Cafe Rio Sweet Pork Tostada for SRC

Sweet Pork Tostada

Cafe Rio opened up in the Streets at Southglenn last year and we’ve yet to pay them a visit. I don’t know much about this Mexican fast food chain, but I do know about their sweet pork barbacoa because everyone makes such a fuss over it. Cafe Rio serves it in and on burritos, enchiladas, tacos, tostadas and salads and we really must stop in to give it a try.

Secret Recipe Club

 In the meantime, it’s time for Secret Recipe Club and this month I was assigned to sneak around over at Heather’s blog Fit Mama Real Food.

Heather is a new mom to the cutest kids ever, a group fitness instructor and a healthy home cook. Lots of really good recipes to be found in her house. A couple I’ve pinned to make are:

When I ran across her copycat recipe for Cafe Rio Sweet Pork Salad  there was no reason for me to look any further.

Rio Cafe Sweet Pork Tostada

I went into this  recipe strictly for the sweet pork experience. Much to my surprise I ended up finding a wonderful salad dressing, Heather’s Creamy Tomatilla Dressing. It’s really incredible with flavor and a keeper for other Mexican-themed salads.

For Heather’s post, she had just received a mold to make corn tortillas salad bowl molds. She made a Mexican salad by placing a layer of refried beans, a healthy portion of the sweet pork, lettuce greens and then drizzled the whole thing with this tasty dressing.

Cafe Rio Pork Tostada

I didn’t have taco shell molds, so I made tostadas. I purchased tostada shells and loaded them up exactly as Heather did in her bowl. But don’t just sit there and look at it, bite into it quickly before all of those wonderful juices from the pork and the dressing break down that shell and it falls apart in your hand.

Rio Cafe Sweet Pork Enchiladas

There was plenty of liquid from the braised meat, so I used it to dip soft corn tortillas, rolled them up with some of the sweet shredded pork, added lots of shredded cheese and baked them into Sweet Pork Enchilada heaven. Don’t forget a drizzle of that creamy Tomatilla Dressing.

Thanks for a great recipe Heather. This one is a keeper.

4.7 from 3 reviews
Sweet Pork Tostada
Recipe type: Crockpot
Cuisine: Mexican
  • 2 pounds pork roast
  • 1 can cola (NOT diet)
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ tsp garlic salt
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 cup diced roasted and peeled Hatch Green Chile
  • 1 (10 oz) can enchilada sauce
  • 1 15½ ounce can refried beans, heated
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
  • Tomatoes, fresh and chopped
  • 1 avocado, sliced or diced
  1. Put the pork in a reclosable bag to marinate, pour in half of the can of cola and ½ cup brown sugar. Marinate for 2 hours.
  2. Drain marinade and put pork, ½ can of cola, water, Hatch chile, enchilada sauce and garlic salt in crock pot on low for about 7-8 hours.
  3. Remove pork from crockpot and let cool until you can shred the meat.
  4. To build your tostadas, smear the refried beans onto tostada shells. Top with a generous portion of the shredded sweet pork, add lettuce, tomatoes and avocado. Drizzle with Tomatillo dressing.

For the dressing:
4.7 from 3 reviews
Creamy Tomatillo Dressing
Prep time
Total time
Recipe type: Salad Dressing
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 8
  • 1 packet of ranch dressing
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 3 tomatillos husked and diced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • juice from 1 lime
  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until well blended.

Rio Cafe Sweet Pork Tostada with Creamy Tomatillo Dressing…It’s what’s for Dinner.

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    • says

      We just don’t eat out much Heather, and when we do, it’s usually a local ownership restaurant as opposed to a chain. NOW, with that said, you bet I’m going to stop by Rio soon and give their sweet pork a try. Thanks so much for two great recipes and it was great cooking with you for SRC.

    • says

      Penny, I used a pork shoulder roast. Hatch Green Chiles are from New Mexico and not readily available everywhere. And they’re only fresh in the Fall. I buy them roasted and freeze them. You can order them on line from a couple of good vendors in New Mexico. Or you can use the canned ones. Pretty good but not like the real thing.

  1. says

    I am so ready to pull up a chair! Who cares that it is breakfast time. We do not have Hatch Chilis in my area and I have been searching for them since I read about them on your blog awhile back….still looking!! The tomatillo dressing sounds like a wonderful addition. We will be sitting down to these, soon. Great SRC selection.
    Kate recently posted…Raspberry Sauce – Quick, Easy and Versatile!My Profile

  2. says

    I don’t eat pork but these look awesome regardless! I can always sub chicken. Southglenn has had such an upgrade. I remember when I lived here in the 90’s it was a sorry looking area with that dreary mall. We don’t get there very often but happened to be in that area last week. There is great shawarma place called Shawarma Grill owned by a Lebanese family. The shawarmas are pretty dang good and the brothers are wonderful. We like to stop by when we’re in the area.
    Coffee and Crumpets recently posted…White Chocolate and Pecan Oatmeal CookiesMy Profile

    • says

      Yes, chicken would work great in this. And I too remember those run down days of Southglenn. I love the mall now. I’ve seen Shawarma Grill and wondered about it. We’ll pay it a visit soon. Thanks for the recommendation.

  3. says

    I think pork is my favorite meat. I really don’t eat it that often. So when I see pictures like this with such a wonderful recipe, I am hooked. I have to agree with the comment in the main post, the dressing looks outstanding. Homemade dressing is so hands down better anyway. I would love tasting that dressing juxtaposition with the pork. Interesting combo.
    Carol at Wild Goose Tea recently posted…You Gotta Love a TeapotMy Profile

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