We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“We go here all the time”

El Rio Mexican Grill
Ranked #5 of 47 Restaurants in Rocky Mount
Cuisines: American, Mexican
Restaurant details
Reviewed 24 September 2017 via mobile

This is the best mexican restaurant in rocky mount. Before this one open we went to one that was at another location in rocky mount. But since they opened we have not been back to that one. We love El Rio!

Date of visit: September 2017
Thank 644kalim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (65)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year

9 - 13 of 65 reviews

Reviewed 1 August 2017

You don't go to your typical Tex-Mex restaurant expecting a fine dining experience; however, you should receive tasty, attractively presented food along with friendly, efficient service. We did get the latter but the former, not so much.

Our server was charming and kept us well-supplied with chips, salsa, and water. She checked on us frequently beyond that, as well. The chips themselves were solid--the first basket was fresh and were soon devoured. The next two batches were an 80-20 mix of fresh chips with older, overcooked, oily chips. Not awful but certainly disappointing. Further, we ordered the guacamole freshly prepared table side for $5 which is a bargain compared to many places which offer such. Sadly, the guacamole we received appeared to be scooped out of a container such as you get in grocery stores. Though it might have been made in the kitchen, the consistency didn't seem fresh and there was very little cilantro, lime, and jalapenos as advertised. To be fair, we were only charged $3 which further underscores my suspicion it was bought not made.

As for the main dishes, I had the tacos Jalisco style made "al diablo." That simply meant that I got chorizo and steak, and those had a lot of cilantro (which I like), some onion, a little cheese, and that's it. I put some of the salsa and guacamole on there to give them more character. They were decent, and I'd order them again. My wife had the taco salad, and it was subpar. It came in the typical oversized fried tortilla bowl with a layer of what was supposed to be meat and beans with lettuce on top. The lettuce was that very finely shredded type and had maybe two or three small tomato pieces. That was it. The beef was so finely ground to be almost unrecognizable from the very mashed bean, and when mixed together in order to get a bit of each, the dish quickly became a pudding. The lettuce was so finely shredded that when it met the warmth of the beany/meaty mixture, it wilted to the point of being indistinguishable from the actual "meat" mixture. It looked terrible, though my wife politely said that it tasted "okay." Still, the visual of the "pudding" sitting in tortilla shell that got soaked on the bottom (and it wasn't freshly fried so the walls weren't crispy, either). She ate maybe 1/3 of the dish.

Overall, while the staff was friendly, the food was disappointing. It doesn't speak well for the quality of food at other restaurants in the area that El Rio is ranked #5 out of 30+ restaurants in Rocky Mount. Perhaps we caught them in an off night. Regardless, I simply can't recommend El Rio at this time.

Date of visit: July 2017
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank vwldvc25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 July 2017

nice warm chips and salsa with meals, good quacamole, nice atmosphere, bar area, wait staff is friendly and accomodating, good nachos, lots of choices, always hot from kitchen, good iced tea which I'm picky about, you won't leave hungry

Date of visit: July 2017
Thank AliJVa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 April 2017

Very clean, friendly staff, great service, great quality food! Loved it! Our waiter was very prompt, friendly, and courteous. The chicken wings were some of the best I've ever tasted! My boyfriend's mixed fajita was amazing! I would definitely recommend!

Date of visit: April 2017
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Gloria Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 March 2017 via mobile

There is nothing worth noting at this restaurant. Salsa had no flavor and food was edible but nothing worth returning for.

Date of visit: March 2017
Thank Dan D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed El Rio Mexican Grill also viewed

Rocky Mount, VA

Been to El Rio Mexican Grill? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing