Almost every Mexican restaurant calls themselves authentic. El Rancho in Hanover Pennsylvania is truly an authentic Mexican restaurant. The food is fresh. The flavors are reminiscent of what I have eaten in Mexico.
Walking into El Rancho, the first thing I noticed was the clientele was predominantly Hispanic. Almost has soon as I was seated a Latino youth soccer team walked in. This was a positive sign that the food was going to be not only authentic, but good. I was schooled years ago on how to tell if an ethnic restaurant was authentic or not. To determine if a restaurant is authentic, just look at who is eating there. No Hispanics in a Mexican restaurant, it’s probably not authentic.
There is a theme when it comes to the food at El Rancho, “Fresh!” The Pico de gallo served with the chips was freshly prepared. Nothing out of a can here. I asked for spicy salsa on the side and was pleasantly surprised by the kick. Not a three alarm fire, but definitely hot. If you like spicy with flavor you can’t go wrong.
I must admit, looking at their menu there was plenty of meals I have never had, and some cases heard of. Looking at my Enchilada plate, I would be hard pressed to find another restaurant that serves their Enchiladas covered with fresh lettuce and dice tomatoes. Taking my first bite, I was pleasantly surprised at the many taste sensations I was experiencing. Most importantly, the flavor is excellent. There was nothing overpowering, you could taste each element.
The food at El Rancho Mexican Restaurant should get five stars. This is the first Mexican restaurant that I have eaten at on the East Coast that actually serves authentic food. Nothing out of a can here. If you miss the taste of authentic Mexican food, then El Rancho Mexican Restaurant in Hanover, PA should be your destination. If you have been to El Rancho or have a favorite Mexican restaurant, leave me your comments.
LunaZul in Hampstead, MD serves some of the finest Tex-Mex food in Maryland.
Does living half your life in the Southwest of America make you a Mexican food expert, probably not. Does frequenting restaurants that close in the summertime and family goes back to Mexico make you an expert, probably not. What it does is make you a Mexican food snob. LunaZul considers themselves a Tex-Mex restaurant. I would put them up against any of the Mexican restaurants I have frequented in Arizona and California.
Everything on the menu is good! Even though I love all Mexican food, I usually keep to a few favorite dishes. When visiting a new Mexican Restaurant, one of the first things I always try is their chimichangas. This is probably because I fell in love with the way chimichangas are prepared and served in Yuma, Arizona. LunaZul’s chimichanga is very tasty. One major plus is they do not fill it with unnecessary fillers such as potatoes. Another passion is chili rellenos. LunaZul’s chili relleno is the most unique I have ever had. They actually stuff them with your choice of meat. How can you go wrong with Poblano chili stuff with cheese, breaded, and deep fried, then smothered in sauce. LunaZul took that an elevated it by stuffing their chili’s with your choice of shredded meats.
As I stated earlier everything on LunaZul’s menu is good. I would recommend the Chipotle Enchiladas pictured here. For those that like their food on the spicy side, the Hot Winter combination plate should suffice. The Hot Winter is a sampler plate with a Habanero base sauce. I recently tried their Mexican Sampler and may have found a new favorite. On the Mexican Sampler I especially enjoyed the asado de Puerco, followed by the shredded beef flauta.
LunaZul has become a lunch time favorite. If you are in the Hampstead Maryland and want to try good Tex-Mex food, give LunaZul a try. Her you will find, good food, priced right, and portions that leave you feeling satisfied. The wait staff is friendly and knowledgeable. LunaZul is not only the type of restaurant you want to tell people about, you want to return to.