Matt's El Rancho

Discussion in 'Around Austin' started by LonghornGirlie, Feb 1, 2000.

  1. LonghornGirlie

    LonghornGirlie 500+ Posts

    your thoughts?
  2. Horn2K

    Horn2K 25+ Posts

    My family and I have been going to Matt's on Friday nights before games since it was on First Street.For us, going there is as close to a spiritual experience as you can get outside of church and DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium.Hook Em[This message has been edited by Horn2K (edited 02-09-2000).]
  3. Sangre Naranjada

    Sangre Naranjada Winebibber

    I have never been a Matt's fan. In my personal opinion, while Matt's is a good restaurant, there is better and less expensive Mexican food to be had all over town.
  4. Normanite

    Normanite < 25 Posts

    Sangre:I only get back to Austin every year or two. The only Mexican food place I have been to is Chuy's.What do you recommend?
  5. Sangre Naranjada

    Sangre Naranjada Winebibber

    Look at the other reviews on this board. Many good places are listed, and more will follow. (By the way, Chuy's is an excellent choice.)Other personal favorites of mine include:
    El Arroyo
    Enchiladas Y Mas
    El Azteca
    Evita's Botanitas
    Fonda San Miguel (not TexMex, and pricey)
    La Palapa
    And I'm sure a few more have been left off. But this should give you a good starting point for next visit.
  6. Sly Fox

    Sly Fox < 25 Posts

    I'm afraid I am one of those who can't stand Matt's El Rancho. I was shocked to discover they were one of the restaurants that Bergstrom let in.Despite its claim to have the "Best Mexican Food in the World", I challenge any true Mexican comida fan to find any worse. The food is simply terrible. While the ambience at the restaurant on South Lamar is very nice, the over-priced tripe they bring to the table ruins any trip. I've given this restaurant far too many chances to improve. With all of the other terrific options in Austin, there is no reason to waste your time on this place.Two years ago, they began catering the media room at Royal-Memorial Stadium on gamedays. HUGE MISTAKE. Most of the media can only down a bite or two before tossing the plate. It's downright awful!
  7. Dex

    Dex 25+ Posts

    mandatory stop when I travel to Austin.

    Also try matt's no place in dallas, next door to Matt's rancho martinez. One is Mexican food, the other is more upscale steaks and wild game. Both good.
  8. Dex

    Dex 25+ Posts

    We have never had a bad experience at matt's.

    And, we've been going there a bunch for a long time. It is what it is. . . .texmex food in a great atmosphere.

    if you want chic mex, this is not the place.

    RMERCADO Guest

    food is watered down version of Tex Mex, been there several times, never left with a good taste in mouth or enough cash in my wallet...

    Matt's El Rancho = Austin Tourist Trap

    -- The only thing that can kill Barnes is Barnes...
  10. K-Man

    K-Man 250+ Posts

    Salsita's (Lamar & 2222) Is excellent

    Also, Evita's Botanita's

    If you care about the food, and want authentic atmosphere, try either of these places. True Family restaurants.
  11. Dex

    Dex 25+ Posts

    over priced? And . ..

    How can you 'water' down a greasy enchilada or a taco. That's the way tex mex is supposed to be. It's good.

    If you want highbrow fajitas, or some exotic nuevo cuisine, this is not the place for you.

    But, I also judge tex-mex by the hot sauce. Matt's and Joe T's in Fort Worth have the best in the state. Both are made fresh. Jaime's is a close second to these .. .but as I get older, I find it almost too spicy.
  12. trkhorn

    trkhorn 25+ Posts

    Matt's has mediocre food at best but it is a landmark and should be visited at least once.
    If you want the real deal and are the adventurous type, check out Taqueria Vallarta at S.Congress and William Cannon(next to 7-11). Ridiculously cheap, nothing to look at but you will come out of there stuffed and satisfied. The breakfast rules, whether its migas or just plain ol' breakfast tacos. Killer salsa. What can I say - my favorite Tex-Mex in Austin.
  13. Mack Tripper

    Mack Tripper 500+ Posts

    Matt's is overrated. My personal favorites are:

    Angie's on E.6th
    El Sol y la Luna
    Enchiladas y Mas.

    "Let me tell you something my friend. Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane."--Red
    • Like Like x 1
  14. eggroll

    eggroll 25+ Posts

    Used to enjoy Matts when I lived in Austin. Still go by when in town. However, the worst ******* mexican food I have ever had - yes, taco bell included- was at Matts in the Austin airport. My son and I had to fly out of there last week and I bragged about the food to him. We couldn't even eat it. I have found El Arroyo to get worse every time I'm in town. Still like Chuys and that place down a few blocks behind the fiji house. Can't think of the name and it may not even be open anymore.
  15. Dex

    Dex 25+ Posts

    These posts slamming Matt's remind me of a great Budweiser ad:

    "We were once a little microbrewery, too." Incidentally, being an avid beer drinker, I've tried a lot of off the wall brewpub stuff. Most of it tastes like I'd imagine horsepiss does.

    There' reason there's a line and a wait list at some restaurants like Matt's. People don't return for crappy food and service.
  16. Sixth Street

    Sixth Street < 25 Posts

    I have to wonder if those of you who don't appreciate Matt's know what to order. Having grown up in San Antonio, I've found that you have to go certain places to get certain dishes. If I want enchiladas I go to Blanco Cafe. If I'm in the mood for fajitas, I'm going to Alamo Cafe. Etc.

