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“Consistently very good.”
Review of El Rancho

El Rancho
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Mexican, Southwestern
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Child-friendly, Kids, Groups
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Full Bar, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Television, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Show Low, Arizona
Level Contributor
92 reviews
76 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Consistently very good.”
Reviewed 22 June 2014

I've been eating here - off and on - for the past 40 years. It hasn't changed much in that time - neither in the quality of the food (very good,) friendliness and efficiency of the service (very,) or the 60's-70's look of the place. It DOES look like a slightly run-down cantina you might find in Mexico.

I ate here last night and it was - as always - very good.

I was greeted, and then seated in a comfortable booth, within 10 seconds of entering. I was immediately brought thin, warm, tasty chips and fresh salsa. Their regular salsa is not hot, so if you want hotter salsa ask for their "hot" salsa. I usually mix the two together and it makes a perfect salsa for me. [Note: They no longer serve the flour tortilla chips, just corn - for which I'm grateful!]

The waitress was with me within a few minutes. She was also waiting on a large table celebrating a birthday, or she would have been with me sooner.

I ordered a number 8 combo plate of beef burrito, beef taco and chicken enchilada. It goes for $9.79 - $2.00 extra for shredded beef/chicken (which I got.)

It took about 12 minutes for the plate to arrive, and it was HOT. Everything was fresh, everything was very tasty with excellent flavor. The beef was lean and spiced well, as was the chicken (breast meat.) Their rice and beans are above average and very good.

I am 6'5", 230 pounds, and I couldn't finish it all. Had the remaining for lunch today.

This may not be the very best Mexican food you've ever eaten, but unless you are Gordon Ramsey, you'll find it a very enjoyable and authentic Mexican meal in friendly surroundings for reasonable prices.

They have a "Margarita Tuesday" and a "Taco Wednesday," both being excellent at $1.25 each (just recently raised from $.99 - everything's going up in price these days.) The Margaritas are full-sized and NOT watered down. These are regular $5 Margaritas any other day.

That birthday party table were all Hispanics - as are many of the customers here - so if they eat here, you know it's good Mexican fare.

Come and enjoy!

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Richard W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
rica g, Owner at El Rancho, responded to this review, 5 August 2014
Thank you for writing a review of our restaurant. You hit the nail on the head with several points you made about the restaurant. We serve comfort Mexican Food that satisfies the appetite. We use the same recipes that started the place 50 years ago, and that we also grew up with. Again, thank you and hope you'll come again soon.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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112 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Pinetop-Lakeside, Arizona
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“It's good...for mountain mexican”
Reviewed 30 May 2014

I've eaten here a dozen times over 6 years (1-2 times each year) and each year I pray it will get better. It hasn't. It does have nice warm chips and there are good specials each week, like the $.99 taco Wednesdays, but everything else is meh at best. The spices are average without that expected heat on the tongue and the service has been hot or miss, more often miss as the servers seem to have too many tables each. I have since given up on this place in favor of a more authentic place down the street. Eat here if your expectations are mediocre at best.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank Gregory A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chandler, Arizona
Level Contributor
78 reviews
61 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Good Mexican food.”
Reviewed 25 May 2014

We have eaten here many times when in Pinetop/Lakeside. Warm chips and great salsa. I have never had a bad meal here. They even split a margarita for our wives to share. It's our first meal whenever we come into town.

Visited May 2014
1 Thank LarryMesa_AZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Now this is Mexican food!”
Reviewed 26 April 2014 via mobile

This Mexican restaurant is really good....it's got to be the best ones in Arizona and I really wish they had one closer to the Phoenix area! Hubby had the smothered chicken and I had the fajita chicken salad. The salad was so good...I've never had chicken salad like that before and that's what I usually order at Mexican restaurants. The smothered chicken my hubby had was phenomenol! Lots of flavor and cooked exactly right! The servings were very generous and price was reasonable. Nice staff and relaxed atmosphere. Would def come back here!

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank ann12172
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Good happy hour”
Reviewed 22 April 2014

We went to the happy hour and had food and margaritas. The portions are littler then before but still great in taste.

Visited April 2014
Thank Danielle F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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