Restaurant Review: Los Ranchos


antojitos-nicaraguenses.jpgantojitos-nicaraguenses.jpg

restaurant review, san salvador restaurants, el salvador restaurants, los ranchos restaurant, nicaraguan food, food in san salvadorTo celebrate Kail’s first day of work last week, we ventured out via taxi (having finally learned our home address earlier in the day) to La Gran Via, an outdoor mall in San Salvador, for dinner. We didn’t have a specific restaurant in mind, but our sponsors had taken us there our first night in San Salvador and we remembered seeing lots of options.Also, we knew it would be easy to direct a taxi there. Security-wise, the mall is very safe, and since we are still learning our way around and relying solely on our gringo Spanish, it was the perfect destination for our first solo outing.After strolling around and perusing our options, we settled on Los Ranchos, a Nicaraguan steakhouse.los ranchos, nicaraguan food, nicaraguan steakhouse, la gran via restaurant, san salvador restaurantsWe ordered the Antojitos Nicaragüenses (above) for an appetizer, a sampling of various Nicaraguan dishes, including tortillas and cheese, fried cheese, tostones (plantain chips), a black bean paste and marinated chicken topped with cabbage salad. (Aside: I unfortunately did not take great notes as I was also trying to take photos and stuff my face eat at the same time. And this is why I will never be a successful restaurant critic/food blogger.) It was A LOT of food and we easily could have called it a night after that.But, given that we are us, we over-ordered and still had a main course to tackle: Brocheta Gigante (“Giant Skewer”), an entrée meant for two: grilled steak kabobs served with gallo pinto (black beans and rice), tostones and a sampling of various salsas.giant skewer, los ranchos restaurant, nicaraguan steakhouse, san salvador restaurant, nicaraguan foodGiant skewer.gallo pinto, nicaraguan food, arroz y frijoles, rice and beans, los ranchos restaurant, san salvador restaurantGallo pinto: We barely made a dent in it.Oh, and we also got salads (which we ate, because I felt like my diet had been lacking in fresh vegetables lately) and bread (which we didn’t even touch).The service at Los Ranchos was excellent and the food was very good, and both of us were pleased with our decision. Will we eat there again during our time in El Salvador? Probably not, but not through any fault of the restaurant.I just feel like there are so many other places to explore and unless I really get a hankering for Nicaraguan cuisine, specifically, there’s nothing that sets Los Ranchos apart from the myriad other Latin American steakhouses in San Salvador. Also, the menu, while moderately priced, still comes in a bit higher than some of the other options.But overall we had a good experience and were not at all displeased with the restaurant. It was worth trying once, but probably not again given our finite time living in El Salvador. So many restaurants, so little time …The Details: Los RanchosAddress: Sucursal La Gran Via (segundo nivel)Phone: (503) 2278-6044Hours: Mon.-Thurs. 12 p.m. to 3 a.m.; Fri.-Sat. 7 a.m. to 3 a.m.; Sun. 12 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.Price Range ($-$$$$): $$ (Moderate, entrées ranging from $15-25 USD, which is on the expensive side for El Salvador as you can eat much more cheaply)Good for Kids: Yes, they have a children’s menu and the ambience is relatively casual. Also, it’s at a mall. But again, it’s not really a let’s-just-pop-in-while-we’re-out-running-errands type of place.

Published by La Vie Overseas

I'm Natasha -- writer, runner and wife to a Foreign Service Officer with USAID. Current location: Frankfurt, Germany.

10 thoughts on “Restaurant Review: Los Ranchos

  1. Looks tasty and I love that you’re reviewing the places you try here on your blog. Maybe you’ll find something good I haven’t tried yet.Have any of your new friends yet suggested a trip to Planes de Renderos for pupusas? Maybe La Libertad for some fresh seafood?I think I could eat my way across El Salvador and not get bored LOL

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    1. Thanks! Yeah, I need to expand my restaurant choices beyond steakhouses. Haha. We did go to a pizza place the other night that was good but I forgot to take pictures of my food. People have definitely told us about places to get pupusas. No recuerdo como se llama. We have yet to go to La Libertad. It’s somewhat hard to get around ride now without our car — we rely on rides and taxis, which are inexpensive but add up if you take four a day like I have sometimes.

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  2. When I first read the name Los Ranchos I thought of the Nicaraguan Steak House but wasn’t sure it was the same chain. It definitely is! I love this restaurant! Whenever I go to Miami I go there. My mom is nicaraguan and although she doesn’t cook she sure did tell me what nicaraguan food is like! haha

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  3. Oh my goodness how I crave some Mexican food! I realize you’re not in Mexico, but I assume the flavors and some ingredients in San Salvador are similar. We have not eaten at the small handful of Mexican restaurants here, but we hear they are not all that great. And since I spent a good portion of my life in Texas, it takes a pretty darn good enchilada to impress me. 😉 Your food photos have now made my mouth water! Can’t wait to see where you go next!

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    1. Thanks! The food is here pretty good. We will hopefully we enjoying homemade tortillas regularly, courtesy our empleada. We have friends who were posted in Mexico prior to arriving here a couple months ago, and they said they miss Mexican food.

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