Tim and I were lamenting the lack of really good Mexican restaurants in the Quad Cities these days. Los Agaves used to be good, but the quality of their food has nose-dived as of late, likewise with the Aztecas. It seems as if they all offer the same things – cheap ground beef inside a lackluster pocket of fried corn meal, smothered in cheese and the cheapest tomatoes, lettuce, and sour cream that can be bought.
I resorted to using Yelp in my own home town to find something new and better. I stumbled upon a couple of good review of La Rancherita 2 on Elmore Ave (by Wal-Mart). Tim and I had actually tried to eat there right after they first opened, but they do not take credit cards, and we never carry cash, so we walked out. Well, I had $24.00 in cash on me for some reason, so we decided to give it another shot.
The restaurant itself is nothing to write home about – except for the chairs, that is. The chairs are the hugest, sturdiest, most colorful things you will ever see. They look as if they belong in a play-room for giant-sized children. They are pretty awesome, actually. On the downside, the outer door opens directly into the restaraunt, keeping the innards very chilly. You’ll be warmed up stat by the delicious chips and salsa, however. The salsa is fresh pico de gallo, and it is spicy and delicious, as are the chips. On Saturday they were selling $2.75 Mexican import bottles, so Tim and I chased our lunches with Corona.
Tim got 3 steak tacos in corn shells. They were delicious, especially once they were coated in the red hot sauce that is brought to your table with the chips and salsa (by pretty Mexican ladies in Santa hats). I got a torta (always searching for a torta in the QC that can rival El Olmito’s in Muscatine). It was good, but it lacked El Olmito’s jalapenos and carrots and ultra- crispy chicken tidbits. Truth be told, I think that El Olmito’s torta is better because it is all around crispier – the chicken is crispier, the torta is crispier. Which means that El Olmito must slather everything in oil and/or butter. It’s probably why my cholesterol and blood pressure is up over last year.
All-in-all, Tim and I really liked La Rancherita. They also serve breakfast, so over Christmas break, we are going to check it out. I can’t wait to try some of that pico de gallo on eggs and toast. Deeelicious.