Ultimate Café Rio Hack

I love Café Rio. It’s no secret. Their sweet pork is one of my favorite things. But sometimes it’s a bit pricey. So today I’m going to share with you my cheat on how to get a thick, juicy quesadilla from Café Rio (or similar restaurants like Costa Vida) with twice the normal amount of meat for a third of the original price. (And if you’ve read either of my 2 cooking posts, you know that this will be a super easy process, on account of the fact that I am culinarily impaired)

Step 1: Buy a side of meat and a tortillaquesadilla 1

Café Rio, Costa Vida, and other similar restaurants let you buy sides of their meat. At Café Rio it costs $2 for a side of any meat. I always go with the sweet pork, but you could also buy the steak, chicken, or other meats (prices may vary for other meats and at other restaurants. I just know for 100% sure that the pork side is $2). You can also buy a plain tortilla for $1. So for about $3 you walk out of the store with a ton of meat and a big tortilla.

Step 2: Go home and pull out your own cheese

If you don’t already have it, you’ll need to buy a cheap bag of cheese from your grocery store. I get a big bag from Walmart for like $3 and it lasts me about 6 quesadillas. So you’ll spend probably like $0.50 on cheese. Not a big deal.

quesadilla 2Step 3: Heat up that goodness

Seriously all you do is throw the tortilla on a pan, melt the cheese, and lay down the meat. One tip here: even though you’ll fold it in half, spread the cheese over the entire thing. It helps the sides stay together. If you only do the cheese on one side of the tortilla, it’ll fall apart. Heat it up for a bit, then cut it into adorable triangles and enjoy!


There you have it. A quesadilla with twice the normal amount of meat for a third the cost. Do you have any other life hacks to get delicious food for cheap? Leave it in the comments!

***I spoke to a friend who is a business sully-chain management major about this. For a while I was worried that if I shared this secret and everyone did it, Café Rio might not sell the sides separately anymore. He explained to me that either way, they are making a profit. They wouldn’t sell sides in the first place if they didn’t make money off of it. So go ahead! Hack away!

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