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“Very , very good, but could you drop the prices just a bit?”

Uncle Julio's Rio Grande Cafe
Ranked #21 of 275 Restaurants in Woodbridge
Cuisines: Mexican, Southwestern
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Kids, Families with children, Special occasions, Large groups
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Full Bar, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Television, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Woodbridge
Level Contributor
131 reviews
68 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 139 helpful votes
“Very , very good, but could you drop the prices just a bit?”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 8, 2013

We really enjoyed Uncle Julio's Rio Grande Cafe (UJRGC). The food was fresh and tasty from the non-alcoholic juicy drinks, the almost uniquely-prepared salsa (love it !), and the nice entrees. The service was good and sincere, but orders got confused in the kitchen and caused some consternation (not a big deal, but I wonder if this is a trend?)
We like the overall atmosphere, but the tile effect (hard surfaces) does cause a lot of echo and perceived doubling of "noise" in there that is significant on busy times. Nice that they have outside seating (almost unusual in the Wash. D.C area).
I'm not one to harp on prices, but many folks have said "Yea, UJRGC is a nice place...we enjoy it...a little pricey...." That is because it is definitely about 20% higher than relatively comparable Tex-Mex places. Is it worth ~20% more? Maybe...you be the judge. I'll say, with a smile, that their SALSA is ! Wonderful stuff that you just do not experience elsewhere !
If you have not already experienced UJRGC, please do. I believe that you will enjoy it. Just do not expect "Taco Bell" prices (smile).

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank foodfan57VA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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147 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    43
    44
    33
    15
    12
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Arabic first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Virginia
Level Contributor
144 reviews
89 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Great Food!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 4, 2013

My son went here for dinner and recommended this place. So I went there not long after with a friend and we were both very pleased. The staff was friendly and the service was quick. The salsa and chips were great. It kind of reminded my of Chevy's salsa and chips, which I like very much. The food was fresh and well made and had a delicious taste as well. They have an extensive menu with plenty of choices. The atmosphere is simple, but nice.

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank mamastaats
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
virginia, usa
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Wait wait wait”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 15, 2013 via mobile

We were there waiting for more than 30 minutes to get seating for 6, while everyone who arrived after us were whisked right n. then after we placed the order, we waited for another 30 or so minutes before the food arrived. Grilled vegetables were the blandest , that we had ever tasted... The enchiladas and the tacos were ok. Then the desert took another eternity. All in all a terrible experience with absolutely terrible food.

Helpful?
2 Thank angadjot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
79 reviews
53 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Worth the wait...”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 14, 2013

We ended up in the area of Uncle Julio's last Saturday night and decided to eat there for dinner. It was jam packed and our wait was about an hour. We walked around and shopped a bit while waiting and then finished our wait out in the bar. Their margaritas are just okay (both frozen and on the rocks). Their salsa is chipotle flavored...so not the typical salsa. But their chips are to die for!!! Then the food came and everyone's was delicious!! Our server was great and very honest when asked for her opinions as we were selecting out entrees.

We will definitely go back again....and I'm sure we will be waiting to get in...

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank ShayBelle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dumfries, Virginia, United States
Level Contributor
45 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Great food, not so great service”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 19, 2013

We have been eating at this restaurant regularly since it opened. Yes, I agree that the food may be a bit pricey, but it really depends on what you order. If you stick to the basic "Mexican" food the prices are reasonable, but if you choose something like shrimp, salmon or lobster it will be expensive.

The service at Uncle Julio's used to be very good with an attentive, but not overbearing wait staff. Eating out as much as we do it is easy to tell an experienced server from someone new at the job. This restaurant used to have some of the best servers, but apparently that is no longer the case.

We decided to grab an early dinner on 2/18/2013 (President's Day holiday) since we were already in the area and by early I mean around 4:00 p.m. The restaurant was not busy and not a single person was in the bar area. We were seated immediately by a friendly hostess. Our waiter introduced himself, went over any specials, then took our drink and appetizer order. We wanted to wait to order our entrees.

Once the drinks and appetizer were served, which in this case was flavored ice tea, sangria on the rocks and guacamole, we placed our dinner orders. I swear it was less than 15 minutes when another server delivered our entrees while we were still enjoying the appetizer. We told her the entrees came out too early, but she just left them on the table and seemed to ignore our displeasure. We then flagged down our waiter and told him the food came out way too early and he removed everything from the table saying he'd wait until we finished the appetizer.

I understand that chain restaurants like this like to get people in and out quickly since fast turnover is money in the bank, but the restaurant was empty and delivering hot food only to have it sit on the table and get cold is inexcusable.

When our dinner was served (chicken fajitas and BBQ beef tacos) it was hot and fresh, and did not appear to be simply reheated so we were pleased. The portions are quite generous and we usually have to take something home to enjoy later. We passed on coffee and dessert as we were just too full, but I do like their sopapillas.

We also mentioned to our waiter how much we like the chipotle salsa and he thoughtfully gave us a small container of it with a bag of chips to take home gratis.

We will continue to eat at Uncle Julio's, but I think the young wait staff could use more training and definitely should not rush the meal, at least if they want a generous tip.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Barbara P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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