Tex-Mex Food

Founded by three gents from Texas, the Rio has been serving signature Tex-Mex dishes since the ‘80’s. Let’s take a moment to clarify just what it means when you dine at a Rio restaurant…

Just what IS Tex-Mex food?

Tex-Mex is exactly as it sounds: Mexican food with a Texan spin. It obviously started in Texas, given the incredibly close proximity to Mexico. Texans started making Mexican food themselves but would add quintessential Texan ingredients to make it their own.

Beef and flour tortillas? Yep – 100% Texan influenced. Traditional Mexican food uses corn tortillas and typically sticks to pork, chicken and seafood proteins. Texas was a cattle-heavy area thus its popularity of adopting beef into Tex-Mex Cuisine.

How to know if you’re eating Tex-Mex food

Curious to know when you’re devouring the Texan influenced version of your fave food? Here’s a list of ingredients that you’ve probably seen at a lot of (Tex) Mexican restaurants. If a dish includes any of these ingredients, it’s (technically) Tex-Mex:

  • Beef
  • Yellow cheese (like cheddar)
  • Wheat flour (like those delectable flour tortillas)
  • Black beans (yeah, we introduced those to Colorado back in the 80s!)
  • Canned vegetables (like tomatoes)
  • Cumin (a type of seasoning)

Tex-Mex uses a set of base ingredients – it’s the refining of Northern Mexican & Texan rancher cuisines into one, bready, cheesy bundle. That queso dip you can’t get enough of? Yep – totally Tex-Mex.

Ok, but are fajitas Tex-Mex?

In Spanish, “faja” means “strip”, which is referring to the cut of beef used. So, yes, Fajitas are also Tex-Mex. Fajitas typically come with a side of flour tortillas & black beans – both of which are rarely found in Mexican cuisine.

Top (Tex) Mexican dishes at the Rio

In sum, the Rio is best known for its top-notch Tex-Mex dishes like…


Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant Fajitas





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