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Happy "Birthday: Chile Underground: A visit to Matt's Famous El Rancho

Everybody’s having birthdays these days. It’s so fashionable that I hear some folks celebrate one every year! Imagine that.

Matt’s Famous El Rancho just celebrated 56 years of serving great Mexican food here in Austin, for instance. I had lunch there today to help them celebrate. Well, okay; not to help them celebrate, exactly. I was also feeling good about the Chile Underground reaching the magical 100 post mark, a “birthday” of sorts. I know, the web’s favorite chiles site is less than year old; but everything’s so much faster here in the Webiverse!

I had a frozen raspberry margarita to get the revelry off to a proper start. Matt’s has a whole page of the drinks menu devoted to tequila and margaritas. Now that’s the way a Mexican food institution should treat its patrons! I moved on with chips and chile con queso. They also brought out several bowls of Matt’s special salsa, with just the right zest.

As that began to settle, we all ordered. I had tostadas compuestas, piled high with fajita beef and chicken, refried beans, salad stuff, cheese, guacamole, sour cream; in short, the works. This dish is not as bad for you as it may sound. At least, relatively speaking! Mexican food is not for the faint of heart, or for those with impending artery problems.

My wife shared beef fajitas with her sister, and daughterperson had soft tacos. The sister-in-law with us had Shrimp a la Matt, a colorful and plentiful jumbo shrimp dish. Everything was colorful and well-prepared. The three-year-old niece had quesadillas, dripping with lovely melted cheese; these disappeared quickly. (The anklebiter slept, mostly.) Only one small take-home box was needed. Oh, and we had their famous pralines for dessert.

I thoroughly enjoyed Matt’s, and I regret taking several years to visit there since the last time. It’s not that convenient for us, though, and with so many other Tex-Mex options up our way and gas prices soaring, it’s not likely I’ll be back often.

After all that birthday excitement (and the margaritas), I hurried home to lay down and check my eyelids for holes. I didn’t find any, but boy did I search…

Matt's El Rancho on Urbanspoon

Enjoy the Heat!

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