Supermercado El Rancho
BY CAMERON HIGLEY ON SEPTEMBER 19, 2014
From the deer heads on the wall to the friendly Latino patrons that greet you when you walk in, the ambience of Supermercado El Rancho is nothing like your typical Mexican restaurant.
Located on Charles Boulevard next to Fitness Connection, many people pass by Supermercado El Rancho, thinking it is a just small Latino super market, many are unfamiliar that it is a sit down restaurant as well. If you enter through the front and make your way to the back of the market, passing by a huge array of unique Mexican foods, sauces and premium meats, you are eventually led by the sweet aroma of spices and meat to a small restaurant on the side.
As I walked into the restaurant I was instantly taken aback at the amazing decor, which included deer heads and fish covering the walls. Each of the seats have a beautifully carved, brightly colored mural of various scenes and people. I was quickly greeted by a friendly waitress who took us to our seats, where I was in absolute awe at the menu and the outrageously cheap prices. While pondering what to get and taking in the atmosphere, I decide to get a "jarrito," which is a type of orange soda made with real sugar, straight from Mexico. Looking through the menu, I couldn't find anything priced higher than around $7, which in comparison to other Mexican restaurants made my wallet incredibly happy. At around $1-1.80 apiece for a taco, I decided to go with four of them: shrimp, chicken, beef and fish (which was fresh tilapia, not just mystery fish). My friend, Christian, decided to get a "beef torta" which I was hesitant to try until I discovered later it was a massive helping of beef served on delicious bread with lettuce and a mysterious white sauce. I was surprised to discover it was delicious. While we were waiting for our meals, I expected the traditional chips and salsa routine, but that didn't happen. They don't do appetizers here, which alluded to the fact that this was real-deal authentic Mexican food.
When our food arrived shortly after, I discovered that what they didn't have in chips and salsa, they made up for in delectable, authentic food and quick service. When my tacos arrived, each had a small but hearty helping of meat and nothing else. I was then showed to the taco topping bar where I was amazed by the tons of sauces and add ons available. I decided to sprinkle some cilantro and squeeze some lime juice on the tacos for a little more flavor. I then scanned the bar to find fresh pico de gallo and three different sauces. I was hesitant to pour all three on my tacos for fear my lower intestine would pay the price later, so I grabbed some of the small plastic cups available and sampled all three accordingly. The first sauce was a red sauce similar to a mild, only with more of kick since this was of course, straight from Mexico. The second was a clear oily type sauce, which had an unexpected spice to it as well. This was a lot more spicy than the red sauce, so I smartly decided to not put that one on my food. The third one was a creamy green sauce which tasted similar to guacamole only a little sweeter. This was my favorite, which I added to all my tacos.
The time had finally come to take my first bite, and I couldn't have been more excited. I took a bite of each taco in rotation, experiencing a sensational taste of every different flavor. The meats were all flavorful, each one complimented perfectly by the cilantro, lime, pico di gallo and sauce. I scarfed down all four and left with a sense of excitement to return and try every single amazing taste that El Rancho had to offer. El Rancho is truly a different dining experience than your average mexican restaurant. Next time you leave Gold’s Gym with a large appetite and low funds, dip inside El Rancho for some delicious, authentic mexican food at affordable prices.