Homestyle Mexican Food: Rio Grande Cafe
The Wait: If you know dining in Utah, you know that an hour wait at 7 pm on Friday or Saturday night is a standard deal. I have never waited longer than 15 minutes at Rio Grande even on the busiest nights. Plain and simple, they turn tables.
The Location: Rio Grande is located 1 block away from the Gateway downtown. That means that on a Friday night, you can walk there and be seated faster than most Gateway restaurants. (Not a bad plan?)
The Atmosphere/Service: I have a hard time separating atmosphere and service. I don't like to feel uncomfortable in even the fanciest restaurant. Rio Grande has a nice outdoor area to sit and eat on a cool autumn evening, or the inside still has the same decor from the old train station. The original counter and woodwork give the restaurant a lot of character. You'll enjoy the laid back attitudes of the hostess and servers. It's obvious they have been doing this a long time, because the never appear over rushed or pushy even on a busy night. I never could get the full story on the life sized lady wrapped up in a taco.
Local Tip: Get the pollo cilantro. You won't be sorry. You can always get the carnitas next time. You'll be back.
Details: Rio Grande Cafe | (801) 386-7185 | 270 S Rio Grande St (at W 300 S) SLC | Mon-Thurs: 11am-2:30pm & 5pm-9:30pm, Fri & Sat: 11:30am-2:30pm & 5pm-10:30pm, Sun: 4pm-9pm Cost: $12-$17 per person