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Matt's El Rancho

Lived in Austin as a kid and my family used to LOVE El Rancho, curious if it was still any good?

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  1. I loved it when it was downtown, but only tried it once after it moved. It was not at all the same (that was in the mid 80's) and I have never been back.

    1 Reply
    1. re: danny_w

      Awww, that's too bad. Thanks for the update.

    2. I still like it, but with tile floors it is just too loud. Love the Chile Rellano.

      4 Replies
      1. re: tuckspop

        Is it still worth a trip if i come in for a weekend?

        1. re: joanna.mcmaster

          if dining out for you means mostly cocktails-I'd say that's about half the crowd there on the weekend, they have a huge patio.

          1. re: NWLarry

            Always means cocktails, LOL. But i can have a cocktail at OTB, just wanted to know if the food was still worth the trip.

      2. As with most Austin Tex-Mex places there's a strong division on this one. Personally I think it's just as good as it ever was.

        1. Any suggestions on a better place for tex-mex close to downtown? No offense, but i hate driving in Austin, so close is good.

          2 Replies
          1. re: joanna.mcmaster

            brisket tacos and armstrong dip bring me there every couple of months. They still have great chips and good salsa too. It has been consistent over the last 15 years.

            1. re: ieathereforeiam

              When I said it was not the same I was comparing it to the original of about 35-40 years ago, and I haven't been in the last 20 years or so.

          2. There seems to be a Love/Hate thing with El Rancho. The drinks at Matt's are as good and the food is definately better than OTB though.

            1 Reply
            1. re: FoodEquipmentGuy

              yeah it's a can of worms. I'll throw the similarly loved and hated Maudie's into the mix as my recommendation.

            2. It's still good - I've been eating there since 1971, and will admit that although it went through a decline during the 1990's, changes in management righted the ship, and today we thoroughly enjoy Matt's. Above-average Tex-Mex, good margaritas (my wife prefers their mojitos, which she claims are among the best anywhere) and a great place to people watch.

              It's also very popular with the wealthy Austin/Aspen/West Lake Hills family crowd, particularly on late Sunday afternoons, when they're out slumming with the rest of us.

              1. Thank you all for your input.