It’s a fact — Cliffites love their Tex-Mex, and El Ranchito on West Jefferson has been a part of that tradition for nearly 30 years. The history shows through the countless photographs of famous customers lining the walls of the entryway. Patrick Duffy stopped by back when “Dallas” was still on the air, and most recently, Disney Channel star Selena Gomez paid a visit. Today El Ranchito remains an Oak Cliff establishment. It was opened by the late Oscar Sanchez, whose family still owns the restaurant along with La Calle Doce. El Ranchito’s biggest seller is the parrillada Mexican — chicken, beef, sausage and ribs served on a fire grill. “It’s sort of a family-style dish,” says manager Juan Antonio Sanchez, brother-in-law of Oscar Sanchez. “They order a lot of that because it’s a buffet style.” Then there’s an item you won’t see on other Tex-Mex menus (vegans, cover your ears): cabrito a la parrilla or grilled baby goat. They used to order it straight from Monterrey, Mexico, because it was so hard to find. “Any way we could get it here, sometimes by Greyhound,” Sanchez says. Now, he orders it from a farm in Weatherford that delivers the goats freshly slaughtered. If you’re feeling less adventurous, there are plenty of Tex-Mex staples on the menu like tacos, enchiladas and burritos. Stop in any day for lunch, and receive a free order of El Ranchito’s famous rice pudding.
• Jefferson & Llewellyn
Three more Tex-Mex spots
This well-known chain got its start right here in our neighborhood.
• Colorado & Beckley
• elfenix.com, 214.941.4050
Check out the daily specials on Tuesdays through Thursdays, and belly up to the bar during happy hour, 3-6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.
• Jefferson & Polk
• ojedasdallas.com, 214.948.9900
Tejano Mexican Restaurant
One of the oldest Tex-Mex establishments, Tejano opened as El Chico in the 1950s and has kept many of its original customers — now that’s consistency.
• Davis & Beckley
Click to sign up for the Advocate's weekly news digest and be the first to know what’s happening in Oak Cliff.