This past Sunday I had some of the best Mexican food I’ve had in a long time (so long that it might just be the best ever, especially at the price). Tucked away in a strip mall with poor street visibility between two churches and a dulceria (which had an amazing selection of Mexican candies and pinatas) at the northwest corner of Kingsley and First in Garland, Tortillas Del Rancho is a former tortilleria turned restaurant that served up a meal I’ll remember for a while.
The place was full of Hispanic families during a Sunday lunch, we had a brief wait of about 10 minutes (as we entertained ourselves by watching soccer on TV). The menu at Tortillas Del Rancho isn’t expansive, it’s actually the size of a pamphlet. However, all the basics are covered, especially dishes that highlight the tortillas. Chips and salsa arrived as soon as we were seated. The greaseless chips, fried from their corn tortillas, scooped up the thin but very fiery salsa and tied us over while we decided on our orders and waited for the food. The waiter also brought out two piping hot corn tortillas with butter. The corn tortillas were fluffy (so delightfully unexpected since most store bought corn tortillas are uniformly dense and thin) and slightly chewy. Oh so good.
I decided on a combination plate which featured a potosina (miniature red tortilla piled with potatoes, chorizo, carrots, lettuce, and crumbles of Mexican white cheese), a gordita (I chose al pastor), and a taco (I chose beef barbacoa on flour tortilla). My companion chose guiso de puerco. Each entree was $6 and came with beans and rice.
The potosina was wonderful. A miniature crunchy fried red tortilla topped with a great combination of flavors. The best part was the crumbled cheese, which almost had the texture of freshly crumbled feta, but with a very mild flavor. The gordita really showed off what Tortillas Del Rancho can do with masa, the corn pocket was slightly fluffy and melt in your mouth soft. The pastor was my favorite meat filling of the day. Tender strips of pork and very thin slices of onion smothered in a spicy red rub, I’ve never had pastor this good! The flour tortilla on the taco was also good (I should have bought some to take home). The barbacoa filling was tender and very good with fresh onion, cilantro, and the spicy tomatillo sauce that came on the side. It’s not the best barbacoa I’ve ever had, but it certainly passed the line from “decent” to “good.”
I usually don’t enjoy rice at most Mexican restaurants because it tends to be dry and the flavor is unexciting. But the rice at Tortillas Del Rancho was moist and the tomato flavor was more intense than usual, a welcomed surprise. Re-fried beans were also good, fluffy (not dense and cracking at the top) and not overly laden with lard.
Tender strips of pork in a smokey medium spicy red sauce with thinly sliced onions, so good when wrapped in the homemade tortillas. I only got to have a few bites because my companion scarfed it down so fast. I’m guessing he liked it :)
Service was so friendly that I felt like the waitstaff was serving food out of their own kitchen at home. I absolutely loved my lunch experience and will definitely be returning. It’s too bad this isn’t anywhere close to where I live and work. But for tortillas this good, I might just drive across town.
Tortillas Del Rancho y Restaurante
220 W. Kingsley Rd
Garland, TX 75041
For pictures see http://donnaaries.wordpress.com/2006/...
Chowhound moderators: Is this the preferred way of linking to something? If not, can someone tell me how to link photos without having your post erased?
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