Great Mexican can be hard to find. West Providence boasts a large central American population. El Rancho Grande is a culinary gem in this ethnic neighborhood. Inside, it reminds you of a Grandmother's kitchen, simple yet cozy. Since Chef Maria is a grandmotherly figure, the environment worked. Parking was the only issue, though we parked across the street in the Walgreens' parking lot.
Me and my wife sat down for a nice mid-afternoon dinner. We started with the complimentary basket of chips and salsa. Normally, you get jarred salsa and stale chips, but El Rancho Grande provided delicious fresh corn chips and a fresh, tasty salsa. Both made a great start to the meal. Next followed a normal salad of lettuce, onion, and tomato.
We then enjoyed the chicken quesadilla for the appetizer. Chef Maria stuffed it with shredded chicken, cojito and mozzarella cheese. A nice pico de gallo (very fresh salsa with tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, and cilantro) accompanied an interesting cream sauce to make an enjoyable course.
Our entrees came out with a nice stack of fresh corn tortillas. My wife ordered the carne asada, thin-sliced sirloin wonderfully seasoned and very tender. I order one of Maria's specialties, her Pollo al Guajillo (Chicken in a pepper sauce). The chicken, also thin-sliced, mixed perfectly with the rich red sauce. The chicken went perfectly in the corn tortilla with the lime-marinated radishes and onions. Both meals came with rice and beans. My wife really enjoyed the flavored rice and I enjoyed the refried beans (topped with more of the delicious cojito cheese).
Everything was wonderful and delicious. El Rancho Grande served one of my favorite Mexican meals I have had. Often Mexican served tastes more like it should have come out of a Taco Bell (and often, Taco Bell is tastier). Chef Maria, que delicioso! El Rancho Grande has a full website including directions and their menu.