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“Two words: EL RANCHITO!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of El Ranchito Restaurant

El Ranchito Restaurant
3048 Atchison St, Riverbank, CA 95367-2015
209-869-0196
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Ranked #2 of 36 Restaurants in Riverbank
Cuisines: Mexican
Restaurant details
Charlotte, North Carolina
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
41 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
“Two words: EL RANCHITO!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2013

I've been eating at El Ranchito since the 1960s when it was a one-room place with pink vinyl booths and a sign tacked to the wall that said (sic), "Please no profound language." I wanted to have my wedding rehearsal dinner here but certain people nixed it, saying it wasn't 'nice enough.' Fair enough back then, but now......no visit to the Modesto area is complete without a trip to El Ranchito for dinner or drinks. The grilled camarones (shrimp) are fabulous, and I get a regular machaca fix here or, when I'm in the mood, I eat one of their huge tostadas. The menu's not fancy, just good, down-home cooking in the kind of atmosphere where you expect to see (and often do) friends who are also there for a margarita or a meal.
The place is still family-owned, with the third generation now being trained as wait staff.
The two downsides: 1. Friday and Saturday nights can get hairy-busy with locals, and folks coming down from the mountains from a day of play. 2. It's NOISY!
But the food and the folk more than make up for any downside, and the price is right.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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10 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Portland, Oregon
Top Contributor
98 reviews 98 reviews
69 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
117 helpful votes 117 helpful votes
“Grilled Camarones Still the Best”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2013

We discovered this restaurant decades ago when we lived in the area and it was just a small house that had a counter and a few tables where you waited outside the door and slowly inched your way in till a table/counter space was available.

Visited again to see if the grilled camarones were still excellent and can advise that they were as 'finger liking good' as they were years ago. The main course was served with the typical rice, refried beans, and a small salad - which were average (nothing you cannot get anywhere else). However, we only order the grilled camarones so cannot comment on any other items. Still some of the best grilled shrimp we have had (still trying to reproduce this one at home).

One of us who likes spicy salsa really enjoyed the house salsa what had a nice 'kick'.

The small house is gone as is the dirt parking lot and there is a large restaurant with plenty of seating and good parking.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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A TripAdvisor reviewer on Facebook
“good but fading”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2008

good but fading

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This review is the subjective opinion of an individual contributor and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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