November 13, 2009

Across The Tracks Mexican

Soul food.
Not a lot of it in North Texas. In fact, since the late, lamented fire and subsequent closing of Steve’s Barbecue (the same BBQ joint where you might see the dreamy Harry Connick Jr…), I don’t even think you can get sweet potato pie in Denton.
(Want to know more about Steve’s? Click here, here, here, and here.)

But I digress.

No matter, you can get TONS of Tex-Mex locally, and I think that is soul food to a lot of Texans. I mean, think about it. It’s comforting, greasy, and always served in abundance. That sounds like soul food to me.

Now, I’ve blogged and tweeted about eating at a couple of Mexican places around town, but I wanted to write more about Mi Ranchito. Though, to be honest, I did have an internal dialogue along the lines of, “Do I really want to share this with the blogosphere and maybe add-to-the-dinner-crowd?!”
Lucky for you, my better self won out, so I’ll tell you more about Mi Ranchito - one of the reasons I love Denton.

Around my house, we call it “across the tracks Mexican”. It’s not really on the wrong side of the tracks, but just on the South side of Fort Worth Drive (377). It is close to the RR overpass and on a sketchy stretch of road. (Not sketchy dangerous, mind you, just sketchy run down. )
All that said, Mi Ranchito is as good a place as any to get down with the chips, salsa, Dos Equis (all pictured), enchiladas etc.  - and maybe better than most.
After all, a nearly life long Dentonista turned me on to it.

Now understand the Tex-Mex served here (and at most Tex-Mex places) is working people’s food.
You won’t find light dishes, small plates, fish (except the fried kind), or even the lighter, coastal-style of Mexican you can find elsewhere.

What you will find, in addition to the tacos and combo plates you can find everywhere else, is a special weekend menu. If you go Thurs-Sun, you can sample:

  • A delicious, chocolatey Chicken Mole

  • The Tostada Ranchito (pictured)

  • El Trio

  • Seafood Cocktail (pictured)

  • You know those schooners of red something, with maybe some tentacles hanging out of it, that you’ve seen served up at some Mexican places? That’s the seafood cocktail.
    Seriously, do yourself a favor; get outside your normal Tex-Mex routine, and try this. You can even take baby steps and get it with all shrimp, instead of the equally (or maybe more) delicious shrimp/octopus combo version. Served up with saltines and picante sauce, you simply can’t not like this. (You know what’s good too? Using the tortilla chips to scoop up this deliciousness.)
    And, in reliable Tex-Mex tradition, the small (pictured) is plenty enough to split as an appetizer, or more than enough as a meal for one.

    If you’re still unsure, at least make time to try one of the other weekend specialties. (I swear, even the salsa is kicked up a notch on the weekends.)

    Now, I mentioned this is working people’s food, right? This is a working people’s restaurant. So, you’ll also find: couples; families with kids; groupings of extended generations; and maybe a waiting line out the door.

    What you shouldn’t find: hipsters in skinny jeans – not if they’re smart.
    In fact, leave your tight or slim cut pants of any sort at home.
    Track pants, sweat pants, NFL pants, maternity jeans, overalls , whatever your old, loose bottoms are, drag ‘em on. You'll fit right in, and you probably won’t have to hold them up when you leave.
    Cause that’s how they set you up at Mi Ranchito; nobody leaves here hungry.

    Oh! I almost forgot to mention the lunch specials: Tues-Fri - $4.95.
    What's not to love?
    Try it and see.


    Maxine from Texas said...

    Yummm! Love Mi Ranchita. Speaking of skinny jeans - La Mexicana has been taken over by the hipsters <--rolling eyes. But you can still find the guys with hangovers eating menudo and drinking Miller lite at 10 in the morning. Does Mi Ranchito serve breakfast?

    -Your Friendly Neighborhood Dentonista said...

    They do indeed serve breakfast Maxine. Check it out.

    Ellen Sackett, said...

    I haven't been to Mi Ranchito in a while, but your photo reminded me of how great the salsa is. Gotta go and get some now! BTW, yeah, you can get Sweet Potato pie in Denton at Ravelin Bakery. I had a piece yesterday, in fact. It was pretty sour~not what I was expecting. I'm guessing it was made from buttermilk.

    Great blog! Glad I found you.

    ~ ej

    -Your Friendly Neighborhood Dentonista said...

    Ellen, thank you so much for your kind comments! And sour sweet potato pie? Is it possible Ravelin has a clunker? Well no matter - their other offerings are delish. And, as you said, so is the salsa at Mi Ranchito. And I checked out your site - keep up the good work! Denton really is a great place, isn't it?

    Anonymous said...

    It was rather interesting for me to read this blog. Thanks for it. I like such themes and anything connected to them. BTW, try to add some images :).