It was Cinco de Mayo and I was really looking forward to having some out of this world Margaritas and traditional Mexican food. I was staying at the beach and while there were many great block parties going on all over Miami, I thought it would be better to stay close by. Remembering a Mexican restaurant I had been wanting to visit for a while, El Rancho Grande, located at 314 72nd Street in Miami Beach, I gave them a call to find out about their festivities. They told me they were having a block party with a DJ, mariachis and great drinks starting at 4 pm. I got excited and thought "Hijole, I just found me the perfect place for Cinco de Mayo." After all, Cinco de Mayo is a day for Mexican restaurants to pull out all the stops, showcase their very best, and leave customers with a desire to come back.
That's where my excitement started and that's where it ended. We showed up to El Rancho Grande about 5 o'clock and there were only a couple of people there. That's OK...it was still early. They asked us whether we wanted to sit inside or outside, and since the mariachis were singing, and it was a beautiful day, we decided to sit outside. I noticed the table they were preparing for us was very wet on top, but I figured they'd take care of it. After sitting down for a few seconds, I felt wet in the seat of my dress. Hmmm...nothing was going on down there so I looked at my seat, which was made of rattan and wondered what was up. I then noticed the floor below me was pretty wet also. Now, if you live in Miami, you know it didn't rain on Saturday, so I got up and realized my dress and thighs were soaking wet. One of the busboys noticed me standing and came to ask me what was wrong. I told him my chair was all wet and now so was I, so he explained a dog had been sitting in my chair prior to us taking it and had spilled his water all over it.
Now, I am a pet owner and dog lover myself, so I have no problem with restaurants being dog friendly. However, there is a limit. A dog? On the same chair I was sitting with my mini dress? What if I had worn something more elegant that could be ruined? Are you sure it was his water he spilled? How much water did this dog drink? It had been all over the table, the floor, and now me. OMG! He couldn't understand why I was so upset. So, I grabbed another chair and asked him to please remove that one. The waiter then came a few minutes later and after trying to ignore the cold, wet feeling on my derriere, I thought I'd order one of those delicious drinks they had told me they had. "What kind of margaritas do you have?", I asked. "We only have margaritas on the rocks", he responded. (In a plastic cup, no salt on the rim, might I add.) I took that because at this point I realized I'd probably need 5 or 6 to get me through this.
|Taquitos al Pastor|
Needless to say, we couldn't finish our food (which you know is atypical of me). I had to get home, and prepare a little something because we were in for a long night and wouldn't be eating anything else. The only positives I found on my visit to El Rancho Grande were that the inside of the place is decorated very nicely and authentic and the bathroom was quite spacious and well kept. That's it. I have heard there is a second location in Kendall, but I have not visited there and really don't plan to after this experience. There appears to also have been a location in South Beach that closed a few months ago.
In case you want to contact them anyway, their number is 305-864-7404 and their website appears to be under construction.