View Ranchero, Duarte's Menu
Where: 1501 E. Huntington Dr. in Duarte,
also at 2663 E. Foothill Blvd. in Pasadena
Phone: (626) 358-6398
Service: Full service
Outdoor Dining: Yes
Credit Cards: Major credit cards accepted
Kidís Menu: Yes
Senior Discount: No
Food to Go: Yes
Catering Menu: Yes
Price Range: $ 2.95 - $16.45
guacamole, made tableside (Even I enjoy Ranchero's guacamole)
order of Carne Asada Nachos
Filete de Halibut al Mojo de Ajo
con Chile Verde
A Look At San
Gabriel Valley Restaurants by SanGabrielValleyMenus.com
Letís Fiesta at the Ranch - Ranchero in Duarte
By Bill Coburn
Ranchero has been around
since 1969, and so they are celebrating their 38th anniversary this
year. Theyíve made it this far by offering good food, good service, and
affordable pricing. Our meal the other night was no exception.
Ranchero in Duarte is
like this great neighborhood restaurant, where the employees treat you like an
old friend, even if theyíve never seen you before. And if they do know you,
youíre family. Itís not at all unusual to see patrons greeted with a hug when
they walk in. I remember shortly after my mom passed away, the family stopped
in after getting together to work on details of something, and you could see in
his eyes that Tony, the boss, was genuinely distressed and hurting not just for,
but with us. The other night, we went in, and the first thing he wanted to know
was how my sister was doing, concerned about some health issues sheís fighting.
You donít find that kind of caring at just any restaurant you walk in to.
The Duarte location is
much larger than the Pasadena location, and features a bar/lounge that you wonít
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.
I frequently order my
favorite Rancheroís meal 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. Always an excellent meal. But this evening, I decided
to try the Filete de
Halibut al Mojo de Ajo, a filet
of halibut grilled in garlic sauce, served with rice, beans and some salad.
This was actually the second time Iíd had it in less than a week, as we had been
there with one of my sisters about a week earlier. Both times I got a really
nicely grilled cut of fresh halibut, served with a dish of a garlic sauce that
is great for dipping the halibut in. The rice was nicely seasoned and fluffy,
and the beans were nice and fresh. I didnít eat the salad because I forgot to
order it without the sour cream on top. Twice. Figure that out.
I forgot to mention that we
started out by ordering a side of fresh guacamole to go with our chips and salsa
that was brought to us when we sat down. When I went with my sister, we were
discussing the fact that we like their chips and salsa more than other places,
and we agreed that it was because the chips are a little thinner, and therefore
lighter to bite into. Another thing I like about Rancheroís, they bring you two
kinds of salsa with your chips, traditional pico de gallo, and a less chunky,
definitely hotter salsa. Since Iím not a fan of pico de gallo, and do like the
heat, the second salsa is, for me, a big plus. The guacamole we received was
this huge mound of guacamole, made of fresh avocado and seasoning. No filler,
no shredded lettuce, no chopped tomatoes, just lots of fresh avocado (it did
have a wedge of tomato on the dish, so if we wanted tomato in it, we could have
it). I donít eat guacamole often, and when I do, itís generally in small
portions, with lots more chip than guacamole. But this stuff was so good, I was
surprised how much I was putting on each chip, and even told Katie Iím
considering trying avocado on a sandwich. At my age, Iím not much into trying
new things, so that will be a big step. Iíll let you know how it goes.
Anyway, back to dinner.
Katie ordered Carne con Chile Verde, tender chunks of pork in a green sauce,
with rice and beans and a choice of corn or flour tortillas. There was more
than enough for her, she took half of it home. I tried a big chunk of the pork,
and it was quite tasty, very tender and moist, and the sauce was delicious, but
definitely not the green sauce either of us expected to get with a chile verde
sauce. I just asked Katie to describe it, and she said it was a very large
portion, was very tender, very tasty, a lot of flavor to it, and not the green
sauce she expected. So I guess we pretty much agreed all around on her dinner.
Keelan had the half order of
carne asada nachos, which he ordered without sour cream. Unfortunately, he
forgot to order it without guacamole, so he had to pick a lot of that off, and
eat around it. Kind of funny considering he was chowing on the guacamole with
the chips, but he said in essence that with the chips, he was controlling how
much guac was on the chip, and the nachos came out pretty much smothered. I
guess I can understand that. Anyway, he said it was really good, with lots of
meat, and he really enjoyed it once he got past the guacamole issue.
Rancheroís offers 30
combination dinners, plus a whole section of seafood entrees. 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 are delicious. Iíve 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 theyíre
not exactly priced like a beer. On this visit, Katie ordered a mai tai, which
sheís had the last couple times weíve stopped there, and she says theyíre quite
good. I asked her how this one was, and she said ďitís good. Iím ready for a
You can find the menu for
www.sangabrielvalleymenus.com. Be sure and tell them you read about them in
the Dot Com Dining column.
Coburn is owner of SanGabrielValleyMenus.com, a restaurant website featuring
dozens of restaurantsí 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.