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Nov 5, 2012 06:28 AM

"Authentic" Huevos Rancheros?

Years ago, I drove through New Mexico and ate a ton of huevos rancheros with lovely smoky, spicy sauces and toasted corn tortillas with fresh guacamole, buttery fried (or poached) eggs, cilantro, corn... a great breakfast or lunch or dinner.

I've had the most bizarre versions of it around Boston. The Friendly Toast gave me a pair of fried eggs next to a stack of texas toast covered in melted cheese with a blop of Trader Joe's Avocado's Number guac. Redbones served me a plate of BBQ hash and bacon with a trio of fried eggs next to it and a wedge of unripe avocado; when I asked for corn tortillas, they said no -- but when I pointed out that the menu describes it as "mexican style eggs on corn tortillas" they brought some on a plate.

I know, I know, I'm ordering huevos rancheros at the wrong places. Where can I get the dish the way it's made in the Southwest?

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  1. I doubt it would be considered Southwestern style, but I'm fond of the simple huevos rancheros served at Angela's Cafe in Eastie (corn tortilla, over-easy eggs, refried pintos, green or red sauce, fresh cheese, cilantro), and at Toro in the South End (similar, but with only salsa rojo as an option, and black beans).

    I imagine Masa (Boston and Woburn) might do Southwestern style, but I haven't had brunch there in a long time.

    3 Replies
    1. re: MC Slim JB

      What you're describing is pretty much what I ate all over the Southwest, so hooray. Thanks.

      1. re: MC Slim JB

        My husband has ordered the huevos at Masa a couple of times. They are tasty (love the beans and the cotija) , but I think the only sauce they have on them is pico de gallo.

        1. re: bear

          Exactly, the Masa version is missing the true green or red sauce, which (when mixed with the egg yolk, beans and fresh cheese) tastes so amazing! I like the Angela's version the best.

      2. Those New Mexico huevos sound great to me! Cali style as well, but I have been going to Mexico recently, and go out each morning for huevos(rancheros or divorciados) and they are more pure than my Cali versions I know so well. No cheese or Guac on the 10 orders I've had recently... Just eggs, tortilla and sauce.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Trumpetguy

          Be on the lookout for huevos motulenos, the Yucatan version kicked up a notch, with black beans or paste, peas, and usually bits of ham or sometimes chorizo, and usually a fried plantain.

          1. re: Veggo

            Sounds good, but I don't eat meat, Veggo :) (I say, as those delicious black beans separating the huevos divorciados must be lard laden :)

            1. re: Trumpetguy

              Actually, Tu y Yo offers Huevos Motulenos. I just wish they seasoned their food a little more.

        2. Altho' I personally haven't had them, it looks like Taqueria Jalisco in Eastie has a few versions:
 Love their birrria.

          1. Anyplace in the Cambridge/Somerville area perchance? Angela's Cafe sounds great, but somewhere more local would be ideal.

            21 Replies
            1. re: Boston_Otter

              Well, it's probably worth checking out Tu y Yo in Somerville. As I said in my above post, I wish they added a bit more salt/seasoning to their food, but you could give it a shot since it's local.


              1. re: bear

                Actually the brunch fare at tu y to is worth a look. I had a very good divorcado (sp?) with green and red sauces lapping at the edges of my perfectly cooked as ordered eggs.

                1. re: bear

                  I've had the same little-to-no-seasoning experience there, but haven't tried their brunch; that's a good thought.

                2. re: Boston_Otter

                  I can't speak for the authenticity per se, but I know that the taco stand over by MIT has them on their brunch menu. They at least claim to serve both authentic tex-mex and mex dishes there.

                  1. re: Boston_Otter

                    I posted this same question last yr i think.
                    My fav huevos ranchero sit in a pool of hot (temp, not spiciness)red ranchera sauce, with
                    black beans next to them. I ask for lots of cilantro and for my flour tortillas to be griddled on both sides til somewhat crispy(not served under the eggs).
                    In Boston I have looked high and low for them, ultimately meeting disappointing failures at
                    Masa ,Toro and Union Bar and Grill ,and getting phone call info that saved me from Highland Kitchen, and the Mex place in Central Sq. , amongst others. (Whenever I see them on a web menu, i call for a description.I just simply DO not understand how any chef fails to know that Ranchera sauce is the clincher; a salsa has no place on this dish.)

                    I have only found them done right in one place, and that is...genuflect,genuflect...the East Coast Grill. Their ranchera sauce is terrific, as are their beans, and the plate also has fried plantains and an avocado mango salad. They serve them with a large red chile flour tortilla , AND, get this>>>three eggs! whew, it's a powerful plate of food. The only drawbacks are that we routinely arrive at the end of service, and sometimes the eggs are overcooked and have to be redone; and, the plate is sooo filling that i can't try anything else. Ah, it's a tough life...... Hope you treat yourself soon!

                    1. re: opinionatedchef

                      Thanks for the insight into the mysteries of Huevos Rancheros! Yes, ranchera sauce (red or green) is the key; every time I see them around here, it's just fried eggs with a side of fresh, cold, chunky salsa... which is not appetizing at all.

