I was supposed to go to Artiles Restaurant, but after getting lost and then finding the building, to my surprise it was not there. Instead, there was an Italian restaurant in its spot. We drove to the back and didn’t see any other entrance, so we just left and I had a back up rest in mind.
We still wanted Mexican-style food, so I decided that we should try El Ranchito. I have not heard anything about this restaurant. I only know the name because I read something when I began this journey and it mentioned El Ranchito.
El Ranchito is located at 89 East Elizabeth Street across from the Food Lion and the Big Lots in the shopping center. Also, it’s right next to Arby’s and close to Dairy Queen and Subway. So, there are lots of options around the area. There were only about four tables there while we were there, and it was during dinner time. Here is a link to a map for further clarification!
The atmosphere was an authentic Mexican restaurant, very similar to El Charro both in atmosphere and menu. There is the typical Spanish music playing in the background, but their décor was very authentic. There were about four or five paintings that depicted very similar everyday activities in a Mexican pueblo.
The service was very fast, attentive and grateful. As soon as my friend or I ran out of our drink, our waitress was there to fill it up. There is of course the standard chips and salsa dish as all Mexican restaurants offer at the beginning of your visit and as soon as we ate the first basket, she was there to offer another. The food was made very quickly and it was delicious!
As for their menu, there were more options than most Mexican restaurants that I have been to, and some choices were very unique, like my entrée for example. I ordered the Arroz con Pollo, which means rice with chicken, and it also included vegetables and a cheese sauce. I thought that sounded different, and it was very good and I was very pleased with my choice.
The rest of their menu is very typical of a Mexican restaurant. There are salad choices, enchiladas, seafood, pork, chicken, among other options. They have daily specials and during the week their lunch specials are only $4.95 during the weekday lunch period. It sounds like a great deal to me. El Charro has a somewhat similar menu. There is no menu online for El Ranchito.
As for the prices, they are definitely very affordable for anyone. My dinner meal was only $8.50 and it was almost too much for me to finish. Nothing on their menu looked overpriced at all, even their seafood options. I think it is about the same price as El Charro and less expensive than Dona Rosa.
Here is a picture of my friend’s main course. He ordered the Burrito Rancho, which is basically a normal burrito with your choice of meat. He chose steak and it also is served with their cheese sauce covering the entire burrito. It is hard to see, but this burrito was the biggest one I have ever seen.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this restaurant to anyone who likes Mexican food. Everything about my experience at El Ranchito was great. The service was very prompt and nice and the food was fantastic. I think I enjoyed El Ranchito as much as I like El Charro and El Charro has been one of my favorite restaurants since I have been down here at JMU.
The next restaurant that I am going to visit will be the Saigon Cafe, which is another Vietnamese restaurant, and I have heard some very good things about this establishment. I will be visiting either Sunday or Monday night, so make sure to check out my blog this weekend!
If you have any comments, questions or concerns, just let me know and I will be glad to answer them!
Also, I am going to continue to post a poll question every couple of days, so make sure you vote for your favorite Harrisonburg restaurants!!