Dallas has few diversions other than eating, drinking and shopping.....and shopping does not interest us.
So we spend our time hopping from restaurant to restaurant and to every pub that we can find in search of the perfect meal and the perfect beer.

We randomly review restaurants and bars, dishes and beers at whim and give our brutally honest opinions of our findings. And while we concentrate on Dallas, we travel far and wide to sample cuisine from all regions of the country and beyond.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Restaurant Review - El Ranchito

El Ranchito

A good friend of Mexican descent offered to help me in my eternal search for the perfect Mexican Restaurant.  She suggested a small restaurant on Jefferson in 'the Cliff' where she grew up and has been her favorite for many years.  Yes, yes, hello, yes! 
The clientel ranged from suits to families with screaming kids to grandparents.  Multi-generational and a broad cross-section of cultures means broad appeal, good so let's eat.
To be sure, Ranchito serves Mexican food, not Mexican cuisine.  Do not expect a fine presentation on fine flatware.  Do expect basic, tasty food.  The service was OK, too.
To the average gringo, Mexican food is tacos...and tacos are more or less the same all over, right?  Wrong Bolillo, even a dish as simple as Carne Asado will have regional differences that can range from subtle to extreme.  So in order to compare quality of Mexican restaurants I use Guacamole as my base, which varies only slightly from region to region.  The Guacamole at El Ranchito is served in a lovely (sarcasm, please) plastic bowl filled with lettuce and let me assure you that the small portion really is small and fine for one person.  It also harbors very little other than avacado and lettuce, lots of lettuce. 
When the menu says that the rib-eye in the Bistec con Chili Chipotle comes smothered in Chipotle they do mean smothered.  They could have served a shoe in this heavy and slightly over salted sauce and it would have tasted wonderful.  The shoe may have less fat and gristle than the steak, however.  Rice and refried beans are served with the steak and are fairly standard.  I wish that I had requested the Charo beans instead but, oh well.
The Asado de Puerco is pork smothered in an adobo sauce which is every bit as heavy, but delicious as the chipotle served on the steak, just different.  The pork was so tender that it was difficult to spear with the fork.  But then served with hand made tortillas made it a sinfully good dish and again served with refried beans and rice.
Diabetic?  High cholesterol?  You should probably skip this place.  But if you would like decent northern Mexican comfort food and damn the doctors orders it is worth a trip.
Oh, yes, they don't serve Stella Artois....bonus.

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