El Ranchito is a little hole-in-the-wall gem of a restaurant, located in downtown Bishop, that served delicious and authentic Mexican food. It's family owned and operated, and truly a "mom and pop" restaurant. Lucky me, as on two different days, I had the opportunity to enjoy breakfast at El Ranchito, where on both occasions, I was served the best refried beans that I've ever eaten.
Photo: El Ranchito is a small restaurant, located on Main Street, also known as U.S. Highway 395, in downtown Bishop, CA, in the beautiful Eastern Sierra region of California. Oh, by the way, Amigo's Mexican Restaurant, which is located just next door, is an amazing restaurant...
I do not believe that I've ever seen two Mexican restairamts, in the United States, located next door to each other, and especially sharing the same wall.
Photo: The small footprint to the sidewalk is quite "busy," as it advertises the some of the fine food offered at this wonderful restaurant. In addition to delicious Mexican food, El Ranchito serves a good selection of American "comfort food." Check out the little girl in the door; isn't she precious?
Photo: It's 7:30 in the evening on Saturday, November 10, 2018, and it's time for dinner! Mi Ranchito, "my little ranch," serves menudo on weekends, so I'm in here to enjoy the "breakfast of champions" on this early Saturday evening.
Gee, as you enter the restaurant, it doesn't look like a Mexican restaurant, as it looks more like a diner, complete with checkered tile floors, counter and vinyl seats. But trust me, Mi Ranchito is one of the best Mexican restaurants that I've ever had the pleasure to visit in California.
Oh, if Mexican cuisine isn't what you have in mind, they also serve burgers, "diner-style" breakfasts, and much more.
However... El Ranchito serves menudo on weekends, any time the restaurant is open. It's Saturday evening, and menudo is on my mind!
I do notice from my previsions visit, back in March, 2014, the classic gumball machine has disappeared.
Photo: My amazingly-friendly server, Maria, picks up my order of menudo from the kitchen window. Scroll down the rest of this post and you'll see the kitchen is mostly open. I love kitchen photos almost as much as I love friendly staff.
Photo: Meet Maria, my amazingly friendly server, who I met during a previous visit back in March, 2014. Maria has been a resident of Bishop since 1991, and a long-time employee of El Ranchito. Such a friendly person!
Photo: Thanks, Maria, for snapping my photo, as I get ready to enjoy a dinner of menudo, at El Ranchito, in beautiful Bishop.
Photo: On this early Saturday evening, I enjoyed some of the best menudo that I've ever eaten. Yes, I've been all over Mexico, and have eaten menudo everywhere, but the menudo served at El Ranchito was some of the best...
The order of corn tortillas was wonderful, along with the plate of condiments. The friendly service added to the amazing ambiance...
We take a look back to Thursday, March 14, 2014, when I enjoyed an amazing Mexican breakfast at El Ranchito.
Photo: Here's the view of El Ranchito as you enter the restaurant. I love the retro gum ball machine! The gentleman seated at the counter is named Armando, and he's a regular at the restaurant. Today, Thursday, March 20, 2014 was a good-news, bad-news day. First with the bad news: My truck's brakes had issues, so I had to stop in Bishop to get them repaired; the repair job took a couple of hours. The good news: I was able to enjoy a SUPERIOR Mexican breakfast at El Ranchito.
Photo: When she wasn't waiting on customers, my friendly server, Maria, kept herself busy texting. English and Spanish are spoken regularly, so if you're comfortable with either language - or both - you'll feel home here. Note the poster on the wall of the Mexican state of Nayarit. I questioned Maria about it, and she said the owner is from Tepic, Nayarit, Mexico. How cool is that?
Photo: I'm a sucker for kitchen photos, so I peeked through the order window, which is readily accessible, and snapped a photo of my breakfast being prepared.
Photo: Maria picks up my breakfast from the order window. Photo shows how readily accessible the kitchen is to crazy restaurant photographers like I am.
Photo: Maria brings my order of a Chili Verde Omelet to the breakfast counter, where I was sitting. When I'm dining alone, I prefer to sit at the counter, partially to be able to observe the action, and to chat with other folks who are dining solo. El Ranchito features a great breakfast counter.
Photo: I'm smiling for several reasons, as... a) Maria graciously took my photo, as per my request b) I'm ready to enjoy a delicious breakfast, and c) It's my 62nd birthday. Happy birthday, Eric!
Photo: As was waiting for my breakfast to arrive, I enjoyed endless cups of delicious coffee, in a mug that never went below half full, thanks to my attentive, but not intrusive server, Maria. My breakfast of a chili verde omelet. The omelet started with three eggs, and was stuffed with pork, and garnished with cheese and chili verde sauce. Oh baby! For sides, I had my choice of potatoes, ranch beans, refried beans, biscuits and gravy, tortillas, (corn or flour,) or toast. At a Mexican restaurant, to me, that's a no brainier: Refried beans and corn tortillas. I wasn't disappointed, as the refried beans were the best that I've ever eaten, in the U.S.A. or Mexico. Seriously, that's really saying something! My breakfast included three corn tortillas, made in-house, and Maria asked me if I wanted more, so I had her bring me a couple more warm tortillas. This breakfast is as good as it gets!
Photo: I'm baaaack!!! It's Monday morning, March 31, 2014, and Maria pours coffee, as I'm back to sample another delicious breakfast at El Ranchito.
Photo: Today, I enjoyed another superior breakfast of carne asada and eggs. I ordered my eggs fried over easy, and as the photo shows, they arrived as per my order; a benchmark of a good breakfast restaurant is they fry eggs perfectly. The carne asada was thinly cut, grilled perfectly, and arrived with grilled onion, and a pepper. I bit into the pepper and it brought tears to my eyes, as it was that good. Or was it that hot? And the beans... Like I described in a previous photo, these are the best refried beans I've ever had, bar non. What is better than warm, in-house made, fresh corn tortillas? As I enjoyed this breakfast, I was thinking that I died and went to Tepic, or maybe heaven? I've run out of good things to say about El Ranchito, as it's that fantastic...
El Ranchito opens for breakfast at 7 O’clock in the morning, which is a rarity for a Mexican restaurant. However, if you're a breakfast person, and if you crave the best Mexican breakfast in the Eastern Sierras, you owe it to yourself to stop by El Ranchito. Great food, reasonable prices, delicious coffee, friendly service... I just can't say enough good things about this wonderful restaurant!
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