Ranas Mexico City Cuisine Review

Ranas Mexico City Cuisine Review

Posted 08-17-2012 in Reviews by Findmegoodfood Staff

Every week our staff of writers visit a local restaurant in the San Diego area and review them, trying to find you good food. We visited Ranas Mexicao City Cuisine in Spring Valley this past week for our weekly lunch review.

Dan - In San Diego, taco shops and Mexican food restaurants are at every corner, and every place offers the same sort of menu mostly consisting of tacos, burritos, enchiladas, and tortas with simple or minor twists on dishes to separate themselves from other establishments. However, the type of dishes offered by Ranas Mexico City Cuisine can hardly be found north of the border. Ranas is decorated in a modern style with native Mexican colors, art, and music. The atmosphere is homelike and cozy, with plenty of regulars frequenting the restaurant. The owner Oscar helped us go over the menu, explaining the traditional Mexican City dishes offered. he explained that Ranas' most popular dish was the carne asada and cactus huaraches, containing grilled carne asada, grilled cactus, beans, lettuce, and sour cream served on a thicker style tortilla that was also grilled with one of their homemade sauces. The hauraches was certainly a tempting choice, but I opted for the chorizo and potato pambazo. The pambazo is a sandwich on a grilled torta roll, with lettuce, sour cream, green souce, and cotija cheese; however, before it is constructed, the torta bun is dipped into a red enchilada sauce and thrown on the grill. Oscar politely placed a stack of napkins next to my plate as he warned it could get messy, but a "tasty messy." The pambazo was full of flavors, one never outshadowing the others. The spices from the chorizo and the enchilada sauce blended perfectly, and they were complimented nicely but the soft warm torta bun and seasoned potatoes. The sour cream with the cotija cheese added a great creaminess factor that gave the pambazo great balance. Overall the sandwich was amazingly delicious, the atmostphere true to Mexico City, and the service outstanding. Ranas is definitely a well kept secret of Spring Valley that is really too good to be kept a secret.

Neil - With so many great taco stands around San Diego, locals can have a pretty strong opinion about where to get the best burrito or the best plate of carne asada fries. Not many, however, will have an answer for finding a Mexican restaurant that offers authentic dishes that are truly native to the country. Nestled in a tiny nook in Spring Valley sits Rana's. Here Mexican food is prepared in the traditional style of Mexico City. The number one dish is the Ranas Huaraches, a hot bed of carne asada and cactus, mixed with your choice of spicy red sauce or mild green sauce, lettuce, cheese, all on top of a flat tortilla bread. The result is a zesty mouthful of authentic Mexican cuisine that will have you cheering after every bite. There is also the option to enjoy the dish with any one of their creamy sauces. Oscar, the owner of the place, was kind enough to give us a sampling of each. If you can handle it, he recommends ordering the huaraches with their very spicy sauce. Other popular dishes include the chicken with peanut butter sauce, and the cochino pibil, pork with a citrusy tomato sauce. A strong case can be made for many taco stands for serving the best burrito or the best plate of carne asada fries. But when it comes to the authentic Mexican experience, Ranas stands alone.

Angela - While scouring the menu at Ranas, the entomatado pork entree caught my eye with it's “very spicy” flag. I was immediately enticed with the challenge it offered: how spicy did it have to be to qualify as “very spicy?” The entomatado pork came with a side of salad, refried beans, tortillas, and rice. The pork itself was shredded, and in a spicy sauce with green peppers. The spiciness level, though it gave a pleasant tingle, did not burn a hole through my tongue or cause me to gulp down liters of water. Whenever I wanted a break from the spicy meat, I'd sop pieces of corn tortilla in the sauce or wrap meat inside the tortillas. The quality of the meat was good, moist and very flavorful The meat wasn't overwhelmed by the sauce, and there was certainly plenty of pork in the brown sauce. The heat of the meat was very nicely counterbalanced by the salad, the rice, and the small side of pico de gallo on a bed of shredded lettuce. Ultimately, while the entomatado pork wasn't terribly spicy, the dish did have an extra kick to the taste which made it a very enjoyable, savory meal.

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