So needless to say, I like to go out and about during the games. I was very happy this week when I found out that the game was at night. This meant I could go to my absolute favorite restaurant - Rivera's! This place is so good, and unfortunately the Omaha World Herald agrees with me. I say unfortunately is because ever since the OWH ran not one, but two rave reviews about Rivera's you can't get a seat at the place without waiting. So my favorite secret spot is no longer secret. But you don't have to wait on game nights! In the past, Rivera's had been known to close early on Husker game days, due to no customers, but tonight we (Joe, Eric, and I) arrived fifteen minutes after kick off and most of the tables were filled. AND they had the game on as well! But we did get seated right away. Oh man, Rivera's - I have missed you!
Here are just some of the reason why I love Rivera's. (There are so many!)
- The food! Their menu is different than other mexican restaurants - it more authentic and just plain good! I have tried quite a few of their dishes, but I definitely have my faves - My very favorite is the Shrimp Sonora Wrap - spinach, black beans and it has so much shrimp in it that I usually run out of tortilla before I run out of shrimp! And the sauce is AMAZING! I also love the lobster enchiladas, chicken nachos, Bo pork enchiladas (which I got tonight - mmm!), Spicy Chicken wrap (fried tortilla and cheese sauce over the top!), and Cazuela al Horno - which is like a mexican lasagna, amazingness! There are so many other great things, I could go on and on... Most dishes come with refried beans and rice - which are better than other places. The beans are smoother and so flavorful and the rice is straight up rice with seasoning - no veggies and cooked perfectly. I like to mix my beans and rice, I don't know why, I just have always done it that way. Oh also, you get a free basket of chips and salsa after you order. The salsa is fire roasted, so it looks orange, but it is the best salsa I have ever had!
- The RED MARGARITA! I'm not gonna lie, their margaritas are strong, but oh so tasty. I like the red margarita, it's made with pomegranate juice. I'm not sure if I have ever had any other drink there, but I'm sure they are great, too.
- The service. I have been going here for years and they always have the same servers. They are super nice, check on you often, refill your drinks, and remember you! Our server tonight welcomed us back and said it had been awhile since she had seen us - which was true. My husband is also a food baby (he describes himself as this) and had a very specific request with his order. Since he worked in food service, he always apologizes before asking for things removed or substituted, but then still does it. ;-) Our server (I feel bad, I do know her name but can't think of it right now, I'm 95% sure it is Natalie) was all smiles and told him that his request was not at all unreasonable.
- One more thing about the service - it is owned by Jesus and Tracy Rivera. They knew my friends because they went there so much and then met me because I started going there with my friends. Tracy and I became friends on Facebook. She then friend requested my husband (who wasn't my husband at the time) after I started bringing him there. Tracy will ask how we are doing and know various things about our personal lives such as birthdays and when we got engaged. It's awesome to know that the owners truly care about us and how we are doing!
Like I said, I have been going to Rivera's for years. I was introduced to it by my friend Kacie. Kacie and I (and others, Casey and Eric to name a few... ;-) have many memories of fun nights that have started by going to Rivera's first. We also did our own food challenge there. I'm not sure if they still have this, but Rivera's used to have fried habanero peppers stuffed with cheese sauce on their menu. If you don't know what a habanero pepper is - it is a super hot pepper! I think it is also called a ghost pepper. We each ordered one and challenged each other to finish it. We did it! Not to say that we didn't sweat, and have our eyes and nose run, but it was fun to try it. (by the way, I feel I ultimately won because it didn't make me sick later ;-)