An early dinner at Rico's most recently opened store in Magnolia proved to serve food at the same quality we have grown to appreciate at the other four locations in The Woodlands. Rico's has grown quickly in both locations and popularity; and the reason is great Tex-Mex at affordable prices. The menu is identical at all five locations in The Woodlands area, and presumably the same at their other locations in Spring and Kingwood.
There were four of us having dinner that night and we started with The Cadillac Platter consisting of a stuffed jalapeno, fajita chicken & beef quesadillas, fajita chicken & beef nachos & two small chicken flautas. The size of the stuffed jalapeño was was somewhere between a standard baseball and a softball - yes, very large for any jalapeño that I have ever seen and insanely spicy. There is a bit more to this story; the huge stuffed jalapeño was apparently prepared in advance and when cut in to, revealed a cold inner core. Our server (a frequent visitor to our table) quickly removed the cold item and promptly returned with a freshly prepared stuffed jalapeño which included a wealth of hot melted cheese. The remaining items on our Cadillac Platter were quite tasty; the chicken flauta is one of our favorites served with shredded chicken just like in the chicken enchiladas (another favorite). The quesadillas definitely increased the appetite of one of our guests and she ordered another round of quesadillas for her meal.
The quesadillas at Rico's are homemade grilled flour tortillas stuffed with melted Monterrey Jack Cheese, your choice of beef, chicken, or shrimp and served with guacamole, pico de gallo & sour cream. She enjoyed the fajita chicken and cheese delight and packed up the remainder to enjoy later. Her companion was also a first timer at Rico's and the beef fajita combinations on the appetizer plate convinced him to get Fajitas Rancheras, a skillet of beef fajita covered in ranchero sauce mixed in melted Monterrey Jack cheese. Even he couldn't finish the generous serving and resigned himself to packing up the rest to take home.
And then we have the Monterrey Asada marinated beef skirt steak (fajita meat) topped with sauteed vegetables (mushrooms, bell peppers & onions) & melted Monterrey Jack cheese served on a sizzling skillet along with sour cream & homemade tortillas. Like their other beef fajita plates, the Monterrey Asada does not disappoint. With a general preference for chicken fajitas, when it comes time for some beef fajitas, Rico's maintains a top spot on the list.
Rico's Tacos - beef or chicken fajitas rolled in a large homemade flour tortilla and served with Spanish rice, guacamole, pico and chili con queso - are quite the generous serving. An order of two is generally more than the average diner can handle in one sitting; besides that, we were all anticipating an order of Sopapillas - homemade lightly fried pastries topped with a sprinkle of powdered sugar & cinnamon for dessert. Our only complaint (a rather harsh term actually for such a mild disappointment, really) would be with fajita tacos in general served at most any Tex-Mex restaurant. Fajita tacos tend to be a little on the dry side - granted it's the same meat, cooked the same way as a fajita plate but, the difference is that the fajitas are served with peppers and onions and the skillet has some oil or butter on it (providing the sizzle) and thereby adding some moisture back into the meat. The fajita tacos on the other hand, arrive wrapped in a flour tortilla which likely absorbs some of the remaining moisture from the meat. The guacamole and the pico can be great additions to the tacos, but really neither of them are going to add any significant amount of moisture.
The service is better than average, as there are usually enough staff members floating around that you can be sure to get your needs met in a timely manner. The Magnolia location (formerly Border's Mexican Grill) is still new and has a few kinks to work out, which is not unexpected - even for a seasoned group like Rico's. The Woodlands has a large variety of Mexican Restaurants, visit all of them and see which one you like best.
Think we got it wrong? Or did we hit the nail on the head? Let us know in the comments below. And remember, you don't have to take our word for it - give them a try for yourself and decide!
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