I’ll grant you that from the parking lot outside, the building that houses Taco Rio looks a little scary.
But just go inside and, well, that looks a little scary, too.
Taco Rio occupies one side of a small, neighborhood market in Winter Park’s Olympia Heights. Despite first, and, OK, second impressions, it is kempt, and the people operating the counter-service eatery are friendly and welcoming.
I got the two taco option that included, somehow, a third taco, along with sides of refried beans and Spanish rice. The carnitas were served in soft tortillas — flour; if corn is an option it wasn’t offered — with shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes and sour cream sauce. The meat was well seasoned and had just the right amount of greasy goodness.
I liked the refried beans, but the rice didn’t have much in the way of flavor. All I had to do is drizzle some of the hot sauce, or the salsa verde, for that matter, and voila, or whatever the Spanish equivalent of that would be, instant flavor.
And all of this was filling and delightfully cheap. I’d gladly revisit Taco Rio for another good meal.
Taco Rio is inside the Sunway Food Mart (Food - Beer - Lotto) at 822 Formosa Ave. (at Minnesota Ave.), Winter Park. It is open for lunch and dinner daily but closes early, 7 p.m. every day except Sunday when it closes at 6. The phone number is 321-682-9226.