Monday, May 17, 2010

El Rancho

Friday night I was seriously craving Mexican food, so Lionel decided he would take me out to a Mexican restaurant.  We headed into the center of Paris planning to go to either Mexi&Co or El Sol y La Luna, two little mexican/latino restaurants in the 5th arrondisement, back to back to one another.  However, when we go there, both were full and reserved for the night.  I was pretty disappointed when we left because I had really been wanting to try these places, and stopping in for a minute and seeing the food made me want to eat there even more.  Since it was impossible for Friday, Lionel promised to bring me another time and he took me to El Rancho at the Place d'Italie instead, so I could get at least a little taste of something that almost seems like it could be tex-mex.

Of course, I knew that El Rancho wouldn't be that great.  I had already eaten at one when I lived in Tours and I remembered it being similar to Indiana Cafe (another very bad French attempt at tex-mex), so I was completely thrilled, but I figured it was better than nothing.  So off we went, back toward home, to try and get some sort of food loosely resembling tex-mex.  And when we got there, boy was I surprised!

I remembered El Rancho being not particularly amazing, but I also remember not being completely appalled either.  However, they have since changed their menu, and, to be honest, it is a complete disaster!  Lionel and I both ended up getting the beef fajitas and we split a little tapas platter for our apetizer.  For drinks, we ordered a pitcher of margaritas (at 26 euros a pitcher!!!).  The fajitas were ok, though I was less than thrilled to find broccoli and pea pods in my fajita mix, and they were almost certainly the safest "tex-mex" dish on the menu considering the fact that some of the other choices were mouthwatering dishes like salmon or tuna burritos and tuna taco salad.  The tapas platter wasn't bad either except that they served their guacamole without chips...  The margaritas were surprisingly good (and they should have been for 26 euros!) though I was a little shocked to get a pitcher of blue lime margaritas.

Probably the best thing I can say about this restaurant is that the decor is very cute and made up of a lot of little "buildings" so it feels like you are eating in the middle of a small, quaint street in a small village in Mexico.  The food was definitely a let down, but that wasn't surprising since I have yet to find a good "Mexican" restaurant in Paris.  Overall though, the night was pretty good.  El Rancho still managed to calm my Mexican craving for at least a little while (probably because of the copious amounts of guacamole I consumed) and I spent the evening in great company.

After the restaurant my husband even took me out to a bar in La Butte aux Cailles where we continued the Mexican theme and enjoyed a few Coronas before heading home!


  1. El Sol y la Luna is my favorite, but some other good ones are Anahuacalli (in the 5th - one of the pricier ones but it has THE best margaritas) and Fajitas (in the 6th). I also saw there was a new one on Rue de l'Arrivée right by Montparnasse that I'd like to try soon.

  2. This is so good to know! My fiancé loves Tex-Mex and ever since his fave in the Rue de Mouzaïa area in the 19th closed, he's not found a good Tex-Mex place to eat. We are just a few stops from Place d'Italie, too. Cool!