Sunday, August 19, 2007


I have mixed feelings about Rancho's. The good feelings come from its innovative menu, which features vegetarian and vegan versions of most classic Mexican-American dishes. The restaurant is homey and gorgeous, with rustic decor and tons of potted plants, which form a lush barrier from the craziness of University and 30th.

My favorite dish there are the lentil enchiladas. The lentils are cooked down and wrapped in tortillas. They're smothered in mole sauce. I'm not an expert on mole sauce, but Rancho's is pretty good. Or, at least, it tastes good to me. They serve it with rice and beans. I don't care for refried beans, but their rice is awesome. Classic Mexican rice (tomato-based) with corn, peas, and fava beans. I tend to stick to their enchiladas and have had quite a few. A list:

  • Corn and avocado: Good, but I felt like I was eating a bowl of guacamole after a while. It's not as flavored as guacamole. It's basically a fresh avocado mash with some corn. Not bad at all, but can't have too much.
  • Shitake: Good. Can't say too much more because I don't really like shitake mushrooms.
  • Agave: Really good.
  • Tofu: Good.
  • Cheese: Good.
  • Next to try: eggplant enchiladas
I also tried their fish tacos and they're pretty good. Not as good as Cotixan's or even Rubio's, but pretty decent. The fish is somewhat flavorless and there's too much cheese sprinkled in the taco. Overall, the food tends to be lighter than classic Mexican, which is pretty good.

The bad: the service. Not rude at all. The staff is quite nice, but they have to be the most inefficient restaurant staff I've ever encountered. I've had to wait 40 minutes for food the last few times I've been there. Finding your server is a daunting task and the only person who's on top of their game is the guy who brings the salsa and chips. The best thing to do is ask for a pitcher of water so you have enough to tide you over between server appearances. They seem to be moving around a lot, but you don't see a lot done. Meals there are 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours, which is annoying when you're hungry.

Regardless, I'll still return. It's a unique restaurant and that keeps my business.

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