By Jade Inglada
Hidden at the end of a small shopping center stands Rancho Grande, a family-owned Mexican restaurant that’s been serving its community since the early 1970s.
Upon entering the restaurant, the entire menu, as well as photos of some of its popular dishes, are posted on the left wall.
Rancho Grande has a variety of options available on its menu from burritos and tacos, to heaping portions of carnitas or barbacoa.
The “Original” Louie Special, named after the founder, is what the restaurant is known for.
This dish is a burrito filled with red and green chiles, rice and beans, and covered with enchilada sauce, cheese, sour cream and guacamole.
The mix of tender pork and beef stands out from dishes at other Mexican eateries and makes for a hearty meal alone.
It’s an ideal choice for people who want something different, and, for $6.95, it’s not hard to understand why it’s a favorite.
The carne asada combo plate comes with marinated steak, beans, rice, guacamole and pico de gallo. Customers have the choice of flour or corn tortillas that come with the meal wrapped in foil to keep warm.
The carne asada has a light lemon and charred grill taste that isn’t overpowering.
The beans sprinkled with cheese are full of rich flavor, and the rice is seasoned well enough to avoid being bland.
While the pico de gallo and guacamole may be heavy on the onion, everything is made fresh and creates a variety of flavor combinations.
As the most expensive item on the menu for $9.25, customers will definitely get their money’s worth.
What keeps customers loyal to this 40-year-old establishment are the low prices and courteous staff. Everything on the menu is below $10, making any meal affordable no matter what time of day.
The staff is polite, offering to get drink refills or address any questions or concerns customers may have.
If customers choose to dine inside or use the outdoor seating, one of the wait staff will serve chips and salsa while the food is being prepared.
The overall environment is casual with two televisions at opposite corners of the interior and with simple decorations. The restaurant also offers breakfast all day, a kid’s menu and a special that changes each month.
Rancho Grande is located at 10935 East Rosecrans Avenue, Norwalk. It’s open Sunday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and closed on Wednesdays.
For more information and to see the whole menu, go to ranchograndegrill.net.