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Matt's El Rancho

joanna.mcmaster Jul 29, 2009 08:47 AM

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

  1. j
    joanna.mcmaster Jul 30, 2009 11:15 AM

    Thank you all for your input.

    1. marfaboy Jul 30, 2009 08:17 AM

      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. f
        FoodEquipmentGuy Jul 29, 2009 07:02 PM

        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
          NWLarry Jul 30, 2009 10:56 AM

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

        2. j
          joanna.mcmaster Jul 29, 2009 03:54 PM

          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
            ieathereforeiam Jul 29, 2009 09:36 PM

            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
              danny_w Jul 30, 2009 08:01 AM

              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. m
            Madcap Jul 29, 2009 02:58 PM

            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. t
              tuckspop Jul 29, 2009 10:12 AM

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

              4 Replies
              1. re: tuckspop
                joanna.mcmaster Jul 29, 2009 11:03 AM

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

                1. re: joanna.mcmaster
                  NWLarry Jul 29, 2009 01:10 PM

                  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
                    joanna.mcmaster Jul 29, 2009 02:22 PM

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

                    1. re: joanna.mcmaster
                      NWLarry Jul 29, 2009 02:34 PM

                      in that case I'd say no :)

              2. d
                danny_w Jul 29, 2009 09:04 AM

                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
                  joanna.mcmaster Jul 29, 2009 09:08 AM

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

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