Ranchero, Duarte Menu
Ranchero, Duarte is at 1501 E. Huntington Drive
Camarones al mojo de ajo (garlic shrimp)
relleno and tamale combo
DOT COM DINING
A Look At San
Gabriel Valley Restaurants by SanGabrielValleyMenus.com
Ranchero Offers Another Reason to
Dine in Duarte
By Bill Coburn
Last week’s column was about
Villa Italia, which serves up good Italian food in the city of Duarte. Just
down the road from Villa Italia, about ¾ mile to the east, is another fine place
to eat, Ranchero Mexican Restaurant and Cantina, located at 1501 E. Huntington
Dr. on the corner of Cotter, just east of Buena Vista). There phone number is
(626) 358-6398. Ranchero also has a location in Pasadena, at 2663 E. Foothill
Ranchero has been around
since 1969, and so they are celebrating their 35th anniversary this
year. They’ve made it this far by offering good food, good service, and
affordable pricing. Our meal the other night was no exception.
The Duarte location is much
larger than the Pasadena location, and features a bar/lounge that you won’t find
in Pasadena, though they do serve cocktails in Pasadena. But the Duarte
location has a 15-20 seat bar with a big screen TV (and some smaller sets, as
well). The lounge does have table seating as well, in fact, much of their main
seating is in the lounge. On the other side of the restaurant there is a room
suitable for banquets, so if you have a large party, contact Ranchero to make
sure it will be available for you. Right now, it is being used on some Monday
nights for salsa dancing classes, though I think there’s a good chance that if
you tried, they’d probably book your party and work the class around it.
Camerino's Camarones, marinated shrimp wrapped with bacon and deep
fried. It is served with rice, salad and fried potatoes, and com or flour
tortillas. I got half a dozen good-sized shrimp, and the meal was not only
delicious, but filling. Bacon and shrimp are a good combination, and while
frying it makes the bacon a little crispier than I prefer my bacon usually, it
was a nice compliment to the shrimp. Katie ordered a chile relleno and tamale
combination. Now that combination isn’t even on the menu, but the friendly
folks at Ranchero were more than happy to accommodate her with her special
combination request. Katie says the tamale was huge, and she took half the
tamale and half the chile relleno home and enjoyed it for lunch the next day.
Keelan had the kid’s bean and cheese burrito (pretty much his standard order at
Mexican restaurants), and got a rather large burrito out of the kitchen, which
he enjoyed. And my mom, who joined us this evening, had the Camarones al mojo
de ajo, which I’ve had before as well, and have always enjoyed. Nice and
garlicky, (is that a word, and did I spell it correctly, if so)? I’ve also had
the Diablos’s Camarones, a very spicy shrimp dish, and been very happy with it.
Don’t ask me why I eat so much shrimp at Ranchero’s, I couldn’t tell you why I
deviate from my norm when I go there. But the shrimp dishes are quite good, and
there is always a good portion of shrimp, so maybe I just think of it as a good
place to have shrimp dishes.
Ranchero’s offers 30
combination dinners, ranging in price from $7.45 to $15.50 (shrimp or lobster
fajitas), with most of the dinners being in the $8-$11 range, though the shrimp
dishes are more in the $13 range. Their A la Carte menu is mostly in the $4 -
$6 range, with a couple of big ticket items like shrimp, and lobster burritos
closer to $9. They also have an imitation crab enchilada which my brother
enjoys, it runs $7.15 a la carte. They have a half dozen enchiladas a la carte,
more than a dozen burritos a la carte, a variety of tacos, Mexican pizzas,
nachos, soups, salads and much more.
I would be remiss if I failed
to mention their margaritas. The margaritas were delicious; we had doubles.
I’ve had the Cadillac Margarita as well, but be forewarned, if you order one,
they are only available as a double, which comes in a great big schooner glass,
and they’ll run you about $10 bucks a pop.
Another great thing about
Ranchero, for all you parents out there, is that on Monday and Tuesday nights,
kids eat free, with each combination purchase. That’s dine in only, can’t do it
to go. You can find the menu for Ranchero at
www.sangabrielvalleymenus.com. Be sure and tell them you read about them in
the Dot Com Dining column. Of course, my experience is that you’ll have a good
experience whether you mention it or not.
I stopped by Pasadena’s Nano
Café (Sierra Madre Blvd. and Michillinda) the other day, and learned that they
are starting a new VIP Rewards system where you can save up to 20% by ordering a
pre-paid card. Minimum purchase on the card is $100, and they sell them up to
$500 (you’ll get a 20% savings on that card, get your calculator out, that’s 100
bucks folks). This is ideal for regular customers, but it’s also good for
businesses or non-profits that are having an event, or that regularly order
meals for the whole crea. Or, say you go in with the family, half a dozen or
so, and your check is close to $100. Just buy the card, and with the savings,
the next time you go in by yourself or with the wife, your meal is basically
free, if you see what I’m saying. They also now have a 15% senior discount from
1:30 to 5pm weekdays (they close at 3pm on Monday and Tuesday).
Had dinner at Manny’s El
Loco out in Covina (845 W. Cypress, just east of Azusa) last night, and they now
having two different “auto” events. Every Monday night is “Cruise Night”, where
owners of pre-73 autos that bring their classics in receive a 10% discount, and
there is 50s and 60s D.J. music being played. On the second Saturday of each
month, they also have a PT cruiser night, where people bring in their custom PT
Cruisers to show them off. You can contact Manuel Hernandez at (626) 334-3853
for more information on that event. By the way, as always, the meal was really
good at Manny’s, too.
Bill Coburn is owner of SanGabrielValleyMenus.com, a
restaurant website featuring dozens of restaurant’s menus, as well as
downloadable coupons. He has nearly 20 years experience in the restaurant
business, and has been eating for much longer than that.