El Ranchero Restaurants Stories

The Road to El Ranchero: Auburn’s Newest Mexican Restaurant


Chef, Restauranteur, Owner, and Operator Jose Barragan

A new Mexican restaurant is hot on the Auburn scene, and its owner knows what he’s doing. El Ranchero is the latest business venture from chef and restaurateur Jose Barragan, who opened the establishment just over a month ago in late December. A proud member of the Auburn community, Barragan and his brother have owned and managed El Dorado Mexican restaurant for roughly 10 years now. However, even as a kid, working after school washing dishes, Barragan knew he wanted to go into the restaurant business.

 “You’ve got to have a passion for it man,” Barragan told FetchMe emphatically, “For me, this is not a job… I get up every single day wanting to come here. ” Moreover, the brothers come from an extensive family that runs restaurants all over the south. Considering his rich background in restaurant management, it’s no wonder that Barragan’s first restaurant endeavor became the success that it is. Nevertheless, he insists that El Ranchero is an entirely different story. And what a story it tells. Between its ambience and selection of dishes, El Ranchero is certain to impress both staunch patrons of El Dorado and newcomers off the highway.

Inside Ranchero

The professionally hospitable staff are always ready to serve

El Ranchero provide customers with more private, elegant furnishings than its counterpart. The ambiance created with dimly lit orange lamps, dark chestnut seating, and modernly finished flooring creates a more fashionably rustic interior. Those that are expecting the vibrant color palette of El Dorado will be sorely mistaken, but not sorely disappointed. “I’m trying to do my best to give them another environment,” Barragan explains, “There’s more seating… more private…” For those that can’t get into El Dorado on a busy Friday night, El Ranchero is an excellent alternative. . 

As is the case with El Dorado, Barragan tells FetchMe that the menu options are not limited to the menu. “There is no food we cannot make. If it is not on our menu, we love to try everything we can to please our customers. ” While the menu options vary from quesadillas, to enchiladas, to fajitas, to a classic burrito, they don’t stop there. Mix up as many meat, veggie, and cheese combinations as you can concoct, and El Ranchero will try their hand at making them. 

Still, an owner’s favorite is the Enchiladas Verdes with Steak. A favorite to cook and to eat, the dish delights both chef and customer. Nevertheless, if you’re not a steak fan, or would prefer a chicken dish, El Ranchero has a wide selection of meals for you. The Chicken Fajitas come highly recommended, as well as the Pollo con Crema. Unfortunately, the restaurant isn’t concerning itself with specials just yet. However, according to Barragan, that isn’t to be ruled out. “I’ve got to get it going first,” he says lightly. 

Why Ranchero?

Even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Barragan is eager to step back and tackle this new adventure with a courageous heart. “I never believed that when tough times come, laying down is the best option, ” says Barragan. Of course, the restaurant has taken proper precautions to ensure the health and safety of their customers. Masks are required upon entry, but may be removed upon arriving at the table. Lastly, tables are sanitized between guests, and the tables are kept a safe 6 feet apart.

Having been a part of the Auburn community for over 10 years, Barragan has certainly earned El Dorado a place among Auburn’s staples. Naturally, with a legacy like that to uphold, El Ranchero is due similar high expectations. The passion for food, fun and family that drove Barragan to open El Dorado is deeply embedded in El Ranchero as well. With its suave interior and delicious dishes, El Ranchero is certain to make its mark on the Auburn community. In Barragan’s own words: Come give them a shot!

How and Where to Order

El Ranchero is located 114 Spirit Dr, Auburn, AL. The hours of service range from 11 am  to 10 pm on Monday through Thursday and 11 am to 11 pm on Friday through Saturday. The restaurant is closed on Sundays. They are open for dine-in, carryout, and delivery. 

As a proud partner of FetchMe, you can order anything on their menu and have it delivered to your door. All you have to do is go to El Ranchero’s page on the FetchMe app or website. Be sure to check for weekly deals though the FetchMe app for El Ranchero and more. 


  1. We just had a great lunch there, but they desperately need better signage! Getting there is tricky, so even locals have difficulty with it. They need BIG signs and some directional signs.

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