El Ranchito Shows Off Monterrey Cuisine in Dallas

For 28 years El Ranchito has been one of Oak Cliff’s most popular Mexican restaurants. Owners Oscar and Laura Sanchez have  had success with their two locations of  La Calle Doce but, at El Ranchito, they want showcase the food of their native region of Monterrey.  This week they invited the press in to sample the menu. I seized on the opportunity.

Jump for the good stuff.


Our first course was parilla: grilled tender chunks of chicken and beef fajitas, sausage, shrimp,  and ribs served on a Mexican parilla with charro beans and rice.

Next was the restaurant’s signature dish cabrito a la parilla (grilled baby goat served family-style with rice, charro beans, guacamole and pico de gallo.

El Ranchito claims to be the first Mexican restaurant to serve mollejas, sweetbreads, accompanied by onions and charro beans. They were served in tacos and I found them deliciously succulent.
Carne Adobada

The picture of carne adobada may look like carne adobada–pork loin, marinated in chile ancho–but through my tequila glazed eyes, it appeared to be two ancho bathed lovers frolicking on the beach. (Maybe you had to be there). By the way, did I mention that the tortillas are homemade? You can watch them making being made in the restaurant.

Guiso Norteño (beef tenderloin)

Guiso Norteño,beef tenderloin in roasted tomato salsa and topped with cheese, is a glorious synergy of beef and melted cheese.

We ended with a plate of four desserts and they were all good, but for my money the tres leches cake took top honors.

Something that wasn’t on the menu: El Ranchito is one of the most hospitable and comfortable Mexican restaurants in town, right down to the Mariachi singers. If you like Tex-Mex, but don’t know if you want to try authentic Mexican, this is the perfect restaurant to use as a  stepping stone. Be prepared for lines on weekends and neighborhood families out for dinner.


  • Lee

    We are so luck to live just down the street from El Ranchito. I am from the Valley, and this is the Mexican food that I grew up with. It’s spot on, and so comforting to me compared to the food and sauces from the other regions of Mexico. The hospitality is indeed always warm and the service is perfect. Plus, with the mariachis, it’s always a party! We take our out of town guests there and it’s always a hit.

  • Bobby Ewing

    El Ranchito is always, ALWAYS on my list of places to take out of town guests (I also drive down from “up north” with family every few weeks). The building, the ambience, the food, the mariachis, the servers…always terrific.