El Rio Verde: Authentic Mexican Fare

It is really too bad that Guy Fieri established “Drive Ins, Diners, and Dives” or I would have entitled this theme’s posts in that way.

Too bad…I will have to stick with EE’s Revs and Recs (for “reviews” and “recomendations”).

I had been wanting to visit El Rio Verde for a long time, ever since The Hubs went to lunch there with colleagues.

He called me to tell me he had eaten octopus ceviche.    (If you know him, you would truly realize how shocking this statement was.)

He raved about that ceviche for months.

Finally, during Christmas break, he took me there for lunch.

El Rio Verde is a small diner and very nearly a dive.   It is on the edge of a potentially sketchy neighborhood.  The restaurant has bars on the windows and doors.

The food is delicious.

What to order?

  • A Mexican coke?  Check!
  • Ceviche?  Check—shrimp or octopus?
Shrimp ceviche

Shrimp ceviche

Yes, I had to try it before I shot the pic.   Yes, that is a colorful oil cloth on the table.   Yes, that is a chipped plate.   Who cares?   It is that kind of delicious place!

The ceviche is super fresh and light.

  • Wet Burrito?   Check!   (As the menu says, “It put us on the map.”)


These burritos are out of this world.   The Hubs ordered his with cabeza (beef cheeks) and I ordered mine with carnitas (fried pork chunks).    You can also get it with a wide variety of other meat options like beef tongue and shredded beef and the regular fare.   They lightly toast the burrito with just a bit of cheese before they dump the sauce on.    That little toasting is just one of the things that makes this dish.

At one of The Hubs’ visits (without me), he saw a whole fried fish delivered to a neighboring table.   That is what we will order on our next visit:  Mojarra Frita (whole tilapia fish, spiced and deep fried).

El Rio Verde is located right off of HWY 244 just east of downtown Tulsa.

We were pleased to find out that they are open until 9:30 p.m. which helps us out a lot because it is tough to do lunch during the week.

Plan on going early.   It is a small restaurant and be prepared to stand in line.    Tables turn fairly quickly during the work week.   We waited about 20 minutes at 11:30 on a Friday.    There is seating at the counter and at least one communal table if you want to share your dining experience.

The crowd is truly eclectic.    The small gravel parking lot is crowded with Mercedes, pick-up trucks, and day-laborers’ vehicles.

Put this on your list of to-dos if you are in Tulsa!

El Rio Verde
38 North Trenton Avenue
Tulsa, OK 74120
(918) 592-2555

Moral of the story:   Don’t let bars on the windows fool you.   This place has won the “Best of…” award for authentic Mexican numerous years.    Please seek out these local gems for your own dining pleasure.

If you have a local haunt like this one, please leave me the name in the comments.    We love to find places like this when we travel.


13 comments to El Rio Verde: Authentic Mexican Fare