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Rio Bravo Tacos and Tequila Opens In Tuckahoe

tacosEntering the newly opened Rio Bravo Tacos & Tequila is a feast for the eyes. A colorful variety of Mexican tiles line the walls. Heavily carved dark wood archways give privacy to the booths and Mexican dolls, ornaments, pottery and figurines are artistically placed in alcoves on the walls. The large comfortable bar area is to the left of the festive dining room. The food arrives on pottery dishes in a kaleidoscope of colors, orange, yellow, green, blue and red which immediately puts you in a happy mood.

Upon chatting with Manager Eliseo and server Ezekiel, they indicated that they experiment with planning their service and menu to see what works best to please their guests. They describe Rio Bravo as upgrade gourmet Mexican with some fusion elements. “Rio Bravo takes you back in time to a Mexican hacienda feeling. Freshness, fine quality and good service, sets us apart from many other Mexican dining spots.” Owners Edgar and Hector Brambila from Jalisco, Mexico arrived here many years ago and started building their restaurant empire. They now own about 13 restaurants from North Carolina to Connecticut and Massachusetts and Larchmont. We now welcome them to Tuckahoe. They say, we are “in a great location directly across from the Crestwood train station with no other Mexican restaurants in the immediate area. We look forward to further expansion in the metropolitan area.”

rio1As you await your meal, enjoy some chips with house made salsa or try one of the four varieties of hot sauce at your table. “Top shelf guacamole” is a fine beginning. It is prepared tableside to your taste. Rajas taquitos corn tortilla stuffed with poblano peppers, corn, potatoes and caramelized onions as well as queso fundito an Oaxaca cheese and chorizo casserole are nice choices as well. Buffalo wings, sweet, sour and spicy with ranch dressing bone in or boneless are popular starters, as well. I started with ultimate ceviche. It was unique with shrimp, bay scallops and tilapia marinated in citrus with tomato, onion, cilantro and jalapenos. Sliced avocado garnished this bowlful for refreshing results.

If quesadillas are your desire, you might enjoy one filled with skirt steak or grilled chicken or an open faced variety with pork carnitas. We were adventurous and savored a mango club quesadilla. This tasty filling of cheese, grilled chicken, caramelized onions, fresh mango relish, Applewood smoked bacon and avocado was Mexico’s answer to a BLT sandwich. We loved it, with its multi flavored combination of ingredients. The offerings of south of the border dishes include popular chile relleno and pork carnitas, as well as several innovative dishes such as Portuguese shrimp, stuffed with ham and cheese, wrapped in bacon and topped with a Dungeness crab sauce and square knot salmon with roasted pineapple. I just loved the camerones 1800. Here, the jumbo shrimp were sautéed with sliced mushrooms and pecans in olive oil. The tequila 1860 crema sauce with a hint of cilantro worked well with this dish. Carne asada was simply prepared and tasty, as well. The tender thinly sliced skirt steak was charbroiled and topped with green onion and guacamole. Enchiladas can be savored with shrimp, sun dried tomatoes, tomatillo sauce and cilantro crema. Suiza style is also popular as are vegetarian varieties. I enjoyed the enchilada con mole. These chicken enchiladas were generously topped with a fragrant long cooking apple scented mole sauce. This many ingredient complex sauce incorporating unsweetened chocolate was superb. If you can order only one dish at Rio Bravo I would go for the enchilada con mole.

There are 7 varieties of fajitas served with onion, green peppers, charro beans, lettuce, red rice pico deriogrill gallo, sour cream, guacamole, shredded cheese and warm handmade flour tortillas. Choose, chicken, skirt steak, salmon or vegetables to name but a few. There is also a selection of chimichangas and a variety of combination plates. It is fun to make your own combination plate of 1 taco, 1 enchilada and one quesadilla.

Tacos are available as classic street tacos to creative international varieties. Tacos al Pastor are filled with melted jack cheese, caramelized onion, shredded cabbage, braised pork, pineapple relish, pico de gallo and a drizzle of Mexican crema. French tacos are filled with melted cheese, caramelized onion, skirt steak, chorizo and chipotle crema for added spice. Marco Polo tacos were excellent with bacon wrapped shrimp as its main ingredient and tempura fish tacos, calamari tacos, Milanesa tacos, and fried chicken tacos are other interesting possibilities. Each taco has a generous amount of filling and arrives with red rice, citrus chipotle slaw and a choice of beans.

For dessert, churros, those fried squiggly fingers of dough and fried ice cream are available. I chose the house made flan, just smooth and sweet enough to complete your meal.

riodrinkNot to be overlooked are the beverages. There are 13 margarita varieties listed using a choice of tequilas and fruit flavors. You have the option of building your own margarita by choosing one of the 60 [yes 60] brands and grades of tequila, a selection of juice mixers and seasoning. Rim your glass with salt, sugar or nothing at all.

There are daily features here such as taco Tuesday with $1 tacos at the bar and siesta Sunday with ½ price bottles of wine.

Enjoy a meal in the hacienda like atmosphere of Rio Bravo Tacos & Tequila for a festive and fun filled south of the border style experience

Rio Bravo Tacos & Tequila

296 Columbus Avenue
914 361 1515

Recipe: Skirt Steak Tacos


2 ½ pounds skirt steak - trimmed of excess fat and butterflied
10 4-inch flour tortillas

For The Marinaderiorestaurant

1 cup roasted garlic cloves
1 tbsp. Mexican oregano
Juice of 2 limes
2 cups olive oil

Combine garlic, oregano and lime juice and process to a paste in a food processor. Drizzle in the olive oil until well combined.

For the Salsa Verde

2 bunches cilantro
1 jalapeno
3 cloves raw garlic
2 tsps. capers
½ bunch parsley
3 green onions
1 cup olive oil
Salt to taste

Blend all in processor until smooth. Adjust seasoning with salt if needed and set aside


3 avocados
4 limes, halved
Crumbled queso fresco

Preheat grill to medium or medium high heat. Cover steak with marinade and let it rest for 30 minutes or up to 6 hours covered in refrigerator. Drizzle avocado with olive oil, salt and pepper. Season steak with salt and pepper. Grill for 2 to 3 minutes per side for medium rare. Let the steak rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Slice against the grain into ¼ inch slices Add avocado halves to the grill until slightly charred. Cut into slices when cool enough to handle. Lightly toast tortillas on the grill for 30 seconds on each side. Stack them and cover with a towel to keep warm. Grill limes cut side down for 1 minute. Assemble taco with steak, salsa verde, grilled avocado and queso fresco. Serve with grilled lime.

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