Rio Grande - 3rd & San Jacinto
I would not say I'm a fan of the recent expensive taco explosion that is currently gripping our fair city. I think there are WAY too many wonderful, reasonably priced tacos in Austin to ever have to dine at one of these establishments, but when fate (a co-worker's birthday lunch) intervenes, dine we shall! Rio Grande sits on the corner of 3rd and San Jancinto in the location of the old 'Real World' house. We went in with low expectations so we were not disappointed!
Really Expensive/Small Taco Plate
The lunch menu was pretty basic, they offered up quesadillas, burritos, tacos, tostadas and fajita plates. All the entrees ranged from $8 - $15 and the plates where a decent size. The chips weren't stale but the salsa was most likely of the bottled variety. It had a certain Pace Picante feel to it, with a nice metallic aftertaste. Per our waiter's suggestion, I got the tenderloin tacos plate ($12.95). It consisted of three small tacos on store bought corn tortillas, topped with grilled onions, beef tenderloin strips, mozzarella cheese, and sliced avocado. It was fine, not great, just fine. I mean what the hell do you expect, they are serving freakin' filet mignon on tacos, they better be edible! So, for approximately $4 per taco (I'll say the rice & beans are worth $.95) you get to eat a really mediocre lunch and they let you leave the restaurant with a lot less cash in your pocket. Double win!
If you find yourself stranded in downtown Austin with a shitload of cash in your pocket and a need for bland tex-mex, Rio Grande should be at the top of your list.
Rio Grande - 1.5 stars - jarod
301 San Jacinto Blvd
Austin, TX 78701