Rio Grande Grill, is located in the heart of downtown Harlingen, TX. You wouldn’t think there would be a great hole in the wall BBQ joint when you drive by but believe me, you will be surprised!!! The first time I visited was during my vegan phase this past summer and wanted something good that I could eat, but also something my meat loving boyfriend would enjoy. My trusty Yelp phone app suggested The Rio Grande Grill and I quickly found out they have Vegan Entomatadas on Monday, so off we went. As soon as you walk in, you are greeted by the owner who is busy working the cash register. The next thing you will notice is the décor, which resembles a hipster joint in Austin. The decor is a blend of neon, bright colors and some local art. The menu is easy to find, with your choices of BBQ, tacos or enchiladas along with their daily specials.
I have tried most of the items on their menu such as the Vegan entomatadas, fish tacos, chopped brisket sandwich, guacamole and tortilla soup. Let me just say everything is DELICIOUS! My personal favorite has to be the chopped brisket sandwich, it is perfectly moist and flavorful! I always order it with a side of potato salad and mix the homemade chimichurri sauce they provide. Their chimichurri sauce is not like the authentic Argentinian type I am used to, this has a very unique Tex-Mex flavor with a vinegary-cilantro taste which I love! The Vegan entomatadas are delicious and you cannot tell they are meat-free!!! The blend of vegetables used give the dish a hearty feel and the tomatillo sauce is great! I tried the fish tacos and the only thing I thought it needed was a spicier salsa, but that’s just me, I like spicy stuff. Another of my favorites is their lemonade and unsweetened tea. Make sure to serve half and half to make a great Arnold Palmer.
Overall the food is delicious and no complaints! Prices are reasonable, the food comes out fast and the staff is very friendly. Every time I have been the owner is there, and he will come by your table to ask how everything is and even suggest other items for you to try in the future.
If you do want to have lunch at the Rio Grande Grill make sure you arrive early! Doors open at 11:00 AM and they close at 3:00 PM Monday- Saturday. I suggest you show up at 11:25 AM if you want a table, as the place gets packed quickly. Outdoor seating is available to take advantage of beautiful days, like today. The owner did mention that on Fridays they do open from 5pm-9pm and there is live music in the patio where they are grilling burgers (beef & portabella) as well as vegetables. You can also take your own beer.
Rio Grande Grill
417 W. Van Buren
Harlingen, TX 78550