50 Most Interesting Restaurants

Dallas' 50 Most Interesting Restaurants, No. 26: El Ranchito

Leading up to our annual Best of Dallas® issue, we're counting down the 50 most interesting restaurants in Dallas. These spots bring something unique or compelling to the city's dining scene, feeding both your appetite and soul. Find more interesting places on our all-new Best Of app for iTunes or Android.

El Ranchito is one of those rare restaurants that straddles multiple cuisines and ends up doing it well. If your friends come into to town demanding Tex-Mex, you can take them to El Ranchito and point to the proper section of the menu and say, "look, there it is!" before finding more interesting dishes for yourself. There are enchiladas and fajitas and combos with so many items your guests can put themselves into a coma if they wish.

Or perhaps you'll be able to steer them towards the parts of the menu that lean more intently on Mexican cuisine. Not every plate needs a thick quilt of melted cheese, you know, and the cabrito is a dish capable of changing your perspective. The grilled baby goat is presented bones and all and it's fatty flavor is cut perfectly with each administered spoonful of pico de gallo.

There are sweet breads and tripe alongside the familiar choriqueso and enchiladas, making it hard to stay bored (or hungry) here. If you want a margarita, the goblet-sized version will keep you occupied for a while, and when you finish the drink your foot will have a life of it's own. If the rhythm of the loudest mariachi band in Dallas isn't your thing just come back for the Elvis impersonation contests. And you wondered why the line out the door was so long.

No. 50: Joyce and Gigi's No. 48: 20 Feet Seafood Joint No. 47: Taj Chaat House No. 46: Mot Hai Ba No. 45: La Nueva Fresh and Hot No. 44: Pera Turkish Kitchen No. 43: Tom's Burgers and Grill No. 42: Mughlai No. 41: Russian Banya No. 40: Off-Site Kitchen No. 39: Bachman Lake Taqueria No. 38: Carbone's No. 37: Babe's No. 36: Barbacoa Estilo Hidalgo No. 35: Zaguan No. 34: Royal Sichuan No. 33: Spoon No. 32: Bambu No. 31: Pecan Lodge No. 30: FT33 No. 29: Keller's Drive-In No. 28: La Pasadita No. 27: Ten Bells Tavern