Delicious: El Ranchito is an Oak Cliff staple

Top: Cabrito a parillada. Above: Mango margarita, lime margarita and a michelada.
Top: Cabrito a parillada. Above: Mango margarita, lime margarita and a michelada. (Photos by Kathy Tran)

Fajitas with a side of Elvis

It’s 2018, and that marks El Ranchito’s 35th year in Oak Cliff.

Laura Sanchez opened the Tex-Mex restaurant on Jefferson Boulevard in 1983, and it remains a standout amid a sea of competition.

There are two mariachi troupes that perform there; they alternate on weeknights, and both perform on weekends. El Ranchito is among the few restaurants in the Dallas area that serves cabrito, young goat, every day. It can be ordered “a parillada,” on a tabletop grill, with rice, beans, guacamole and pico de gallo, for $41. Or it can be cooked in salsa and served as three tacos for $22.

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Family-style parilladas, which also can be ordered with fajitas, sausage, ribs and shrimp, are a big draw at El Ranchito.

So is the entertainment.

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Every January, the restaurant celebrates Elvis Presley’s birthday (Jan. 8, 1935) with Elvis impersonator shows. Manager Juan Sanchez, who is known to impersonate the King himself, started putting on the shows in the early 2000s.

The shows are every Wednesday in January — El Ranchito also commemorates the King’s 1977 death every August — and reservations are required.

El Ranchito gave several Elvis impersonators their start. Victor Treviño Jr., for example, performed as Elvis for the first time at El Ranchito years ago and now tours the world as an impersonator, specializing in young Elvis and the “ ‘68 Comeback Special.”

Did you know: El Ranchito recently opened a second location, at 3517 S. Cooper St. in Arlington.

EL RANCHITO
Ambiance: Tex-Mex party time
Price range: $10-$41
Hours: 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 10 a.m.-11:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday
elranchito-dallas.com

(Photo by Kathy Tran)
(Photo by Kathy Tran)
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