I have eaten my fair share of Mexican food and Tex-Mex in my lifetime. I also have a rule that when I am travelling, I do not eat at places that I can eat at back home (chains, etc.) I like to try new places.
Margarita Ranch was a place that I found when I “checked in” at my hotel on Foursquare. It was listed as a nearby restaurant. I looked it up on the Internet and found out that they used to be in Dallas but had recently moved to the Irving/Las Colinas area. They are located in a new strip mall that is still under construction and they are tucked in the back of the mall.
I went there on a Monday evening. There was no host station or someone there to greet diners, but I was eventually seated. They have a lot of seating and there were quite a few people there.
I started with the customary chips and salsa. The chips are okay, not like the chips at El Fenix, but they are good. The salsa however, is quite unique. It has a distinctively smoky flavor and is served warm unlike most restaurants that serve salsa either slightly chilled or room temperature.
The picture here is the chicken tortilla soup. If any restaurant has this item, I will always try it. I have had so many different variations of this soup. This particular soup was especially good with the lime in the soup. It was a generous portion and I enjoyed it!
I ordered the cowboy tacos with chicken as you can see from the picture. They provided a generous portion of tacos (I had chicken) along with cilantro, onions, and lime. I used the salsa from the table to garnish the tacos.
The food was excellent but the service however needs some improvement. I was waiting on by no less than three different people and that was very confusing. One person took my drink order, another one took my soup/dinner order, etc. My suggestion is to have one person wait/serve the table. I had ordered some beans but they never came with the food. The server never checked on my drink for a refill either (I was drinking ice tea because it was warm outside). It also took a long time to get my check and to pay it and be on my way.
I will go back when I am in the area, and hopefully they will have made some improvements in the service. I think when I go back I will try the screaming tacos, which I heard are quite spicy!
Have you been to Margarita Ranch in Irving, TX or the old location in Dallas? If so, please share your experiences.
Can a place like this recover if enough people love the food, but the service levels are lacking? Share your comments below.
Photos are mine, but I did use Evernote Food to take and catalog my review data!