El Ranchero Mexican Bar and Grill is a relatively new Tex-Mex restaurant in the South College area. Located in the building where Ruby Tuesday was, the rebrand is quite successful. The facade welcomes you in and makes you want to stay.
Upon entering you’ll notice the large bar that is well-stocked with popular Mexican liquor brands. Chivas Regal, Jack Daniels, Tito’s, and Grey Goose are bar leaders, with Cointreau and Grand Marnier as well – mighty good company.
There’s a nice bar menu featuring a variety of margaritas and daiquiris with Patron and Gold Cuervo margaritas by the pitcher. Quality tequilas and mezcal are served along with fine offerings and other spirits. Basic beer and wine are also available here.
The overall atmosphere here is calm, laid-back, and casual. It has dark wood surroundings with attractive flooring. Ample seating with plenty of booths contributes to a sort of rustic elegance. Plenty of bar seating is also available.
El Ranchero’s owner is José Barranger, I did a double-take. If he seems familiar, you will recognize him from El Dorado. He and his brother operated it together for the past 11 years. They both invite diners to be patrons of both. Two places with a different look and menu. Both restaurants are of good quality and are dedicated to their guests.
On a recent Friday, we weren’t able to go and get back in time. FetchMe stepped in and took care of us. El Ranchero’s menu is available online. We placed our order – chips and all – and got it in time to have the lunch we wanted and honor other surprise commitment that afternoon.
El Ranchero has a full-size menu that’s practical enough for it to be fresh and made with care. All of the dishes we have eaten there have exhibited this. Impressive. Good too. José says, “If you want it, we’ll make it for you. Just give us some time.” What a refreshing approach.
Appetizers including Guacamole Mexicano and Nachos
The menu greets you with a selection of appetizers featuring lots of delicious dips. Plus a special guacamole Mexicano. It’s the chunky version. Quite good. There are also several nachos options. The papas dorados is a very interesting use of potato wedges combined with cheese and chorizo accented with bacon and pico. Easy to share. Just like many places now, you can get fries and wings.
Several salads from simple to complex are offered. The pico is basic. A hot salad is cold but with a kick. Yes, you can also get a taco salad.
The main course type salads are a touch different. What we found intriguing was the cabbage salad. It resembles a chef’s salad but on a bed of shredded cabbage topped with meat and cheese but adds pico and avocado. It was a tasty option. Share one and then the main course.
Soups are a different thing. You need to go exploring a bit. There’s a flavorful chicken soup and a tortilla version listed on the lunch selections.
The main menu has a different sort of arrangement. Not like most that you will see. It takes a little getting used to. There’s simply a long list of dishes. There’s some obvious organization. Yet it may be difficult to easily find your favorite. Give the menu a careful look before getting online to place your order. They offer delivery and take out.
If your taste tonight leans towards enchiladas, El Ranchero has you covered. The supreme offers you a tour of 4 different ones. A bonus is #37 – the shrimp enchilada dinner. If you want only cheese enchiladas, simply ask.
Suppose shrimp is on your mind. Take a look at the ’60s. Cameron Ranchero is a tasty delight filled with flavors. Coctel a la Mexicana is a winner. It features shrimp in broth with tomatoes and avocados. It’s very enjoyable cold in the summer.
Flautas and Burritos
We enjoy the simplicity of flautas. #17 flautas Jalisco is excellent. Filled with chicken and served with salsa verde makes them just right. If burritos are your yearning, El Ranchero has a broad selection including #70, the fajita burrito. The muy grande #44 fills the plate and you. There’s even a fried burrito – #52.
Fajitas – Quesadillas – Tacos
What about fajitas? You bet. Or how about quesadillas? Yes again. Tacos have a spot too and so does steak. There are lots of choices for all of these dishes. Give the menu a full look before deciding.
Popular birria appears more than once at El Ranchero. As tacos and then quesabirria. You can even get the stew itself. Might be the best pot roast ever. Molcajete is served here. Fancy and filling is what this dish is. Very special.
Chiles Rellenos at El Ranchero deserves a close look. I generally give this dish a try on my first visit to a Mexican – Tex/Mex restaurant. Chiles rellenos as listed is half a bell pepper stuffed with ground beef. To get the traditional battered and fried, long green stuffed pepper, you need to order the chile poblano. Both are listed at lunch. At dinner, you will need to request the poblano. They will gladly make one for you.
Over 20 Lunch Specials
Speaking about lunch, wow what a selection. Instead of using numbers to identify dishes, letters are employed. It takes the whole alphabet. Selections vary from the quick lunch rapido to the quesadilla supreme and the monster burrito. Yes, you can get soups and salad plus huevos rancheros and chorizo eggs.
El Ranchero features a kid’s menu and a variety of dessert options as well.
El Ranchero is located at 114 Spirit Drive in 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 currently open for dine-in, carryout, and delivery. Visit their website to order directly!
To have your favorites delivered, FetchMe will have it delivered right to your door. Their hours for delivery services are 11 AM – 8:30 PM on weekdays and 11 AM – 9:30 PM on weekends. Be sure to check for weekly deals though the FetchMe app for El Ranchero and more.