Monday, May 5, 2014

Pre Cinco de Mayo at MRII

Mi Ranchito Dos 5.02.2014

This Saturday Art and I were having a restaurant consulting meeting about a couple of our ongoing projects and we both became a bit peckish; well, actually, seriously peckish. What with Cinco de Mayo a couple of days away, and with Mi Ranchito II being five or so minutes to the south of Art’s house, we made a run in that direction.

They have added some new dishes lately, the latest in a long string of their ever-growing menu. One of those was Supermigas, with the choice of bacon, sausage, or chorizo; Art went with the chorizo, as they make a great version there. I felt like naming them SUPERmigas ought to 
mean that you get all three of the meats, but that’s not the case. Art liked the migas just fine, and loved his side carnitas taco okay, but I definitely won the ordering competition.

Supermigas, with refried beans....

We decided to split an order of their wonderful guacamole, which is basically avocados mashed up a la minute with lime and garlic, and some of their salsa bar pico de gallo. You get to customize it anyway you want with their excellent salsas. It’s thick and rich and unadulterated; you have to spoon it onto a totopo or the chip shatters from the density of the avocado.

Roasted tomato-guajillo and spicy green avocado salsas, with pico de gallo and a big wad of fresh guacamole

I came SO close to going for one of their fantastic huge burgers, but was suckered in once again by the chicken mole enchiladas. I’ve ordered these the last 4 or 5 times I’ve been there, because they taste so damn good. The rich dark sauce dances along on the fine edge of sweet and savory, with many complex layers of spices and flavor, and a nice jolt of heat on the finish. The chicken is moist and tender, and was pulled off of a carcass that morning.

Chicken-mole enchiladas, with excellent rice and refried beans. I usually get the charro beans or black beans, but was suckered in my the richness of refrieds.

I had to go for a couple of side tacos, since I hadn’t eaten all day and this was going to be the big feed for the day, so I added a chorizo-nopale taco, which had sautéed onions in the mix, and came topped with Chihuahuan white cheese. There was a little liquid fat run-off, but it was liquid and not grease; the flavor was superb. I also got a pork carnitas taco with onions and cilantro, and as usual, their pork was tender, juicy, and loaded with porky flavor. Add some of the amazing salsas, and these babies are top-notch.

Chorizo-nopale left, carnitas right

The hot green salsa with avocado was especially piquant Saturday, and the mild green with avocado was silky and rich, with a nice layer of spiciness. The roasted tomato-guajillo was excellent, as always, and the tomato-tomatillo was a recent arrival, loaded with big taste. Their salsa cruda/casera is always a safe bet, as is the pico de gallo, where they actually include lots of fresh chiles, lime, garlic, and lots of cilantro.

I hate to keep harping on this joint, but it consistently turns out some of the best Mexican food in Austin. It’s up there with Taco More and El Taco Rico in my book.

Mick Vann © 

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