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Rio Cristal Turns 40 And I Revisit

#51 Super Rio Cristal Steak w/mound of Fries

El Rey de las Fritas


Jose C. Acosta ¨Pepe¨ who not only founded Rio Cristal but also the legendary Lila’s in New York and on 8th Street recently passed away but his legacy lives on in Westchester. Rio Cristal just turned 40 years old this month and it doesn’t look a day over 38, I kid because I love.

Walking through the doors at Rio Cristal is exactly like stepping back to a time when waiters remembered you and what you liked to eat, and everyone had “their” waiter/waitress. I don’t think much of the decor has changed in 40 years and there’s a great picture of the famous Palomilla Steak that would look great in my office.

The Palomilla Steak with a mound of Fries is iconic, so much so that when I ran into Josh Ozersky a few years back at Burger Bash he mentioned that he was heading to Rio Cristal the following day for “the steak with papitas”. I’m of course talking about the #39 but for us folks who live a life of excess, #51 Super Rio Cristal Steak is where it’s at. How “Super” is it? Scroll down and check out the picture.



Pan con Bistec
Pan con Bistec
#51 Super Rio Cristal Steak w/mound of Fries
#51 Super Rio Cristal Steak w/mound of Fries


The meal at Rio Cristal always ends with a Cafecito and a Flan. You must take this into consideration when you decide what exactly you’re going to be eating. You do not want to miss out on this Flan, in Westchester it’s considered a crime to skip it.



To sum it up, Rio Cristal just turned 40 and you need to have a Rio Cristal Steak and a Flan. It’s really that simple.

Eat at a Miami Landmark:

Rio Cristal
9872 Bird Rd, Westchester, FL

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