by JEFF SPRY A&E Feature Writer
Rio restaurant in downtown Redmond is reinvigorating itself as a breakfast and lunch destination with all-new menu items carrying a traditional Mexican flair. Situated on a bright sunny corner on Highland Ave, Rio is an unpretentious, neighborhood eatery serving up authentic South of the Border fare with style.
This summer, owner Roberto Cardenas made the decision to reinvent the restaurant and adapt to changing times instead of shutting down, a rarity in the revolving restaurant industry.
“My wife was dealing with neck issues that made it difficult for her to continue running our restaurant and we contemplated closing down,” said Cardenas.“But our customers convinced us otherwise and after thinking about it a while, I came up with a solution to offer a new breakfast menu. I’d always wanted to do breakfast but the locations of the other Rio restaurants weren’t the best. It felt like the right time to try something new.”
Rio still cooks up traditional egg combinations with pancakes, ham and sausage, but Cardenas has spiced up the menu with some inventive early morning offerings for the whole family.
“Rio’s cuisine is based on my grandmother’s cooking. And breakfast is what she does best. So we decided to keep it going and let people know we’re serving breakfast every day from 8am-2pm, with lunch items available all day until 4pm.
“I want people to come here to try my homestyle food. You’ll find one-of-a-kind creations here you won’t get anywhere else.”
Cardenas is content with his downtown corner spot and hopes the Mexican-themed breakfast menu catches on.
“This is a great location on one of the major arteries through the heart of Redmond, and the city has done a nice job in revitalizing the area,” he said. “One thing that encouraged me to stay is the loyal customer base we’ve built over the last year and a half and we didn’t want to disappoint them.”
Rio is a perfect destination to stop off for an early meal on the way to Smith Rock or the Redmond Airport, as well as a popular drop-in for locals and visitors to the High Desert.
Some highlights of the new menu include scrambled eggs and chorizo, a stuffed chile relleno with chorizo and potatoes, homemade tamales and eggs, huevos rancheros, a hearty Mexican benedict with country ham, avocado slices and served with a jalapeno and poblano pepper hollandaise sauce. One of the signature items is Jeff’s Kahlua Pancakes, created with the Mexican coffee-flavored rum liqueur poured into the batter, then cooked up fresh on the griddle and garnished with brown sugar, cinnamon and cajeta Mexican caramel sauce. Wash it all down with a hot mug of Grandma’s Mexican hot chocolate.
“I love the community here in Redmond. It’s one that supports and encourages its businesses and feels like a big family. There’s a lot of potential for smart growth taking place in Redmond and we’re proud to be a part of that.”
Rio is available for meetings, offers free WiFi, and a daily local’s appreciation special of eggs, pancakes and coffee for $4.99.
“This is just another opportunity to introduce Redmond to my cooking and hope this experiment venturing into breakfast is successful. It’s a lot of work but I didn’t want to consider this business as a failure. This gives new life to Rio in Redmond!”
People who mention this article will receive 2-for-1 breakfast through the month of November.
11106 Highland Avenue, Redmond
by JEFF SPRY A&E Feature Writer