Before you all lose faith in my drinking abilities, I assure you I’ve just been lazy about writing reviews (yes, I have 2-3 other reviews currently in my back pocket for a rainy day). This week, I ventured to El Ranchero with coworkers. We attended for a Thursday happy hour, which was a nice change of pace from the extended Friday Happy Hour. Arriving a little after 5:30pm, we decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather and sat outside. They have a small part of the sidewalk in front of the restaurant dedicated for about six tables. After we were quickly set up outside, our quirky waiter introduced us to the wonderful deals the establishment offered and took our order. The deals we most certainly took advantage were $4 margaritas and $1 tacos. These margaritas were quite tasty and our table got the full array (regular, strawberry and peach). Personally, I spent the night sipping down peach margaritas, but sampled the others and can assure you of the overall quality.
After getting our initial round of drinks, our taco medley started to arrive. These may not be gourmet tacos, but for $1 apiece, it’s really hard to complain. The beef tacos were definitely better than the chicken or bean tacos…or maybe that was just the anticipation because we had a slightly longer wait for them. To our misfortune, the beautiful weather faded, the clouds rolled in and so did the rain. We were forced to continue inside. The interior of the restaurant/bar was quaint. El Ranchero has a distinct bar area and table area. What started as us (a slightly loud/rambunctious group) entering a relatively quiet dining area, with time and more patrons, the area transformed to something more homogenous with our group’s attitude – drink and eat cheap tacos. Now for the nitty-gritty, while I did enjoy this happy hour, the service was not the best. El Ranchero let some things slip through the cracks – simple things like frequency of the waiter checking on potential refills, forgetting to bring us napkins, the assumption with the rain we would be leaving rather than moving inside, and then being slow with bringing the check. Don’t get me wrong; I did like the laid-back atmosphere here. However, if you or your friends are in a hurry (are impatient at all), you might want to reserve El Ranchero for another night. Given El Ranchero’s proximity to my work, the nice outdoor seating and delicious (yet reasonably priced) margaritas, I would most certainly come back.