My friend Angie moved to Oak Cliff a little over a year ago, and soon after, she told me she’d found the best margarita in Dallas. I was surprised when she said they were at Las Ranitas, a Tex-Mex place where I’ve had lunch many times, but I never thought to order a drink there. So I decided to give them a try on a Thursday night. At $6.95, I figured they better be good. And they are. The freshly squeezed lime mix is tart and not too sweet, and the peppery tequila flavor comes through. The manager mixed my margarita and blended it herself — there is no frozen drink machine. And the ice-to-drink ratio was right on. The drink is pricey, but it’s strong. Indulging in more than one probably would be a mistake. They remind me a little of the famous Mexican Martinis at Trudy’s in Austin.
Las Ranitas has a typical Tex-Mex menu with influences from Northern Mexico and seafood dishes, plus some bar food. Skewered chicken thighs were slathered in a savory barbecue sauce and served with fried shoestring potatoes and sweet potato fries. The chicken was moist and falls-off-the-bone tender, and the fries were crispy and hot.
The complimentary salsa is watery and unimpressive. Order the salsa molcajeteada, which is blended to your preference tableside.