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“Worth the trip”
Review of Zacatecas Cafe

Zacatecas Cafe
Ranked #42 of 717 Restaurants in Riverside
Cuisines: Mexican
Restaurant details
Reviewed July 30, 2009

It is a bit difficult to be objective about Zacatecas, as I have such an appreciation for their history. My family and I first ate at their original location many years ago and will always have a fondness for Olga and Luz. It has been many years, though, since we have been back, and although the food was still very good and the service even better, somehow the food for me was not as good as I remember it. For starters, the chile Colorado, which is served initally with chips, is a mere shadow of the original. I am sure the changes were economically motivated, but the quality has diminished. The original Chile Colorado was rich with bits of pork, and always immediately made the visit quite worthwhile. Worse than blandness and a watered down quality of the present version, it seems perhaps some sort of filler, such as corn starch has been added. I also found my mole just OK, as it seemed more commercial than homemade. On the other hand, my husband loved his enormous burrito with red and green sauce and I enjoyed sampling it, as well. We both loved being there, but were saddened by not only the passing of the parents/original owners, some history, and that fabulous chile Colorado.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank mimi0352
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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25 - 29 of 29 reviews

Reviewed February 20, 2009

Zacateca's is one of the bright spots in the Riverside dining scene. It is a very family friendly, local place that serves delicious Mexican food. Nothing experimental here, just good, traditional food. Thursdays are the best time to go for their green enchilada special.

Thank LAcentric
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 26, 2008

Popular, good location, easy mexican restaurant with lots of beans, tortillas...whatever. Dems hang out there.

Thank FrenchCori
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual contributor and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 23, 2006

Well my husband and I finally tried this place. There are good and bad observations that I made. Good friendly prompt service was nice. Odd hours of operation made it tricky to finally find this place open when we like to eat out, but if you usually dine on weekend evenings you will be okay. We went early evening because we generally avoid the dinner crowd. The dining area is small and dated, but clean. Same goes for the bathrooms. They have a large banquet area that takes up half of the building, but luckily is closed off from the rest of the dining area.
Well, although the service was good and polite, we immediately had problems. 1- no ice water offered. 2- when we tried to order margaritas we were told they were "out", which makes no sense whatsoever if you have a well run business. 3- the salsa was hot enchilada sauce(?) and a very unappetzing spicy and not fresh salsa served in a restaurant syrup pitcher. 4-the salad which came with our dinner was nothing but lettuce and a few strips of cabbage with a side of dressing served in a sealed plastic condiment cup. 5- plates etc were damaged and really showing wear. So, to say the least, we weren't too impressed.
BUT
The prices are fair, our whole dinner including non-alcoholic drinks, salads and entrees cost us 22.00 not including tip.
The entrees were the best part. I usually have a rule about mexican restaurants- if the tacos, enchiladas, and rellenos are good, then everything else should be on par. So I got the combo of the 3. Everything was good, well proportioned, and the relleno was roasted, unlike many places that forget the flavor and just don't take the extra step to roast a chile, which made the relleno my favorite part of my meal. Tons of refried beans, rice was flavorful, but slightly underdone. Taco was good but wasn't given to me very hot so it was lukewarm by the time I ate it. My husband said his tamale was loaded with meat, not just masa, his taco was the same, and both our enchiladas were average.
Our general opinion of Zacatecas is that it is generally ok, as long as you avoid the chips and salsa, and dinner salads. If you are someone who really likes to enjoy the appetizers and be able to get a margarita then you will be disappointed.
Maybe the best thing is to get it to go or skip the introductory food and head straight for a good sized entree.
One last note, the restaurant is NOT in a good area, although only 1 mile from UCR. I do not recommend going here at night without your guard up. During the day is preferable.
This is only one of 2 sit down Mexican restaurants in the UCR area, besides fast food Mexican which there are at least 7 I know of and probably a few more I haven't found yet, so it is worth a try. Then try Templo del Sol(see my review ) and make up you own mind!
Happy dining!

2  Thank gili
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2004

This restaurant has excellent food and prices. It is very clean and the service was exemplary. I will definately return.

5  Thank gmar777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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