit different, in a positive way. Drinks are varied and well out of the ordinary, along with the ordinary. But in the end, it's just another Tex-Mex chain that is slightly higher on the food chain that some others. We might eat here again if the mood strikes but not anytime soon. Others are sure to find this more to their taste, but there is better food (even fast food) in the area. Still, Cafe Rio does what it does well.

  • Visited December 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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Washington, District of Columbia, United States
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Could not be saved with my best wishes. Better choices available.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2013

I really wanted to like this place, because the staff seemed to be hard-working and earnestly customer focused. The location was small inside but interesting with a full view of the food preparation and service line area, similar to Chipotle’s arrangement, and appeared very clean.
That said, the food was very disappointing with a few highlights. The rice was not either a lime cilantro version, or Mexican rice, but rather a rice pilaf exactly like one might find served with chicken breast and gravy, weird. The chicken burrito was large, mostly filled with this rice. The bites of chicken I found were flavorful and enjoyably smoky. The spiciest gravy choice was not all that spicy, but it did bring the dish together. The Pico de Gallo was pretty much just chopped tomatoes, nearly absent, were notes of onion, cilantro, and no pepper (jalapeno, chili, or other), or apparent salt at all. The salsa was passable but unremarkable. Easily the worst part was the Chili con Queso which had the opposite problem of having too much “stuff” in it. Did I taste sugar or something sweet in it???? I had no idea what kind of cheese, or which bits may have been the chilies…very off putting and it somehow reminded me of orange mushroom soup. I literally had to go to Baja Fresh, to get some Chili con Queso, to try and fill the vacuum void this version created. Had someone told me the flour used in the chips was made from paper or similar flavorless material, I may have believed them.
The highlights could have been portion size, which was large for the burrito entrée, had I wished to finish it (I did not). The lime pie was light, citrusy, and a very good, not too sweet, dessert.
There are plenty of other choices for Tex Mex, Mex, or similar Latin cuisine in the area, so I will probably never go back, except for the lime pie…mmm citrusy.

  • Visited November 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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