|This Elsalvadorian enchilada was well worth the wait!!|
With yet another craving for savoury cheesey pupusas, authentic tacos and just yummy Elsavadorian and Mexican cuisine, we head back to this quaint and friendly restaurant just off 118 Avenue... this time with our friends in tow. Its super packed on the weekend, so a reservation is a must as we learned the first time and second time we pigged out at El Rancho! Be prepared to wait on the weekends if you go during the supper rush as its only the mom and daughter insanely creating all the dishes (from scratch), so be patient... good food comes with time!
A small selection (but good quality) of alcoholic, non-alcoholic drinks and freshly squeezed juices were available. They were out of our favourite Salvadoran soda named Cola Champan, so we have a selection of their juices instead. The horchata was interesting as it can be best described as a refreshing chocolate-like green nuttiness with a hint of cinnamon. It reminded me of a drink I had years ago from Brazil.
Despite knowing the portion sizes are pretty generous, we (yet again) threw caution to the wind and ordered lots of food, so we could try a large variety of menu items - we had friends to share with, so why not? We started off with several Mixed pupusas - grilled to a finger searing hot, these made in house fluffy corn tortillas are stuffed full of chicaron (seasoned pork ground into a smooth pâté) and ooey gooey molten mozzarella cheese. Pile on a mountain of tangy and crisp curtido: pickled cabbage slaw and homemade tomato sauce rich with pureed fresh tomatoes and a hit of spice that you pile on top of your pupusa... heehee, it was no surprise these babies disappeared fast.
Seasoned, moist chunks of pulled chicken peeks out from lots of hot ooey gooey cheesey goodness all wrapped in a crisp grilled flour tortilla. Top with your choice of sour cream and El Rancho's in house salsa, its a nice contrast of temperatures and textures. Mamma makes sure you get enough veges with a side of salad drizzled with a herb vinaigrette.
Theses little corn tortillas are fried to a golden crispiness before being topped with a swipe of seasoned refried beans, lightly spicy moist pulled chicken, the awesome pickled cabbage slaw, sliced radishes, chunks of creamy ripe avaocado, sweet onions and their ripened tomatoey rich El rancho salsa. A sprinkle of Parmesan cheese adds a touch of saltiness to this flavorful mouthful. The contrast of the crisp tortilla with the refried beans, chicken, cabbage slaw and avocado... NOM!
El tablazo for 4 amigos
This dish exemplifies "go big or go home". The idea is simple - they give you all the various toppings you need to assemble your personalised taco, as well as a variety of meats and a stack of freshly made corn tortillas. This dish is supposed to feed four hungry amigos. The ridiculous amount of food that came with this dish will probably feed 8 hungry amigos lol!
First out came a large platter of condiments we could top our tacos with: a bowl of diced ripened tomatoes with diced sweet white onions and a smattering of chopped cilantro. A nearly overflowing bowl of thier mild in house made salsa was in bowl #2. Bowl #3 was heaping full of seasoned refried beans, and last but not least was a small bowl of guacamole, thick with ripened avocado and tangy with plenty of lime juice. Mmmm. Wish the bowl of guacamole was about 1000x bigger heehee!
Last but not least was all the meats you pack a mini mountain of hot steaming soft tortillas full:
-seasoned pulled beef, mild spicy and moist
-seasoned moist pulled chicken
-crumbled beef chorizo, med spicy and well drained of grease
Topped with some pickled jalapeno peppers for those that want a bit of extra heat, you can create many many many personalized tacos with all these tasty fixings!
A hidden culinary gem with exemplary service, and delicious dishes that would be proud to grace any Mexican or Salvadoran table, without emptying out the piggy bank. Just make sure you call ahead for reservations as they're busy. So go, eat, and you won't be disappointed! La comida estuvo deliciosa! Next time, we really must save room for their fried ice cream or tres leche!!
El Rancho Spanish Restaurant
Address 11810 87 Street Northwest, Edmonton, AB
Phone (780) 471-4930
Hours Tues-Sat for lunch and dinner Hours vary, so call for reservations!
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