Recently we wrote about Los Alamos, and on our journey we drove by El Rancho Grande, just a block away. And then I'd remembered the place from a few years ago when Mrs. RJG and I visited the La Playa, a branch of the La Playa Maya local chain minus the Maya (now closed). It seemed to be a happening place that particular Saturday night, and now we were going for our first visit on a Saturday afternoon.
The interior is "Old World Mexico", as found in places like El Fenix, Cantina Laredo and Pulido's. Dark, gold lighting fixtures, stucco and wood trim.
Time for the most important part of the meal: Chips and hot sauce. Why most important? As Fort Worth Hole in the Wall so astutely observes, it's 90% of the meal. May sound funny, but there are times when he's exactly right. The chips are homemade tortillas, a bit thick in texture, and have a taste that I've not had in a chip before. Not sure I'm overly fond of it, but it is different. The salsa is like many in the DFW area, with garlic, onions, salt and a mild kick. So of course Mr. Jose had to ask "Have a hotter one"? The waiter was excited to say yes and quickly brought a bowl. It was indeed hotter, but not by much. And it seemed lack salt or something. It was almost bitter. Not very good. We preferred the regular table garden variety.
As for the meal, I stuck to the basics of enchiladas and taco. The rice was outstanding. I mean really great! The beans were weak. Enchiladas were decent, nothing special. And the taco. Mr. RJG is going to get on his soap box here (readers quickly shift to next paragraph): Don't put the taco on the combo plate! Put it on a separate small platter. C'mon, is it really that expensive to wash another dish? The taco shell was, of course, soggy. Why do they do that? Unfortunately I can't remember now what Mrs. RJG had, but it wasn't memorable.
It may seem they we didn't like El Rancho Grande. Actually we did. It is good and if I lived in Bangor, Maine, I would be thrilled to have a place like this in town. But for DFW, nay for Main Street in Ft. Worth, there is better. Just down the street at Los Alamos.