Mi Ranchito is a local chain, with six restaurants around the area. It may not be particularly exciting, but it’s a place you can count on for good, solid, Mexican fare. I recently gave it a try and was pleasantly surprised. In fact, I think it’s better than any of its counterparts on Southwest Blvd. (except Poco’s, which is more authentic than any of them). And the service was exceptional–friendly and competent, a winning combination.
My initial impression of a Mexican restaurant hinges on the quality of the chips and salsa, in the same way that I evaluate bread and butter at an American restaurant. If the salsa isn’t fresh and flavorful, and the chips aren’t crisp and thick (enough to hold the salsa), it’s hard for me to get past that. But the chips and salsa at Mi Ranchito passed my test–and they also had a spicy version of the salsa, a definite plus. A smooth avocado dip was also offered. The servers kept the chips coming, refilling the basket without being asked–and that’s as important as quality in my husband’s book. (Ask him to actually pay extra for chips and salsa and it will ruin his evening, or at least inordinately cloud his opinion).
My son had a combination platter and enjoyed a tasty tamale, a pork carnitas burrito and a taco. Yes, he was hungry, but it was a huge amount of food and he didn’t finish it. No skimping on portions here. I had pork in chile verde, substituting the refried beans with black beans. (I like it when Mexican restaurants offer a slightly healthier option). My husband had cheese enchiladas and unlike some places around town, the enchilada sauce was properly made with chiles, not tomatoes.
We went to the location at 80th and Metcalf. It’s a popular spot, so if you plan on going to the Rio Theatre next door, make sure to allow enough time.