    Matt's enchiladas are average. Matt's steak tampiquena is out of this world. Matt's tacos al carbon will bring you to your knees. Matt's queso fundido is unrivaled in Austin. Matt's has GREAT chips. Matt's frijoles a la charra are way above average. Matt's can make a margarita...and they have a great selection of tequilas.

    Basically, if you want a high quality piece of beef Mexican-style, Matt's is your place. If you go in there and order ground beef tacos and wonder why you didn't have a decent experience, well, you ordered wrong. If you just want a plate of enchiladas, save your money and go elsewhere.

    My Matt's reccomendation:

    Start off with a top shelf Margarita and enjoy their GREAT chips and hot sauce. Order the queso fundido as an appetizer (It may be called something else on the menu, but the waiter will know what you mean). Order the steak tampiquena cooked medium rare. If you have a sweet tooth, Matt's has all the traditional mexican desserts...and they're good.

    Eat that and then tell me Matt's sucks.
  17. Fly Swatter

    Fly Swatter < 25 Posts

    Let me go on record as calling my experience with Matt's as horrendous. When I arrived in Austin a few years back, I saw the billboards and heard the buzz about how terrific it was SUPPOSED to be.

    The ambience was nice and there were indeed long lines of yuppies who have no concept of what real Mexican or Tex-Mex really is waiting to go inside to socialize over high-priced below-average grub.

    Because of the rep, I gave Matt's a number of opportunities to prove the initial impressions wrong. It got worse every visit despite trying a number of different options.

    Then, of course, Matt's had the catering contract for Royal-Memorial Stadium's 10th floor where I eat on game days. It has been so awaful that by the 2nd game of the past couple of seasons nobody will touch the stuff. People just get their iced tea and grab a few chips and leave.

    Perhaps, once upon a time, Matt's was good. Those days are long gone. And with the dozens of great Mexican and Tex-Mex options in the Austin area, why waste your time on a mediocre option.
  18. TexasWolf

    TexasWolf 25+ Posts

    Fly Swatter,
    You are being TOO kind. El Barfo dwells below the worst TV dinner in taste.
  19. Mack Tripper

    Mack Tripper 500+ Posts

    Matt's El Rancho = Also available in your grocer's freezer.

    "Let me tell you something my friend. Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane."--Red
  20. Kuru

    Kuru 25+ Posts

    Matt's suck.

    Much better tex-mex all over town, you must be high to think it is worth your time.

    btw, the rita's at el arroyo are the sole reason I don't go there. I have a rita top ten that el arroyo doesn't even sniff.
  21. cacti

    cacti 25+ Posts

    If popularity equates excellence, then McDonald's must be the best restaurant in the world. Sorry, maybe I do order the wrong items there, but when I get dragged to Matt's, I find it a very forgettable experience. I'm not into being seen in the best room with the hottest yuppies in town, and bribing the matre'd to get a good table. I don't like the chips or the hot sauce, and the enchiladas should be put back in the can they came out of.

    Fish gotta swim. Birds gotta fly. Man got to sit and wonder why, why, why.
  22. NameAlreadyInUse

    NameAlreadyInUse 500+ Posts

    If I want a Patio enchilada dinner, I'll put it in my microwave, I have no reason to go to Matt's to get the same thing.

    For good Tex-Mex go to South Austin, there are at least 20 great places down there. Among my favorites:

    Habanero Cafe, right next to Sandy Williams' thrift shop off the corner of Oltorf and 1st.
    Little Mexico was good a long time ago, haven't been there since they moved.
    La Reyna
    La Feria

    All provide much better food than Matt's and all are cheaper too.

    Now if I could just talk some person to open up a good mexican food place in North Austin...Anyone have any ideas (aside from El Mercado, Enchilada's Y Mas and Maudie's)?
  23. Swiffert

    Swiffert 250+ Posts

    Matts=overrated IMO

    A La Carrera?
    decent, but far from good
  24. fluff

    fluff 25+ Posts

    3 words, BOB ARMSTRONG DIP, that stuff is addicting! Order it, you wont be dissappointed!!!!
  25. Jester M409

    Jester M409 25+ Posts

    Who remembers Vacashmo's?
  26. utstudboy

    utstudboy 250+ Posts

    Taquierias and Matts El Rancho are different branches of the same tree. They should not be compared. What you go toone for you do not go for the other.

    Matt El Rancho is TEX Tex Mex
    Taquierias are Mex Tex Mex
  27. orngbld

    orngbld 100+ Posts

    Fine, just grade Matt's against Tex-mex.

    Right now, off the top of my head, as fast as I can type, I can list these Austin places that serve better Tex-mex

    Arredando's (I-35 and 26th)
    Margarita's (North Loop, by my house)
    Nuevo Leon
    El Gallo

    Those are just the ones I thought of in about 60 seconds. There are more.

    Matt's is second-rate tex-mex. It may have been at the top of the heap when there was no competition, but it ain't there anymore.

    That said, the Bob Armstrong dip is pretty damn good.
  28. handcruser

    handcruser 25+ Posts

    you must be high if you think a la carrera is good. That place blows ***. So does El Mercado. Enchimas on anderson lane is the bomb though. Only place north of the river thats any good.
  29. BrntOrng37

    BrntOrng37 < 25 Posts

  30. JudgeSmayles

    JudgeSmayles < 25 Posts

    Joe T Garcia's is the best in Fort Worth, I agree. Is Uncle Julios's still there? That places was excellent as well.

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