Tasting the Worst Fajitas Ever at Matt's Rancho Martinez

Categories: Complaint Desk

Matt's Rancho Fajitas.jpg
Not at all a fajita plate
When I eat Tex-Mex, I generally subsist on two standard orders depending on my mood. Sometimes I want enchiladas, and sometimes I want fajitas. The rest falls into special occasion Tex-Mex, such as when I'm hunting for perfect puffy taco, or searching for good queso, or am otherwise distracted by other substances I'd rather not discuss here.

See also:
- Tracking Down the Origin of Dallas' "Puffy" Tacos
- The Nine Best Tex-Mex Restaurants in Dallas

On the fajita front, I'm growing increasingly disappointed in Dallas. I've had some seriously bad plates at places like Cafe Maya and Mia's and unmemorable ones at Raffa's and Desperado's. I'll have no problem recollecting a plate I was recently served at Matt's Rancho Martinez, though. They were the worst fajitas I've been served in my entire life.

I'm so desensitized to bad fajitas I could almost overlook the dry scraps of chicken and beef that came on this plate. With enough of the passable guacamole and other condiments, you can almost hide the flaccid proteins. The plate they were served on, however, made for a very sad fajita experience.

Without sizzling cast iron, fajitas lose all their mystique. It's the trail of smoke and caramelizing onions wafting through the dining room of the first order that that sells the next. Sizzling fajita plates sing as they arrive at your table. Sometimes they command the attention of half the dining room.

Unless you've ordered them at Matt's, of course. Here, they arrive without song or fanfare and instead drop onto your table like a grumpy old man that says, "are you gonna eat me or what?" Given the choice I'd say no, but hunger can be a very persuasive sensation. The next time I'm craving fajitas, though, I'll certainly head elsewhere.

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36 comments
gollyrojer
gollyrojer

Everybody (well, almost everybody, apparently) knows you go to Matt's for chile rellenos, not fajitas.

BobDobbs
BobDobbs

I went to the new one the other day. It wasn't bad, but next time we went back to La Calle Dolce. That place is good.

dontworry
dontworry

get a life reitz- go back up 35 to that town of 1000 where someone cares- sizzling platters, there is a crap steakhouse that has been around 30 years for you- sizzler. Yes they are tenderloin gabe, you must be scotts roomate-

relax, eat, drink, enjoy your time- stop being a donkey's behind.

58willie
58willie

I live near Matt's and their food and service has been going steadily south for years.  No doubt Matt doesn't give a shit as he rolls around in all his dough.  I figured I'd give them another shot after they moved over to Skillman, but the fajitas were just as bad.  The service sucked, too.  Never going back.  Unfortunately, there are plenty of kinda-sewers that will continue to flock to the place.  When wifey and I are out on the weekend, we like to go to Herrera's.  Pretty good fajitas, quiet, good service.  I make my own using marinated meat that you can get for next to nothing at most any Mexican grocery store.  And over here in East Dallas we have no shortage of groceries.  

Sharon_Moreanus
Sharon_Moreanus topcommenter

The service is as flat at their fajitas.

gabe48
gabe48

The fajitas at La Hacienda Ranch, on Preston at Campbell, are cooked over Mesquite wood for a divine flavor, also, a hidden secret here, their steak filet, flavored with the Mesquite, is outstanding. 

J_A_
J_A_ topcommenter

I actually think Uncle Julio's has delicious steak fajitas. The meat is thicker and juicy.

Blake Wilson
Blake Wilson

It's all about their chicken fried steaks. I never got to the fajita's on the menu once I saw "Bob Style". Me = win / you = food fail. :(

Jon Pitt
Jon Pitt

The best are at Agave Azul in downtown Carrollton...

primi_timpano
primi_timpano topcommenter

Fajitas have waning for some time now. The skirt steak, and especially the most desired portions of this cut, have been rising in price for some time now, driven by demand from Asian countries. I think the DO had a featured article on it.

James_the_P3
James_the_P3

Wait a minite--I'm trying to understand something:  you went to Matt's; you didn't have the Bob Armstrong dip; and you did have the fajitas?

Yeah--I still don't understand.

Mervis
Mervis

I remember when I moved here in 1985 that we would eat fajitas like there wasn't another food in the world. Lunch, parties etc. Haven't ordered them since 1989 I bet.

Marc C. Socolov
Marc C. Socolov

To Matt's defense, their beef ones are made with tenderloin. I wouldn't call them "traditional" but they are good.

Chris Baccus
Chris Baccus

How does one screw up fajitas? That and fried rice are the 2 recipes I learned to make when I first started cooking. Basic. Really basic.

mrclean
mrclean

Have you tried Mariano's?

RReason
RReason

Hmmm, I haven't ordered fajitas at a restaurant since I was maybe 10. After a soccer game with my team. We were called the "Storm". I realized then, that they were shite when ordered at a restaurant.

In my opinion, it's among the last things to order at a Tex-Mex or Mexican restaurant. Right there along with kids chicken fingers and their cheeseburger.

NewsDog
NewsDog

The sizzling skillet presentation is strictly a restaurant theater presentation. Why would you put properly cooked meat onto over heated metal that will just over cook it?  

Joshstruckoutagain
Joshstruckoutagain

Made some at the casa Saturday night, with ribeye (4.99 lb at HEB!) Best fajitas ever!

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

I ate at Senor Beans here in downtown on olive st. Friday, the salsa was meh ,tasted more like a chili powder in a  salsa mix, but the queso was a cilantro filled heaven and the fajitas came a sizzlin'  Id go again.

therrick
therrick

Easily the worst I ever had was up in Frisco at a place (now closed) called the Yucatan Taco Stand. They tried to make some sort of fusion fajitas or something and just covered them in these Mediterranean spices. That had this really weird, disgusting taste to them.

gabe48
gabe48

@JaniceA Yes i agree, fajitas are very good here.  Have you tried fajitas at La Hacienda Ranch?


gabe48
gabe48

@Marc C. Socolov Matt's fajitas are not made with tenderloin.

crustyjugglers
crustyjugglers

@mrclean I second this.  Mariano's are consistently above average to great.  Very tender beef that is well seasoned.

gabe48
gabe48

@mrclean yes, Marianno's is wonderful, and cooked over Mesquite.  They also own La Hacienda Ranch,

1dailyreader
1dailyreader

@mrclean Mariano's in Arlington was great when Anita was there.  Not so much anymore since they rearranged the bar and servers.  I want Juan Jose back in the BAR. He's the best.  The margaritas are way too sweet now.  

scott.reitz
scott.reitz moderator

@NewsDog Because it's fun? If you wanted to get really crazy you could leave the meat a little underdone -- or support it on a bed of onions so the meat has no real contact with the griddle.  Either way, cold fajitas are no bueno.

clevertrousers
clevertrousers

@Joshwillbatforfood change either the name or the pic. one has got to go.

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