I’m back! And I’m kicking it off with a review of one of the places we dined at while on our short vacation.
That meal looks appetizing, doesn’t it? If you’re into Mexican food like I am, a big plate filled with enchiladas, rice, beans, and a taco can make you salivate in seconds.
Sadly though, this meal turned out to be anything but salivating. It was amazing in looks only. The actual quality made Taco Bell seem like gourmet Mexican food.
On the first night of our road trip, hubs and I needed to find a place for dinner. After a bit of squabbling over where to eat, we decided on the El Rancho Restaurant & Motel in Holbrook, Arizona. I had read good reviews about the place and felt confident we would walk away with a full belly thanks to a good meal.
The reality of it was that we walked away disappointed.
I initially wanted the tamales but learned they only had pork. I’m not a fan of pork tamales so I changed my order to two enchiladas and a taco. For an additional $0.75 I decided to add shredded beef. Big spender, I know.
The waitress asked if I wanted it on both the enchiladas and the taco. Thanks to road fatigue I sat there in bewilderment for a moment wondering what the hell she was talking about. Then it occurred to me what she meant and I said yes I’d like it on the enchiladas and taco.
When the food arrived moments later I expected to dive into a plate of deliciousness. Instead, I dove into chicken enchiladas (not the shredded beef I ordered), undercooked rice with little flavor, and refried beans that tasted canned and re-heated. Rosarita’s refried beans taste better and those, too, are canned.
Being that both of us were quite hungry neither one of us said a word about the quality of the food to the waitress. Instead we wolfed down as much as we could and waited for the check. When she arrived with the check I finally pointed out that my enchildas had chicken and not beef. She then took our check to the cashier who ended up removing the entire meal.
As we walked out after paying our bill (a grand total of $16.24 plus tip), we both commented on the blandness of the food. Despite their site saying the food was made fresh daily, hubs said his dinner, “…tasted like it was frozen and re-heated. The enchilada sauce tasted like it came out of a giant can of Las Palmas!”
I responded by saying, “I find it sad that my $3.50 frozen tamales with rice and beans from a gas station in Winona tasted better. Hell, Taco Bell would have been better than this stuff.”
Normally I’d be willing to give a place a second chance and try it another time. But after this experience? Nope. This is one where we won’t be going back. I know that gourmet dining isn’t to be expected in a small town like Holbrook but when even Taco Bell or a can of Rosarita’s refried beans would be better and the microwave meal from a tiny gas station was better that’s saying something.
Was there any good in this? Well, besides the meal taken off our check I will say the chips were decent and the salsa had a good kick to it. Unfortunately, in my experience, that was the only redeeming quality.
Next time we visit Holbrook a visit to the steakhouse is in order. And if that ends up being bad? I’m sticking with Taco Bell.