Looking for good eats in Del Rio, TX
I'm a "local" of sorts, as we are stationed at Laughlin AFB and have been in the area for over a year. Here are my recommendations:
Mexican: The Union Cafe, located off Hwy 90 (toward the base, just east of Del Rio). Take a left (coming from town) at the stop light just past the big middle/elementary school complex. You'll see the Union Cafe on your right. It's a hole in the wall type of place and the service is not the fastest, but the fish tacos will blow you away. There are plenty of Mexican options on the menu-- all good. It's open Mon-Sat from 6 am to 2 pm, so not a dinner place. I hear their breakfast tacos are also great.
For dinner, try The Herald in "old downtown" Del Rio, on Main Street past the RR tracks. The Herald gets mixed reviews, but if you know what to order, then you'll be pleased. I always like their spinach salad with strawberries. The jalapeno cheese-stuffed, bacon-wrapped shrimp is about the best I've had anywhere, and I've lived in many different cities. The steak is fine if you like pot roast, because that's what it is-- not filet mignon as stated on the menu. Just don't expect great service. This is not gourmet food, and would probably go under in a big city, but not a bad place to eat in Del Rio. The ambiance is nice, and it's fun to people watch.
On a hot day, you can't beat the wonderful frozen custard at a place that literally just opened, so I can't recall the name. It's located near the Mall. Turn off Veterans Blvd (Hwy 90) at the light in the middle of the Mall by Brown Chevrolet. Go to the flashing light and bear left. At the stop sign, you'll see it straight ahead-- bright blue building. The service is slow, but the custard is fabulous. To me, it beats Marble Slab, Cold Stone, etc. at a fraction of the price.
There's a really nice new wine bar on Hwy 90 out toward Lake Amistad. It's easy to miss-- but look for an adobe country store with gas pumps on your right. The wine bar (can't remember the name) is at the end of the building. It's very nice inside-- lots of tile, a cozy corner with leather sofas and a fireplace, and plenty of wine to choose from. Appetizers are available-- I like the fruit and cheese plate.
Do not eat at Avanti. You will be disappointed unless you consider the Olive Garden to be haute cuisine. They may get a few things right now and then, but trust me-- do not waste your money on this place.
No matter what anyone says, NEVER go to the Waypoint Cantina out by the lake. The place is filthy, and the service is horrible. No matter how tempted you are, just do not go.
Don't go to Don Marcelinos. Most people are disappointed.
Thai Jitra is just okay. If you like Thai food, save your money.
Most locals, even foodies like me, eat at Chili's. Seriously.
Good luck, and if you go, post what you thought.
Fellow hound, I am a food LOVER! I judge everywhere I have lived by the restaurants that were there and I have eaten all over the world. I hope that gives me some credibility, but of course all tastes are different. Here are my picks...
GO TO AVANTI ITALIAN RESTAURANT! Do not order their Italian food, no matter how it may entice you. ORDER THE FILET MIGNON. They have two styles: an au poivre, which is served with a creamy brandy sauce; and the regular filet, which is served with mushrooms and a red wine reduction. I prefer the wine reduction, while my husband gets the pepper/brandy sauce. If you like your steak tender, juicy and just barely pink inside, go for Med Rare as they tend to overcook by about one level (we like med and go for med rare). Also they serve both steaks with freshly cut veggies sauteed in olive oil and garlic and a side of Alfredo. Note, lightly salt the Alfredo, it will go from kind of bland, to fantastic!
Another little star in Del Rio is Jitra Thai. I love their Chicken Panang Curry which is a hint spicy, but in a flavorful way, not overpowering. Put it over steamed rice and it is great. If you want something a bit more typical, they have really good chicken Lo Mein.
If you are lunching, try Rudy's Barbecue, but have either the sausage or the Turkey. I prefer the smoked turkey...the flavor is incredible.
We went to Memos and are not impressed. Went to Panchos off the beaten path and I have to say it was the worst Mexican food I have ever had! I have never been, but hear that the Marcellinos restaurants are all terrible too. Happy Eating!
I will have to try the filet at Avanti's next time we're in town!
Marcelino's is not a place for tacos or enchiladas (they are very greasy), but the guisado is very good. Look at what everyone else is eating there...
I agree Memo's is just OK. They are family friends, bit we're still not fans.
Hi, I'm heading to Del Rio next weekend to visit my son who is stationed at Laughlin AFB. It sounds like visit to Don Marcelino's is a must - although we're from California, so we've eaten our fair share of Mexican food over the years. I'm assuming that this will be different, though.
If we can only go one other place, would you go for the Steakhouse, the Italian or is there something new in town?
Incidentally, the one request my son gave me, was could I bring him some sushi? I guess they don't have any in Del Rio, or at least he hasn't found it yet.
No sushi in Del Rio; folks there call that "bait." I'd recommend stopping in San Antonio with a cooler. The closest thing to sushi in Del Rio is the Chinese buffet place on Veterans Blvd...can't remember the name...or the Korean place on 190.
I'd do Cripple Creek for a good steak. The Italian place (Avanti's) is just OK by bigger city standards.
Don Marcelino's is not the typical Tex-Mex or Baja style mexican food that you've had before. DM's is Norteno food. I adore their Tacos Tapatios, and DH always has a big bowl of Guisado. DO keep in mind that there are no free refills on any kind of drink (except water).
Every place where people cook, share, and enjoy food is a Chowhound kind of place, and Del Rio is no exception. Unfortunately for us, there seem to be few regular posters who spend a lot of time there and are willing to undertake the search.
The only discussion I've seen of a Del Rio joint in the past year is a review of Don Marcelino's: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/365428
Some slightly older comments including barbeque: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/93157
Until a 'hound is recruited who lives in the area and can scour the highways and byways, I'm guessing that visitors like you can do us a great service by trying the little places off the beaten path.
The BBQ places listed in the above post are several hours' drive from Del Rio in Alpine and Junction...
I'm about as close to a "regular" as you'll get at this point. ;-) DH and I are down there a couple of times a year to visit his parents. We usually check out the small restaurant scene while we're there, and we ALWAYS make a visit to Don Marcelino's!
DH and I are there at least once a year to visit his parents. Unfortunately, Del Rio isn't exactly a Chowhound kind of place. There really aren't many good places to eat...and lots of fast food! A few places I can recommend:
Don Marcelino's (several locations in town; we like the one on Veterans Blvd near the bank.) Authentic Mexican home cooking. We adore the guisado, tacos tapatios, and DH likes the menudo. No refills on drinks, and soft drinks are served in a can! We have to eat here at least once every visit...
Avanti's Italian. Not the best Italian, but the best Italian in Del Rio!
Cripple Creek Steahouse. Out near the Lake on 90 west. Best steaks in town.
If you want to go "across the river" to Mexico for dinner, both Lando's and Crosby's are good. Be sure to eat in the restaurant part and not the bar.
If you have free time, the Whitehead Memorial Museum is really informative about the region's colorful history. And if you have even more time, the Indian pictographs at Seminole Canyon State Park are really neat!