Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Date Night in Indio

Rincon Norteno
83011 Indio Blvd.
Indio, CA. 92201

It has been a while since we have done a version of this blog away from the cozy confines of the OC. We were headed out to the desert for Dennis's birthday in Indio, so this seemed like the ideal time to shake off our boots and taste what other places have to offer. The birthday weekend was taking place at Fantasy Springs resort in Indio, so we checked Yelp for all the hot spots in Indio, (see I said hot spots, because this is the desert, okay sorry about that). Anyways, Rincon Norteno was the second highest rated restaurant in Indio, right behind In-N-Out. So, always ready to try a new Mexican place, that is where we headed.

Rincon Norteno has been in business since 1964, and at this present location since 1979. The building, like the surrounding area, has looked like its seen better days. Perched awkwardly under a freeway overpass, and on an awkward corner, we arrived to a full restaurant at seven o'clock on a Friday night. A good sign that there is good food ahead, let's see if this come to fruition.

Rincon Norteno is known for their salsa. It is served warm, and has been described as a gravy salsa. We were not sure what to make of this salsa. It had a little spice to it, and after the initial shock of the salsa had worn off, I decided I liked it. The chips were fair.

As an appetizer, we got the Guacamole, and it came with the chips and cheese above. We really liked the guacamole, I would have liked it a little more if it was a little more spicy, but it was good anyways. The chips and cheese were good as well. We polished those off, just as our entrees arrived.

Up first was Katie's combination plate. She went with the Chicken Taco and Cheese Quesadilla. The first thing I noticed when she got this plate was all the cheese. I love cheese, and was looking forward to trying all of this. The chicken taco was good, but was a little light on chicken. The chicken that I did have was not too dry, (which is what I have come to expect from Mexican restaurants). The quesadilla was okay, and not too greasy at all. Katie thought that the quesadilla had too much cheese, if there is such a thing. The beans and rice were good, and definitely made there.

My colorful plate was the Norteno Combination. Almost always on my first visit to a Mexican restaurant, I get a combination plate. It seems like the ideal way to sample as many different items in one meal, without looking like a pig. This combination included a cheese enchilada, carne asada burrito, and a pork tamale. I really liked their red sauce, which can make or break a dish. The burrito was jam packed with meat, which was not overly flavorful, but just enough. The tamale was not dry at all, (I have had that experience in Mexican restaurants as well). Decent combo plate, eating this would make me want to try their other items.

Since we were just passing through, it is hard to know if this was the best restaurant in Indio. I liked it, and if I was in the area again, and wanted some Mexican faire, I would eat here again. The place is not trying to impress people with decor, and to be honest, Katie said the restroom was a little scary, (but they were obviously working on the restrooms when we were there). If you can get past all of this, and just concentrate on the food, you can have a decent meal here, at a fair price.

Out of five dates, (because the Date Festival is held in Indio every February), five being best to zero being worst, Ricon Norteno gets three dates. 

For more information on Rincon Norteno, check them out here:

Rincon Norteno Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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