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TLO Restaurant Review: El Ranchito #1

5:19 AM EDT on August 9, 2022

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Okay… from the top…

Since that bastardly stroke took my will to culinarily live six months ago, I have subsisted on various bran muffins, lukewarm bottles of water, and, best of all, prepackaged low-sodium dinners—try the Salisbury steak with mushroom gravy!

But I knew that someday I would be reunited with my beloved Mexican food…and, finally, with doctoral permission, this dream came true.

The small town of Noble, my new haunt, has a few chicken-fried restaurants and really not much else. But I noticed a new taco truck in town that had me salivating – El Ranchito #1 (604 N. Main).

So with my taco-loving dog Sean, I made a dangerous U-turn across traffic, looking for a place to park, hoping for one beverage I needed more than anything – Horchata. And boy, did they have plenty of it.

As soon as I swallowed gulp after gulp for this enchanting drink, I looked over the menu, offering true delicacies, from burritos and tacos to sopes and mulitias—but all I ever wanted was right in front of me: a barbacoa Torta ($6.00) and a plate of Asado Fries on deck.

Sadly, they were out of that starchy, potato-induced delicacy. Instead, I threw caution to the tortilla-chipped wind and ordered the Nachos ($8.00). It's something I've ordered many times, on many menus with mixed results, so I immediately prepared for a radiated plate of warmish-but-soggy chips and a twice-hardened cheese-substitute.

And I was wrong!

Besides the expertly diced carne asada, the tortilla chips had a supernatural glow to them. While, many times, nachos are so sad and lonely, bucking to dust, at El Ranchito they are the perfect meal, white corn bleeding on the transparent grease, the victor enjoying every stupendous bite.

I took a few more samples of nachos, putting them back in the box, and decided it was time for my ultimate test – the barbacoa Torta.

On the moistest bun possible, beans, onions, and guacamole were generously slathered. With the slow-roasted meat, painstakingly crafted with a butcher’s touch, it was begging for one, two, three bites or more. It was a full-blown religious experience, giving me the tender flesh that I wantoned crave.

With a few nibbles of extraneous bites, I had a final swig of my horchata. Wiping the corners of my mouth, I picked up Sean and told him it was good to be home, for a while.

Cómpralo ya!

_

Follow Louis on Twitter at @LouisFowler and Instagram at @louisfowler78.

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