Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Taco review: El Ranchito #3 fails on taste and service
Only the homemade tortillas were worth the trip.
LAKEWOOD From the start, things were off. The waitress mumbled to herself as she led us to our table at El Ranchito #3. She whispered answers to our questions in Spanish and neglected to mention the restaurant was out of the drinks we ordered, part of the three-taco special platter with either a coca mexicana special, a Fanta, or an agua fresca de tamarindo. The waitress acknowledged the order and it arrived quickly, but our drinks didn’t. When I asked for our drinks again, I was told the restaurant didn’t have any Coke or agua fresca. Only Fanta was available in the beverage case. She pointed to it. It was 11 a.m. The chance that there was a rush on the specials that had depleted the stock was, by then, zero.
I don’t go to taquerias for four-star service. Fast and curt is A-OK with me. It’s about the tacos. Nevertheless, our server could have notified us of our drink options when we put in our request.
Of the tacos we ordered -- all on striking house-made corn tortillas -- the barbacoa was the best: mellow and smooth and not coated in protective layer of oil. The pastor was fine pork, the kind of grub you eat when hungry and not too concerned with what you’re eating. Sometimes you eat because you need to eat and good enough is good enough. You could do a lot worse during those sometimes than El Ranchito #3′s pastor.
However, the fajita filling was a fistful of receipt paper left in a pants pocket and run through the wash, and just as flavorful. Choriqueso was more queso than chorizo, with the dank cheese washing away any pungency the sausage might have had. Thankfully, it wasn’t a total loss. Those tortillas really were whiz-bang.
Pegasus News Content partner - Taco Trail