Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Enticing El Rancho Spanish Restaurant

Over the summer, steadfast dining companion, @thepolishviking and I had devised a list of places that we had to try in Edmonton. On the top of the list was El Rancho, which we had previously tried to visit but was closed on Mondays. So off we went one evening with @andrealauder to start on our very long list of places to visit.

Our server for the evening was Dora, who was half owner and half of the kitchen team at El Rancho, along with her mother. She was very knowledgeable, friendly, enthusiastic, and quickly took a liking to the Moo. We opted to take her suggestions and ordered a few appetizer platters so that we could sample a variety of items. She also took the liberty of altering the platters to ensure there was enough for one item per diner.

Tacos, Flautas, Enchiladas Salvadorenas
We ordered the Antojitos Platter which consisted of 2 flautas (rolled, golden-fried tortillas stuffed with chicken, carrots and onions), 2 tacos (seasoned tacos served with cilantro, onions, tomatoes and chicken) and 2 enchiladas Salvadorenas (fried tortillas topped with chicken, fried beans and parmesan cheese) served with El Rancho Salad, pupusas (stuffed corn tortillas with mozzarella cheese, fried beans and hicharon (seasoned pork served with pickeled cabbage and El Rancho tomato sauce), tamales (corn flavored dough wrapped in banana leaves, filled with chicken, potatoes, and garbanzos, served with pickled cabbage and El Rancho Salsa), and platanitos (fried plantain served with sour cream). Yes a lot of food!

The flautas were extremely crispy on the outside, giving way to tender chicken within. The tacos were filled with soft, well seasoned meat, contrasting with juicy tomatoes and crunchy onions. The enchiladas looked incredibly daunting and like they might fall apart at any moment. Piled high with fresh, plump tomatoes, it had opposing tastes and textures, from refreshingly cool cucumber, thick gooey cheese, soft chicken, and crunchy tortilla, which surprisingly enough did not crack or give way as I ate my way through the enchilada.

The pupusa had a crispy yet soft corn tortilla  slathered inside with fried beans and a nicely seasoned pork, which just enough cheese and a tomato sauce on the side that could be added to it to make it the perfect bite. The tamales when unwrapped consisted of soft, smooth corn, juicy chicken, and topped with the El Rancho salsa was just the right combination.

The hit of the night was the platanitos  crispy outside, a soft mush inside, and slightly sweet tasting. Yet highly addictive as we each polished off the plate quickly and after leaving the restaurant left us wanting more.

As we dined, Dora spoke of the differences of the dishes she served us, versus other south American equivalents we might have had before such as Mexican. She also recommended that if we were a big fan of the plantanitos, that the next time we went camping we should take a plantain with us that had riped to the point that it had a black skin. Stick it in the embers once the camp fire is out and let it sit for a while. Once it was cooked, remove it, crack it open and smother the inside with cheese or sour cream, and it would have a similar sweet, honey like taste to it, making it an almost savoury dessert.

Overall each dish was moolicious, and we left discussing when we would next visit El Rancho. A definitive hit and a place that I’m already plotting to return to.

El Rancho Spanish Restaurant
11810 87 St NW
Edmonton, AB  T5B 0T1
El Rancho Spanish Restaurant on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. Yummy, yum, yum! We definitely need to go back there in the new year!!!


Note that all comments are moderated prior to posting.

Comments that are offensive and abusive in nature, contain profanity, or demean others will not be posted. You must provide a name in order to post a comment, anonymous comments will not be posted.

Comments that are controversial in nature or generate debate and dialog are welcome.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...