Place Review: Rancho Grande

Mr. Wonderful and I went for a date night out on Monday. We totally missed a date night in December, but we were super busy with our respective jobs, the holidays and still trying to unpack… at some point we should probably just start repacking… but we have to have a location to go to first and as our crazy neighbor just moved away so it is not as bad as it has been. It is a good for now place and it feels more like home each day.

Rancho Grande is not somewhere new to us, though the last time we went was 2 years ago. It is a medium sized. strip mall Mexican restaurant. The decor on the inside is not overbearing. It does not make you think you’ve stepped into a tourist restaurant in Cancun. It makes you think you’ve stepped into a Mexican restaurant that wanted to focus on the food instead of the decor. I rather much like the adobe, browns and tans that are on the walls, windows, tables and chairs. It is very mellow and reminds me of places I have been down in Latin America. Homey restaurants always have the best food… or the worst…

We ordered cheese dip for our nachos, margaritas and the chicken fajitas for two. I do realize that fajitas are not Mexican so do not even get started on that. We just enjoy them… which is why we get them. That and I did not want to try a new place’s mole before seeing how they make a very basic dish.

The margaritas came out fast and they did not contain the extra lime we had asked for and a very pitiful amount of salt on top. They were still good, just disappointing for a Mexican restaurant. Then the topping portion of our fajitas came out before the cheese dip which was sad as we had run out of nachos and salsa as well. This gave Mr. Wonderful and I time to play flick soccer with bits of straw wrapper until we noticed it was one poor server taking care of two dining rooms full of tables… way to go server man! The cheese dip was a bit on the cold watery side and the chips were cold and stale. The fajitas though were hard to screw up. They followed the seasons and did not provide many peppers, but it was full of beautifully caramelized onions and chicken. The seasoning was perfect, I would like my fajita chicken to come out that yummy. There was sadness on the toppings front… the beans and cheese had gone cold in the time it took for the fajitas to get there and the guacamole was obviously old as the coloring was more towards brown than green. Maybe we should have ordered the fresh guacamole from the guy that offered to make it for us several times.

Overall the only problem was there was one guy working way too many tables. The kitchen delivery guys only delivered the main dishes and not the toppings, dips or salsas so it all fell on the server’s shoulder. He also appeared to be the bartender and the drink and chip re-filler for the whole restaurant. This guys seriously needed a raise. Unless he is the owner… in which case he needs to hire more staff.

We will go back again I believe, on an off hour when it is slower. Then I would like to try some classics.



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