Too bad these Taste features aren’t longer than they are. If they were, we could have told you a lot more about Rito’s Restaurant. And you could have seen more pictures of the food it offers. Because when we asked owner Rito Fuentes to prepare a dish to photograph for this story, he prepared a virtual banquet of food, carefully displayed with place settings, floral arrangements, wine on the table, the whole nine yards. Like nothing we’ve ever seen before.

And that’s not a bad description for Rito’s. Not that any one thing about the restaurant is so unusual. It serves a variety of classic American food, at good prices. You know, eggs, pancakes and sausage for breakfast (served all day), burgers and sandwiches at lunch, pork chops and chicken fried steak in the evenings.

It’s more the whole package that intrigued us. Located in a strip center at Shoreview and Ferndale, the restaurant itself is much larger than you’d guess from the street. Its pink rooms are decorated with mirrors on the walls and flowers throughout.

With its large, open rooms, Rito’s does a healthy business with private parties, such as wedding receptions and family reunions.

The restaurant also has a gift shop, full of dolls, home décor, and again, too many things to list. Rito says he doesn’t really make any money from the shop, but he offers it as something different for his clients, 90 percent of whom are senior citizens. (No wonder: Seniors receive special pricing on several already reasonably priced menu items.)

And getting back to the food, from among the many choices offered us, here are two dishes we thought were especially good: fried catfish (all you can eat on Friday nights for just $6.95) and a Florentine omelet.

RITO’S

10149 Shoreview

214-319-8076

HOURS: Mon-Fri 6 a.m.-8 p.m., Sat-Sun 6 a.m.-3 p.m.

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