                      Between ECG and the great-sounding (fingers crossed) Huevos Divorticados at Tu Y Yo, I've got some good leads. Or maybe I'll just head back to Santa Fe for the genuine article :)

                      1. re: Boston_Otter

                        Keep in mind that you & opinionatedchef appear to differ on one key point of "authenticity" - you specified corn tortillas. If ECG can sub corn tortillas in place of that large red chile flour tortilla, it sounds like you may be in luck.

                        Here's her thread from last year:

                        And here are two earlier threads on the topic:
                        You'll note that Tu Y Yo comes up repeatedly in these discussions.

                        1. re: Allstonian

                          I noticed a rec for Metropolis in one of the threads. Be aware that their tortillas are fried corn tortilla strips placed on top of the finished dish. Tasty, but not huevos rancheros in my book.

                          I'm in the corn torilla camp myself.

                          1. re: bear

                            Anything else is not "authentic".

                          2. re: Allstonian

                            I too was thinking, but it has to be corn tortillas if it is New Mexican style. Made in house.

                            1. re: Allstonian

                              Good point. Yes, for this dish I prefer corn tortillas.

                              1. re: Boston_Otter

                                Well,ECG is a completely Yes place, so i know they'll happily give you corn tortillas if you ask.
                                You know, i think i just figured out why i am so enamored of ECG at brunch (ASIDE from the food). It;s the same way I feel about Penny Cluse in Burlington VT . The atmosphere is PUMPING with happy people; the welcome is warm and friendly; the owners are out there slogging away with everyone else, focused on a smooth running world; and it feels like a big family.The more you watch, the more you see that everyone is out there working together and supporting each other -as a team. They like what they're doing and they like their family. I just love watching that. It's not to say that glitches never happen; it's just that they are handled in a positive way, and a happy aura prevails.
                                ... so why the heck would i want to find great HR anywhere else?(dummie me) . I'm stickin' wth the Huevos Rancheros and the happy aura at ECG!!

                                1. re: opinionatedchef

                                  I know what you mean about the atmosphere at ECG and I's lovely.the guys on the line are all smiling and going fast...I have a fantasy that when they say goodbye to the last brunch customer, they all belly up to the bar and dig in and drink up. Even the older gentleman who takes the validated parking slip across the street is part of the atmosphere...I hope he goes in and gets a few with the staff. They've always been great with my special needs son as well...and we can usually get him to go there despite his sensory sensitivities to noise etc. because he feels accepted and part of the groovy vibe. I loved it when Chris used to be there sometimes...just a wonderful human being, as is his former colleague Steve Johnson at Rendezvous. It's just a great classically Cambridge place.

                                  1. re: opinionatedchef

                                    I loved Smokejacks in Burlington for brunch RIP, and more recently Leunigs, never been to Penny Cluse... Probably the lack of adult beverages

                                    1. re: phatchris

                                      only been to burlington vt once and never heard of Penny Cluse until now. checked out the menu and I was all ready to go ASAP...and they do indeed have adult beverages and a full bar.

                                      1. re: Madrid

                                        I stand corrected, maybe I've never been because of the monster line then.

                            2. re: opinionatedchef

                              Dorado Tacos & Cemitas has a fairly respectable version in the style you describe, with an actual ranchera sauce and black beans on the side (or patatas bravas for $2 extra). I believe it is available on their brunch menu only, Sat & Sun 11-3, but at $6 it means you can have that and a Negra Modelo for <$10, which may be the best brunch deal in the city.

                              Lone Star Taco Bar has a version that is close, but has some issues (which is actually how I feel about a lot of the food both there and at Deep Ellum next door). The sauce is chunky and not particularly authentic, but definitely closer to ranchera sauce than salsa fresca. Really the only thing missing is about 10 seconds in a blender. On the upside, it is available 7 days a week from open to close and comes with a slice of avocado, which is a worthwhile addition IMO.

                              1. re: hcraddock

                                This thread is amusing. I have lived the bow tie life in Boston and a good life in Mexico, but it seems the "authentic" rendition of huevos rancheros requires a lot of transportation.

                                1. re: Veggo

                                  It seems like some classic dishes, when ordered far afield, tend to only appear on menus as "interpreted" by chefs... which is how you end up with a fried egg on texas toast being called 'huevos rancheros'.

                                  1. re: Boston_Otter

                                    That is the explanation for why I leave where I am presently based in Florida, and the weather and other conditions are now optimal for months to come, and go back to Mexico. One word : FOOD. And a few friends, and my cat.

                          3. My husband and I made it back to the Trident Bookseller Cafe on Newbury after a long absence. He ordered the Huevos Rancheros and was pleased. It came with both red and green salsas. The salsas were probably a bit lighter than typical ranchera salsa and seemed to be pureed fresh salsas, but were quite flavorful and seemed to be house-made. The little bite of the tortilla that I managed to steal was definitely corn, and maybe house-made as well. Nice masa flavor and very fine-grained. A solid dish, but maybe just a little lighter than you're looking for.

                            On a side note, the Trident is going to be opening the second floor restaurant area some time after Thanksgiving. The first floor is fine, but could use some improved kitchen ventillation. It was pretty smoky in there. According to the cashier, the first floor is going to remain pretty much as is with the restaurant area and the bookstore sharing space.

                            Service was efficient, and much improved compared to most of our previous visits when it seemed next to impossible to get coffee refills from the (hung over?) college kids waiting on us.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: bear

                              jajjguy's post below reminded me that the Trident's huevos are served with nicely fried plantains on the side.