The year was 1997. The place, a little town in southern Utah called St. George. A beautiful couple named Steve and Patricia Stanley started a cafe or restaurant called Cafe Rio Mexican Grill. Cafe Rio served authentic dishes derived from inspired recipes and traditional cooking of Northern Mexico’s Rio Grande region, Southern Texas, and New Mexico. Central to every bite was the idea that each ingredient should be fresh and made fresh to order. And you know what? People loved it. They couldn’t get enough of it. So much in fact, that one restaurant became six. In 2004, these six little restaurants caught the eye of a fine gentleman named Bob Nilsen. He purchased Cafe Rio Menu from the Stanleys with the thought of spreading the passion for making this fresh Mexican food to everyone close to Utah and beyond.
He made certain to keep the mantra of “fresh food, made fresh” at the very core of the brand. No freezers. No microwaves. Nothing premade. Our staff begins each day, bright and early, hand-squeezing limes, hand-scooping avocados, simmering sauces and preparing desserts. The crowds that line up at our over 125 Cafe Rio locations today, aren’t the only ones to adopt notice. We’ve won over 100 awards, from the very best of City Search and also the Oxnard Salsa Festival towards the Inc. 500 as well as the Alfred P. Sloan Award. And you know what else? We’re just getting started.
Cafe Rio opened in 1997 in six Utah locations. Currently, there are fifty-seven locations in ten states: Arizona, California, Montana, Wyoming. Nevada, Colorado, Idaho, and Utah in the West as well as in Maryland and Virginia on the East Coast. A summary of locations may be found at http://www.caferio.com/locations.
The VRG spoke with Aubrie within the Support Center at Cafe Rio. She told us that neither the black beans, the pinto beans nor the rice contain any animal flavors or broths. None of their bread products were made with L-cysteine as being a dough conditioner. The guacamole fails to contain gelatin. A soybean-based shortening can be used in your kitchen where vegetarian and vegan menu products are prepared separately from meat products.
Aubrie told us that Cafe Rio’s purchasing director is actually a vegetarian and thus understands most of the ingredient concerns of vegetarians and vegans. She has evolved lists (previously available on the web) of all menu items that are vegetarian or vegan and it is currently updating them. In mid-March 2013, Aubrie stated that “the [updated] vegan and vegetarian information ought to be seen on our website shortly.”
The update was needed because of a recent ingredient change. Aubrie informed The VRG that
There is a change made recently using the margarine that is utilized within our California, Maryland, and Virginia locations. Previously the margarine was dairy-free, though with the change made the newest margarine does contain dairy…If you are interested in vegan or animal-free products inside the California, Maryland, and Virginia markets listed here is a listing of items which are secure:
* black beans
* pinto beans
* flour tortillas
* corn tortillas
* corn chips
* corn strips for salads
* tostada shells
* Pico de Gallo sauce
* Salsa Fresca
* romaine lettuce
To explain the margarine change, we asked Aubrie if Cafe Rio restaurants in other states use margarine containing dairy. She replied by stating that “all of our other markets tend not to use dairy-free margarine so we tend not to anticipate that any changes is going to be made in the near future.”
On its website, Cafe Rio states that most of their food is “fresh and made daily. There aren’t any microwaves or freezers in every of our locations. There is nothing premade. We don’t have mechanized processed food.” Readers considering mkxorn more about Cafe Rio Menu may visit its website: http://www.caferio.com/
The items in this article, our website, and our other publications, such as the Vegetarian Journal, usually are not meant to provide personal medical health advice. Health advice should be obtained from a professional health professional. We often depend upon product and ingredient information from company employees or company statements. Information does change and mistakes will always be possible. Please make use of own best judgment about whether an item would work for you personally. Further research or confirmation may be warranted.