Tag Archives: Quaint

El Ranchero

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.

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Boundary Road

One of my goals for the spring and summer is to explore H Street more.  Admittedly, I have only been out on H Street a handful of times.  This past Thursday, I had the opportunity to venture to the neighborhood with a gentleman.  We walked into this quaint restaurant/bar and he was greeted by name.  Despite not having a reservation, we were able to steal a table right in the middle of the place.  In this small place you can either sit at the brief bar space or a table, either way it all has a very open feeling (aided by the high ceiling and view directly into the kitchen).  Initially, I will say I was quite impressed with said gentleman because he was a local at this charming establishment and seemingly knew the entire staff almost as if they were family.  Don’t worry though for those of you concerned, that positive impression of the guy faded as quickly as the awesome qualities of Boundary Road jumped out at me.  After initial conversation died down, we ordered some drinks.  I had to go with the aptly named drink “I’m thinking about getting a Vespa” and the “gentleman” ordered a five & dime.  My drink was quite summery/refreshing and his tasted like an adult root beer – absolutely delicious.  I would definitely get the five & dime at my next visit.  Everything appetizer/plate we ordered was mouth-watering…the meats, the cheese, and the steak finale – yum!

I will say our bill was on the hefty side…the “gentleman” thought it was quite important to brag about his significant increase in salary and how well-off he was, but come time for the check he was very eager to split the bill. Yes, yes I’m a feminist, but my general rule of thumb is a first date should be about treating the lady (assuming the lady was not the one handing out the invitation). Another public service announcement for the men out there reading this and in need of dating advice…arrogance trumps all in terms of the lasting impression.  Little chivalrous acts like walking someone to the metro is not excusable for being generally full of oneself. 🙂

All in all, we ordered a full plate of pierogis ($16), two meats & one cheese ($15), and the grilled hanger steak ($22).  Unfortunately, my receipt is not itemized and I am uncertain as to the exact prices of both of the drinks (probably around $7-8).  I can say that our total bill was $71 including tax.  This was definitely more than I would plan on dropping normally on a Thursday, but at least I got to try some place new and had some…interesting…company, haha.  Overall, I would definitely recommend Boundary Road for its relaxed atmosphere and delicious albeit slightly expensive menu.  Because this place is tiny I would not recommend it for groups larger than four, but is a good date location (despite my failings, haha).

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