New restaurant falls short on flavor


Ben Prengler

The Text Mex chain, Cafe Del Rio, comes to Allen, Texas.

Julia Vastano, Assistant Editor-in-Chief

North of the border, Tex-Mex fusion is practically part of the food pyramid with Allen’s newest chain restaurant, Cafe Del Rio (75 and Bethany Road), the latest establishment hoping to capitalize on this culinary creation.

With seats straight from an “American Diner”, Cafe Del Rio features kitschy americana memorabilia adorning the walls. It is all quite charming alongside well known Mexican staples like sombreros and maracas. Along with the flavorful decor, Cafe Del Rio offers a fortune telling machine, bakery, large bar and soft serve ice cream machine.

But like any restaurant, appearances are only part of the equation as food is the main course.  This is where Cafe Del Rio falls shorts. Meals begin with thin, salty cantina style chips which are fine but if you are a fan of guacamole, you will be sorely disappointed. Served soupy and cold, it lacks taste and substance – two very vital things in any food.

Things don’t improve much from there as everything pretty much has the same spicy salt taste. With the wide variety of Tex-Mex places in the area, diners could do much better than Cafe Del Rio.

While the food was merely average, the service was better. Though the restaurant has regularly accommodated a large crowd since it’s opening, there is always an open table due to it’s immense size. The hostesses and waiters were very accommodating, and most importantly fast. The food wasn’t cold, cups were never empty and the basket of chips was continuously refilled with hot chips.

Cafe Del Rio may be Allen’s hottest new chain, and while the service stands out, the food will leave diners feeling lukewarm about their meal.