Good to Go is a column where our food writers explore Dallas' restaurant scene through takeout orders, delivery boxes and reheated leftovers.
If you’ve been eating a steady diet of takeout comfort food the last few months, more of a good thing may be perfectly fine. But if you want something that’s closer to perfect than to “just fine,” you might want to change things up a little.
A bit of Texas flavor in a traditionally Southern dish is a welcome break from the usual. At The Ranch at Las Colinas, everything comes with a Texas twist.
Ordering one of everything on the menu doesn’t sound like a bad idea, but if you’re just having one entrée, make it the grilled chipotle meatloaf.
Whether you order it as an entrée from the lunch or dinner menu or a family meal for four from the curbside menu, the dish travels well. It also reheats with minimal fuss, which is exactly what you want from a takeout meal.
Of course, you want the food to taste good, too, and this dish is a winner on that count. A little sear from the grill enhances the flavor of the meat, and the tomato-based chipotle sauce is slightly different from sauces typically served on meatloaf. The smokiness comes through with just a little kick of heat.
The sides are notable, too. Seasoning on the fresh green beans includes a generous amount of pepper, and the tart flavor in the mashed potatoes is from buttermilk instead of sour cream.
A single entrée is enough for two meals, especially if you decide to supplement with an appetizer or another side.
Black-eyed pea hummus is a novel appetizer I’d recommend to any fan of either black-eyed peas or hummus. Tasso ham and breadcrumb topping make the mac and cheese some of the best I’ve ever eaten.
Beer and wine are offered for takeout, as are some novel craft cocktails. Try the Amarillo by Morning, a refreshing take on a paloma. The George Strait reference is intentional; he’s an investor and spokesperson for Codigo Rosa tequila, which serves as the base for the cocktail.
The Texas flavors throughout the menu often come from Texas; featured ingredients come from farmers, ranchers and fishermen all around the state. Texas sourcing has been a guiding principle at the restaurant since it opened in 2008, and it extends to many of the menu options — from bread and chips to beer and spirits.
Every year in November (before COVID-19, anyway), The Ranch holds a farm-to-fork showcase event, inviting the public to enjoy samples of Texas-made goodies while meeting with the providers stationed throughout the restaurant.
The space feels as big as Texas, too, so if you’re ready for patio dining, you can find a spot on the wraparound porch or extended patio area.
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Brunch is served Saturday mornings while lunch and dine-in happy hour specials are offered Monday through Friday. The curbside menu includes several dinner-for-four options and a date-night filet mignon dinner for two.
Three-course dinners and two-course lunches are coming soon when the restaurant participates in DFW Restaurant Week for dine-in or takeout for a full four weeks.
The Ranch at Las Colinas, 857 W. John Carpenter Freeway, Irving. 972-506-7262. Open for curbside takeout, patio dining and limited dine-in 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.