4 out of 5 stars
NOTE: This restaurant has the same owners but has renamed itself to La Rancherita.
Up until now, I haven’t had many Mexican meals that I have been impressed by in Raleigh. They are either too upscale and expensive, or too cheap and dumbed down. But El Rodeo (@ElRodeoGrill) was a welcome change, with a large selection of quality items to choose from. In fact, I’ve been there twice in the past week!
On our first visit I tried the enchiladas suizas lunch, which included two chicken enchiladas, mildly spiced, with a salsa verde on top and also a creamy sauce. I had them with rice and black beans. The chicken was tasty and tender and I managed to completely clean my plate (as well as enjoy some nice chips and salsa). Hubs stuck with his standby item, ground beef taco salad, which he was quite happy with despite his lackluster expression. Unlike many other Mexican restaurants in the area, it’s refreshing to find that El Rodeo has healthy options including a few salads and also fish tacos on the menu. In fact, the menu is broad and includes what you’d traditionally expect and also Tex-Mex and authentic Mexican sections.
On our second visit I tried the carne asada steak tacos, which blew my mind. The cubes of steak were smoky, juicy and tender, with a nice crust. The guac and pico with fresh cilantro sealed the deal for me. Our friend ordered the steak fajitas, which she also loved. Each meal came with enough food for two full meals. I was also in a delightful mood thanks to my house margarita on the rocks, which was plentiful and lip-smacking. Our basic cheese dip was good, but El Rodeo also serves up a Queso Fundido with roasted poblano peppers, chorizo and mushrooms which sounds quite tempting. You can’t go wrong either if you stick with the free salsa and chips.
I can’t wait to go back and try more, especially for the brunch. They’re located right at Six Forks and Sawmill Roads.