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Mi Rancho (Can be Rearranged as Rim Nacho) Local Tex-Mex Mini-Chain in Montgomery County


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Al Dente said:
And it's a typical all-entrees-include-a-pile-of-dried-out-rice-and-stale-old-beans-with-microwave-melted-greasy-cheese tex-mex joint. Tortilla chips are good though.

As are the margaritas. But really, the only reasons to go are: 1) it's the closest Tex-Mex joint, or 2) it's got a great LARGE patio

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rkduggins said:
People, people! All this work to find Mi Rancho?

The question more appropriately asked in my mind would be: Isn't it best left undiscovered?

:blink:;) Nice response!!

But never underestimate the drawing power of any establishment that has a large outdoor patio, serves beer, and decent tortilla chips - especially in the summer. Especially when it's down the street from the gym. Where better to undo two hours of working out? Yes, yes....one could venture to RtC, but this is decidedly more casual (read: don't have to change out of gym clothes) and much cheaper.

Now all we need is for the weather to cooperate! :P

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We live nearby and patronize MR maybe 2 or 3 times yearly. The patio is nice, though noisy when crowded. Staff are always pleasant. Food is so-so, though I've never been disappointed by the grilled fish entrees. We stopped by last weekend and my rockfish fillet tasted very good. Wine by the glass offerings are swill. As mentioned previously, Margaritas are good. I'd rather give them my money than the chains across the road in Silver Spring. Just wish I could stop eating too many tortilla chips when we go.

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We go to M.R. frequently when the kids are along.

The patio is only semi-outdoors now (under a permanent tent), but with its concrete floor and extremely casual atmosphere, we never feel bad about children making a little noise or spilling a drink. The waiters bring kid-sized Shirley Temples with fruit garnish and everybody takes the edge off with plenty of chips. Plus the tykes love to watch the tortilla machine. By the way, that means that the tortillas are house-made and quite fresh, a big advantage over places that use store-bought cardboard disks.

For the grownups, you can have a perfectly good meal there if you follow a few guidelines (learned from long experience):

1. Never let them seat you downstairs. Outside is best; indoors and upstairs is OK. The bottom level is basement-like overflow seating.

2. Don't expect too much from the drinks. Only two beers on tap (both American pisswater). Worse, the basic margarita is from a mix. But you can get Negro Modela in the bottle or upgrade to a "cadillac" margarita and do OK.

3. Order only items from the right side of the menu. Roughly speaking, the left side is traditional Tex-Mex cheese tubes with nothing to recommend them except predictability. But on the right, the mesquite-grilled items are tasty, fish is generally well-treated, and the mariscos (seafood soup) is very good, with half a lobster, plenty of scallops, and a rich creamy broth.

On weekends the place is packed with families. Service occasionally suffers, but most of the time they are surprisingly fast. I do recommend Mi Rancho when you're in Silver Spring and have the whole clan with you.

-- Mr.Joel

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Is this a good candidate for the next TMB SS/TkPk happy hour outing? Margaritas outdoors sounds pretty appealing.

Eh, not to sound like a snob, but only if you feel like slummin' it. The margaritas are particularly disappointing: they definitely taste like they come from a mix. Chips and salsa are okay, not eye-opening, not bland, either. On the other hand, the beef fajita last week wasn't too bad.

I eat there once in a blue moon because a dear friend really likes the place.

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porcupine said:
Eh, not to sound like a snob, but only if you feel like slummin' it.

ding! ding! ding! Slummin' it - that's me!! I want someplace where I can swill a cheap but very cold beer and munch on some tortilla chips with very hot salsa. Then a short stagger to the metro station and one stop away from home. Sounds perfect for an impromptu HH, in my books!

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15 minutes ago, DanielK said:

"now"?

I think the Rockville location is the newest, and it's been open at least 7 or 8 years.

It wasn't intended to be breaking news; merely a report on the current state of things, as there was no mention of a Rockville location in this thread - I had forgotten there were even two of them.

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19 minutes ago, DonRocks said:

It wasn't intended to be breaking news; merely a report on the current state of things.

On 5/22/2007 at 9:19 AM, Heather said:

Mi Rancho. Nice patio. Ghastly food. It will be a long time before we eat cheese again. And the asshole across from us dropping the f-bomb every other word was a nice touch.

Current state - food still ghastly.

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13 minutes ago, DanielK said:

Current state - food still ghastly.

Quite ghastly. I find myself at the Silver Spring location at least two or three times each spring and summer in pleasant weather since we live nearby, we're almost guaranteed to be able to sit on the huge patio (although the last two times we were there we had to wait -- they're always packed!), and there are always young kids running around to make my toddler seem well behaved. I've learned to stick to the fajitas. I can appreciate low brow, inauthentic Mexican food, but the food here is really no bueno. And the last time I was there a piece of fruit in my sangria still had a sticker from the grocery store on it.

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17 minutes ago, dracisk said:

there are always young kids running around to make my toddler seem well behaved.

See, *this* is tremendously important for parents of small children: I spent many a meal at Cactus Cantina when Matt was young, for precisely this reason (plus he was fascinated by their tortilla machine).

17 minutes ago, dracisk said:

And the last time I was there a piece of fruit in my sangria still had a sticker from the grocery store on it.

Now *this* is grossissimo.

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35 minutes ago, DonRocks said:

(plus he was fascinated by their tortilla machine)

We haven't even shown my daughter the tortilla machine yet! (I think Mi Rancho has one, too, but I'm not sure because we always sit outside.) That will be in my back pocket for future entertainment needs. :-)

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We hit the Silver Spring location once yearly in summer to sit on the patio and enjoy a family meal. I don't think the food is awful but then I always order the rockfish or snapper (offered sporadically as a special). It's hard to screw those up unless over cooked 'til dry, and even then it can be salvaged by throwing it in a tortilla with guac, pico de gallo, and sauteed onions that come on the platter. 

And, yes, there is a tortilla machine just inside the front door. 

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