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jaren and i have a favorite restaurant, and until recently we have only been able to eat there  when we have visited utah or arizona as there wasn’t one located in california. we love it so much that we joke about how if we had been such aficionados of the place when we got married that we would have either had our rehearsal dinner there or had them cater the whole wedding; it’s that good. when we visit family we always plan to stop at this restaurant. sometimes, we eat there two or three, i know that sound crazy, times a day; it’s really that good. for years we have been telling our friends about this place: how good it is, how much we love it, how we wished there was one closer to us so they could love it too. we have talked about it so much that our friends know, hands down, our favorite restaurant. and now, by a phenomenal stroke of luck, california got one. it’s not ultra close to where we live, but much closer than utah or arizona, and i would travel the distance to eat at this place.

we have been talking about our favorite haunt for years now with our close friends, matt and april. in fact we tried to get them to take  a road trip with us to st. george, utah (the closest one at the time), just for the experience of eating this most incredible cuisine. alas, the trip never happened and they had to wait until last week to experience what we have been raving about for years now. i was a bit nervous that we had talked it up too much, that they weren’t going to like it, but how could anyone walk away from this place and not LOVE it.

after years of hoping one would come to california our wishes finally came true: the first cafe rio was opened in southern californa; a christmas and new year’s miracle.

we have been trying to describe its yum-a-licous-ness to our friends forever; we were so happy we could finally share the cafe rio experience with our good friends, and i don’t think anyone was disappointed. how could we be? i mean seriously; it is practically the food of the gods. 😉 cafe rio needs to be another landmark on the southern california vacation circuit: hollywood, disneyland, the beach, sea world, cafe rio.

please note: these images were immortalized “guerilla style by amateurs with a samsung mobile phone.” mexapixels? 1, perhaps. 😉 you’ll still get the gist of it.


me. probably my most flattering picture. ever. 😉 i think i might have food stored in my cheeks.


my girl april, who told me to order for her. i did, with pleasure: grilled fajita chicken salad, little rice, little black beans little pinto, shredded lettuce, extra salsa, cheese, cilantro, chips, and spicy ranch dressing. i am salivated writing about it.


my man, who might love this place as much as he loves me. ok, maybe just a teeny tiny bit less than he loves me.


the cafe rio poster children:


and what it looks like when you are done. if you choose to lick the aluminum container after finishing no one would blame you.


there weren’t any pictures that “turned out” of matt, but he was there too, so was lark, and we all celebrated, quite well, the arrival of the best restaurant known to mankind.

on the way home matt sent me a text, “cafe rio was a great way to start 2010.”

matty, it was the only way to start 2010.

we met up with them tonight, and they were already talking about making a return trip to cafe rio. hooked. two more fans. when shall we go aps and matty? you know we are there, just tell us when. 😉

if you are looking for a delicious place to dine that will wow the taste buds and leave you in the most incredible food coma, take the 5 and exit el toro; you can’t miss it. roll your windows down and sniff it out if you get lost.

so happy to have you in so cal cafe rio; it’s been a long time coming.