Rio Loco is not one of those talked about restaurants downtown. It’s pretty subtle and pretty humble. It’s not where you go for a lively night out. It’s where you go to grab a bite to eat before a downtown event. It’s where you go for good Mexican food.
Rio Loco is not perfect. It seems like every time I go, something goes wrong. The food takes forever. Our margaritas are the wrong flavor. Etc. However, their food is always consistently good. Their beer is consistently cold, and their margaritas are consistently strong.
This particular time I went, they did not seem prepared for Memphis in May. They were very understaffed. Our server worked his little tushy off, but it still took 20 minutes for our drinks to get to the table.
This time we went, we split a pitcher of Dos Equis Amber. We were grabbing a quick bite before Music Fest. Scott, Laura, and I split some white queso with chorizo and the shrimp and beef fajitas. The food hit the table fast, and it was sizzling. It was all really good. The cheese dip was thick, so you had a really good chip to queso ratio. There were lots of yummy veggies mixed with the fajitas.
Though I did not get it this time, I highly recommend the chicken flautas. They are amazing here.
My favorite thing about Rio Loco, though, is the salsa. It is perfect. It’s the right combination and sweet and spicy. You can taste the actual tomatoes, and it still leaves a kick in your mouth. I usually end up filling up on chips and salsa and have to take my food with me. It’s a good idea to split an entree and share the chips and dip.
Rio Loco is in a convenient spot downtown, on Union between Main and Second. If you park in Parking Can Be Fun or a nearby lot, it is directly en route when heading to the FedEx Forum or Beale Street. Stop in to have a margarita and a snack.