Taco Tuesday Review: Mi Ranchito
A gem on the West side of Rockford.
I was talking about this one to Priscilla for days.
It should be noted that all tacos featured in a Taco Tuesday Review® are good tacos. This isn't a place to excoriate a restaurant. This is just to break down the best of the best in the area. If a taco straight up isn't good, we just won't write a review on that place.
I say all that because of the next stop on our list. Mi Ranchito located at 2019 S. Main St, kiddy-corner (or cady-corner if you talk weird) from Marinelli Field.
Mi Ranchito is near S. Main and Marchesano Drive in Rockford. I noticed Joe didn't mention this. I like to have fun with Joe and have him pronounce Marchesano. It comes out more like maraschino, as in cherries.
You could pay me a million dollars to say it correctly and I couldn't do it.
I knew about Mi Ranchito from passing it to get some of my other favorite tacos in town at the Guanajuato Grocery Store right behind it. I wrote about them here back when I wasn't slinging taco reviews professionally. And boy was I missing out.
My hopes were high when Priscilla said that the Mi Ranchito reminded her of a place she went to in Sterling, Illinois as a kid.
My great grandmother lived on Wallace Street next to the Latin American Club in Sterling, Illinois. The atmosphere of this little place reminded me of Celia's Restaurant that was next door. It was like having grandma cook for you.
The dining room at Mi Ranchito is small. Two booths in the front of the store and maybe eight tables in the back. We ordered drinks. I went with my usual horchata, the medium was the size of a small bucket and was heavily seasoned. Priscilla went with the featured Champurrado.
Mind explaining this Priscilla?
Champurrado is a maiz based chocolate drink served hot. It's a little thicker than your typical hot chocolate and has a little cinnamon flavor to it. I was freezing and I needed something hot. It was delicious!
The menu had everything to expect and a little more.
As usual, we're here for tacos. The order was 3 tacos for me (steak, al pastor, and deshebrada) Priscilla showed restraint and only went with 2 (steak and chorizo).
The obligatory chips and salsa picture that was served as an appetizer.
On to the rating. It will be broken up into 5 categories rated from 1-10. The categories will be: Chips and salsa, tortilla, fillings, value, and intangibles. A score of 50 would be the highest WROK taco rating a place could get.
Chips and Salsa:
- Joe - 8.5 - Finally some chips with salt on them, and obviously freshly made. The salsa isn't my favorite kind but was excellent for what it was. A little sweet for my taste.
- Priscilla -8-Chips were on the lighter side which i prefer. They tasted fresh and yes, they has salt on them. Salsa was on the sweeter side. Between the fresh chips, salsa and champurrado, I could've been done here, but wait-
- Joe - 9.5 - Only avoiding a 10 because I don't want to box myself in with a ceiling. Tortillas were, like the chips, freshly made. Like they made the masa that morning freshly made. They were thicker than usual tortillas, had great taste, and showed no signs of falling apart. Superb.
- Priscilla - 9 -What? Fresh warm corn tortillas? I don't find this often enough. I understand why. Making corn or flour tortillas is a process! No tortilla blow out here. Bravo!
- Joe - 9 - Another category that was flirting with a 10. Only held back by the steak taco. It was just very good. The other two? Let's talk. The al pastor was perfect. The guajillo-saturated juice that dripped off the back of my taco stained my fingers. It was my favorite taco until I had my next one the deshebrada. I didn't know what it was and it was explained to me as shredded beef. Technically accurate but this is much better described as a Mexican pot roast. Juicy, tender, and flavorful. I will be back for more.
- Priscilla -8 - The steak filling was plentiful, warm and good. Choriza a little more on the the red pepper side.
- Joe - 7 - Full disclosure on this. Priscilla paid (thanks Priscilla) and forgot how much it was. She's estimating 25 dollars for the whole meal. That's 5 tacos and 2 drinks. Decent considering how good it was.
- Priscilla - 8- Update, I'm my mother's daughter and keep tons of receipts. I found it and inserted a picture above. Our lunch was $23.48. In line with what we've been spending.
- Joe - 9 - Especially after seeing how good the tacos were, I'm looking forward to trying other things on the menu. Plus, as Priscilla pointed out, there was a framed picture of Guadalupe on the wall which was a great look.
- Priscilla -9- This place just had the authentic feel that I liked. Several things on their menu I can't wait to go back and try. Seriously, Joe keeps talking about this place.
Official WROK Taco Score
- Joe - 43/50
- Priscilla 41/50