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The Nite On The Town Card is an exclusive membership card that enables the holder to dine at a dizzying variety of the San Gabriel Valley's most popular restaurants at a discounted price.

Simply include your card when paying your check. If you are a party of two, one of your entrees (equal or lower priced) will be free or substantially reduced in price. If there are four or more in your party, two of your entrees will be free or reduced in price and you can visit each restaurant up to three times during 2011 and get a great discount each time

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View Ranchero, Duarte's Menu

Restaurant: Ranchero

Where: 1501 E. Huntington Dr.  in Duarte, also at 2663 E. Foothill Blvd. in Pasadena

Phone: (626) 358-6398

Reservations: Accepted

Cocktails: Yes

Service: Full service

Atmosphere: Casual

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

Fresh guacamole, made tableside (Even I enjoy Ranchero's guacamole)

Half order of Carne Asada Nachos

Filete de Halibut al Mojo de Ajo

Carne con Chile Verde

Flan

 

Dot Com Dining logo image

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 nap.Ē

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. 

Bill 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. 

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