Cafe Rio Sweet Pork is super flavorful and easy to make at home. It’s perfect for eating out at home and recreating our favorite pork salads, burritos and tacos since we don’t live anywhere near a Cafe Rio!
I don’t know what it is about Utah but one of the things I miss the most from the many years we lived there during college and law school is all the yummy food! I’ve already posted about our favorite Chicken Tikka Masala from Bombay House in Provo, the awesome Roasted Red Pepper Sauce from the BYU institution of Brick Oven, and the Sweet & Sticky Hot Dog Sauce from J Dawgs, which started just south of BYU campus. But the other place we often wish we could eat at when we aren’t in Utah is Cafe Rio! When are they coming to the Bay Area?!
Paul always orders their grilled steak burrito, enchilada style. But my favorite thing on the menu are their Cafe Rio Sweet Pork Salads! They are so delicious! They have a fresh tortilla sprinkled with a Mexican cheese blend, then pile it with cilantro lime rice, black beans, and a whole lotta this sweet, saucy shredded pork, before piling the lettuce up high and garnishing with pico de gallo, the best guacamole ever, crispy tortilla strips, cilantro, cotija cheese and lime wedges. Then it’s served with a tangy and slightly spicy creamy cilantro tomatillo ranch dressing. It’s amazing.
It’s also kind of a lot of work to do at home when you are pulling together all of the components. Not hard work mind – the pork, rice and beans and all pretty hands off once you get them cooking – but it can feel like it for a weeknight, so I tend to make these on the weekend, especially if we invite friends over because everybody always wants to bring something and it’s easy to ask them to some of the salad components. It’s really easy to double the recipe as well if you end up with a larger pork shoulder butt roast and you can do these for a party.
Now, you don’t REALLY have to marinade the pork roast before cooking if you forget or just don’t want to bother. It will still turn out just fine, especially since you are cooking the meat for a long time in the marinade itself. But I feel like it maybe helps tenderize the meat just a bit more to have that extra time in the fridge in the marinade before cooking it low and slow for hours in the crock pot, so I usually just go ahead and do it.
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