You Can't Beat-O The Happy Hour At El Ranchito, Unless You Want Some Quiet-O
Where: El Ranchito, 610 W. Jefferson Blvd., 214-946-4238
When: 2-6 p.m. Monday through Friday
What: $3.50 regular and $4 large margaritas, $2 to $3 draft beers
Why or why not: Because we're on something of a North Oak Cliff neighborhood-staple, old-school Tex-Mex kick lately. And if you arrive during that sweet spot between 2 and 3 p.m. when the lunch specials and happy hour overlap, you can score a full meal with a drink for under $10. But if you're looking for a quiet place for a serious conversation or some deep thinking, this is not the place for you.
Actually, food-wise, El Ranchito offers more than just Tex-Mex. It specializes in Northern Mexican cuisine, offering cabrito and ancho-chile-marinated pork along with the more Lone Star-familiar tacos, flautas and enchiladas, plus excellent house-made corn tortillas.
Dinner and drink prices are higher than typical Tex-Mex prices, but then, so's the quality, as you'd expect from the sister restaurant to La Calle Doce. The place can get loud, though, with mariachis serenading tables at seemingly all hours, and the family-friendly atmosphere making it feel more like a fiesta complete with rambunctious kids than a restaurant.