The Rio

Pairs well with:

White Zinfandel

With strawberry and melon essences, this American original is perfectly at home with however you like to unwind.

I grew up in Utah, and always went to this great local restaurant:Cafe Rio. They have this amazing sweet and spicy pork. You can have the pork in any entree, but I always had the salad: wheat tortilla, cheddar cheese, sweet & spicy pork, yummy greens, pico, and the amazing House dressing. Fantastic local produce from the farms surrounding my home town. MMMM, I could eat there every day. After my husband and I moved to Colorado, I started to have withdrawls. Of course, they don’t have my local restaurant here. After I had come up with a recipe close, I decided it would make a fantastic burger. In fact, it’s my daughters favorite, and she asks for it often. This burger is a tribute to my parents’ who used to raise a couple of pigs a year, and always needed new recipes, and all the great farmers from my home town who always had the best produce at their roadside stands. Oh, and I still have Cafe Rio’s number in my phone…I just couldn’t bear to part with it. I might need it!


2 lb. ground pork
1 C diet cola
1 T water
2 eggs
1 C bread crumbs
1 (4 oz) can green chili’s
1/2 C margarine, softened
1/2 T. garlic powder
1/4 C chili powder
3 C brown sugar

Pico de Gallo
5 Roma tomatoes, seeded & diced
1 medium white onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 jalapenos, seeded & diced
3/4 T salt
1/2 T black pepper
juice of one large orange
juice of one lime
1/2 C chopped, fresh cilantro

Creamy Tomatillo Spread
2 fresh tomatillo’s, cut into quarters
juice of 1 lime
1/4 C mayonnaise
1/2 C sour cream
3 T dry Ranch Buttermilk Dressing Mix
1/2 C fresh cilantro (about half a bunch)
3 stalks green onions with ends cut off
1 clove garlic
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp. sugar

2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
6-8 slices medium cheddar cheese
6-8 good quality, whole wheat buns, split
6 tablespoons salted butter, softened
6-8 leafs, green leaf lettuce


Place pork in large mixing bowl. Add all remaining patty ingredients, and mix well. (with your hands of course) Cover with plastic wrap, and chill for 30 min. – 1 hour.

Pre-heat gas grill to medium.

To prepare Pico de Gallo, combine all ingredients in a bowl. Keep chilled until ready for use.

To prepare Creamy Tomatillo Spread, place all ingredients in blender. Mix on high until creamy. Chill until ready for use.

Remove patty mixture and divide into 6-8 portions depending on size desired, and form into round patties.

Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack and grill for 8 to 10 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Turn grill to low, and place one slice cheese on each patty, and melt.

Spread the cut side of each bun half with 1/2 tablespoon butter and grill until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes.

Spread 1/2 tablespoon of the Tomatillo Spread on the cut side of each bun bottom and top. Place the lettuce on bun bottom, and place patty on top of lettuce. Top with 2-3 tablespoons Pico de Gallo. Add top bun. Enjoy!