On the recommendation of a friend, Gabriel and I decided to stray from our go-to Mexican place, Mi Pueblo, to try something new.
We were happy to see that chips and salsa were complimentary since Gabriel has been known, historically, to walk out of a few Mexican restaurants where they charge extra for this staple.
We told the waiter that we are pescetarian (and then explained what that means) and asked him for suggestions. It turned out there were quite a few good choices for us on the menu- and most under $12. Sounds good to me!
I ordered the seafood Chimichanga (stuffed with shrimp, lobster, crab meat, portabella mushrooms and mixed cheese. Wrapped in a Garlic Herb Tortilla with Cilantro Sherry Cream Sauce, salsa and guacamole) but asked that it not be deep fried as the menu described it. He said that was no problem and told us both we had 2 options for the beans, but then corrected himself and said only one was vegetarian and that he would make sure that’s what we’d both get.
The food came out quickly and looked awesome. We each started with a taste of the beans which were a little on the salty side, but pretty tasty anyway. Gabriel offered a taste of his beans to me- and I said, we got the same ones, didn’t we? I then noticed that his looked totally different and called it to the attention of the waiter. He immediately looked embarrassed and said they looked different because apparently someone in the kitchen didn’t get his message that we both wanted the vegetarian option. Gee thanks…Gabriel was pretty pissed that he’d just had a bite of beans cooked with pork. The waiter apologized- sort of, but really just blamed the kitchen staff instead of taking responsibility for it.
Other than that, the meal was really quite good. My chimichanga had tons of flavor from all of the different types of seafood and big pieces of portabellas. The rice was not cold or overcooked (one of the only things I don’t like about Mi Pueblo) and the salsa and sauce that I asked for on the side was fresh, full of fresh, pureed cilantro (which I LOVE) and very flavorful.
Overall, I thought this was a great lunch with plenty of options for us non-meat-eaters and I will definitely be happy to go back.
We’ve lived near here for almost 2 years and had never been to El Lago Ranchero before last week. We wanted to use a coupon we had for our old standby, Mi Pueblo, but it was closed. Still craving fajitas, we decided to give El Lago a shot, despite the fact that we’d heard it wasn’t that great. We were happy to find them open on a late afternoon and were seated immediately.
Our waitress was fun and friendly, and brought us our drinks right away (including a sample taste of a margarita for Gabriel) as well as a basket of chips and salsa. We ordered the shrimp and veggie fajitas for 2, which came with sides of rice and refried beans, tortillas, and all of the typical toppings: cheese, sour cream, tomatoes/cilantro/onions, lettuce and guacamole. Everything was tasty, fresh, and was served quickly.
Granted, we didn’t order anything particularly complex, and it’s hard to really mess up fajitas too much, but we really enjoyed it. It’s definitely more Americanized Tex-Mex than authentic Mexican food…but there’s nothing wrong with that in my book. The shrimp were fresh and cooked well, the vegetables were fine, not over-seasoned or over-cooked, and the bill was very affordable.
We will surely go back!
This was a pretty good choice for a snack for my boyfriend and I in a touristy, crowded area. It was empty, air conditioned, and relatively cheap, which at the time was pretty much enough to make me happy. When we saw the salsa bar with tons of choices (including a pineapple one that I especially liked) AND fresh cilantro (my favorite herb) I was sold. I ordered the marinated fish tacos and I have to say, they were better than I expected. This is a order-at-the-counter place, but it was a nice touch that they actually bring your tray of food over when it’s ready. I went over to the salsa bar and enjoyed filling many little cups with the various sauces and toppings. The white fish was grilled, not fried and shared the soft taco shell with fresh cabbage, cilantro and a mayo-y sauce that I could have gone without. It sat on top of some soggy yellow rice (not worth it) and black beans (a little salty but okay). This ended up being a lot more filling than a little snack, and was actually a pretty decent lunch. If I’m in the area, I ‘d probably return there.
*photos courtesy of Gabriel Sanders. http://www.magicsandbox.com/enter/Magic_Sandbox.html