Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Rivera's Mexican Grill

FORT WORTH: Rivera's Mexican Grill
900 Alta Mere Dr

Fort Worth, TX 76116


Open Sun-Thur 11-9, F 11-10, Sat 10-10

Update: This joint is CLOSED.

8/11: Rivera's sits directly across the street from Woody Creek Bar-B-Q in Fort Worth in the former location of Cowtown Bar-B-Q. While the small farmer's market is still active, most of the indoor market has been converted into a spacious and well air conditioned restaurant. Table service is the only option, so we sipped some weak iced tea and chomped on warm chips and salsa while perusing the menu. As expected from the name, Tex-Mex takes up most of the menu, but there's a large section of barbecue as well. We opted for the combo plate with brisket, ribs and chicken.

A bevy of sides was the first to arrive. From the canned pinto beans, to ho-hum potato salad and a nice crunchy cole slaw, the sides were not going to prop up this joint. An impressively portioned platter of poor quality meat didn't do much to bolster the sides either. A barbecue joint is not only judged by how well they cook the meat, but how well they store it. On this late afternoon, it was obvious that storing meat was not the Rivera's strong point. Ribs were tender, but a dried fatty layer had formed over the surface of the ribs. They tasted like they'd sat under a heat lamp for quite some time. Strips of white meat chicken were so teeth-squeaking dry that a dunk in the sauce did nothing to improve them. Finally the brisket made me question if this was really a BBQ joint. If this meat was smoked, it was wrapped so tightly as to not let even of whiff of smoke touch the surface. I've had brisket that was poorly smoked, but at least resembled good roast beef, but this wasn't even that good for roast beef. With so much food left, I took a to-go box just to be polite.

Rating *
Rivera's Mexican Grill & Market on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

How were the nachos?

Anonymous said...

I just drove by the farmer's market yesterday and I believe I saw that Cowtown Bar-B-Q was open in that space again.


Each joint is judged on the essence of Texas 'cue...sliced brisket and pork ribs. Sausage is only considered if house made. Sauce is good, but good meat needs no adornment to satisfy. Each review can only be based on specific cuts of meat on that particular day. Finally, if the place fries up catfish or serves a caesar salad, then chances are they aren't paying enough attention to the pits, so we mostly steered clear.