Today my friend suggested we take a slight out of the way lunch in order to experience the deliciousness that is Rio Cristal As someone who grew up with Mexican food, I’m always a little bit suspicious of other hispanic cuisines. Not because I don’t think they will be equally delicious, but sometimes I make the mistake of comparing them to my grandmother’s cooking.
According to my friend, “anyone that’s from Doral or south knows about Rio Cristal”. You definitely would have to be a Miami native to know about this place. It’s located in a generic looking shopping center and would easily be something I would drive by without even noticing. The fact that the server recognized my friend when we walked in after not being there for YEARS is a testament to the wonderful service at this place.
Our server gave us a small salad (basically just a bowl of lettuce with dressing) to start while we made up our minds on what to order. While my friends went for the bistec empanizado (breaded steak), I opted for (what I thought) was a smaller meal and went with two tamalitos and a side of rice and beans.
As you can see, it is still a PLETHORA of food, and I ended up only eating one of the tamales. Although they are smaller than normal size, they are still incredibly filling. All in all the meal was delicious, and you can tell that this is the real deal. My meal cost me just under $10 (and had I only gotten one tamale, it would’ve been $2 cheaper). I would definitely go back and recommend it to anyone wanting authentic Cuban cuisine.
Rio Cristal is located at 9872 SW 40th St in Miami