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SPECIAL TOPICS: Taco TuesdayDisneylandMenudoMexican Flavors on the High Seas

Friday, February 29, 2008

Avila's El Ranchito - Review #4

Date of Visit: February 19, 2008
Avila's El Ranchito
2800 Newport Blvd
Newport Beach, CA 92663
(949) 675-6855

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Taco Tuesday Photo Shoot

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On this leap year day I present some photos from when I met up recently with some co-workers at Avila's El Ranchito (for some reason a lot of people think it's called "Avila's Mi Ranchito" or "Avila's el Ranchero") in Newport Beach for Taco Tuesday.

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Admission is $5 which gets you unlimited food from the Taco Tuesday-only Taco Bar and good deals on drinks. I think my soda was $3 and it came with free refills. The taco bar has tacos with three different kinds of meat, chips and salsa, burritos, taquitos and quesadillas. The servers even get into the theme with special Taco Tuesday t-shirts.

When you make your trip to the Taco Bar the server there scoops your choice of meat into a corn tortilla (probably Mission brand) and from there you can top it off with fillings such as lettuce, tomato, cilantro, onion, shredded cheese and avocado sauce. I had one chicken taco and one carnitas taco. Since you get to make the taco yourself it'd be hard to complain if it wasn't to your liking. The meats were all tender and moist and spiced just enough for the predominantly gringo crowd. The burritos, taquitos, and quesadilla wedges are pre-made and they seem to move enough so that anything you grab will generally be pretty fresh. Definitely a good deal for five bucks (tax included) but I'd even pay $6 or $7 if they'd start using handmade tortillas.

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It's not really part of Taco Tuesday but I ordered the strawberry churros that I'd seen on the menu at another location. These come with lots of whipped cream (couldn't eat hardly any of it) and there's hardly any (if any) crumbly cinnamon/sugar mixture. The neat freak streak in me actually kind of liked that and they were certainly sweet enough with the strawberry filling.

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My rating is just based on the Taco Tuesday aspect of this Avila's location and taking into account that this is quite possibly the first Taco Tuesday I've officially taken part in since beginning the blog, so, without further adieu, I grant the Taco Tuesday at Avila's El Ranchito in Newport Beach a five Speedy Gonzales rating:

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Here's some more pictures:

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Click here to see the whole photo album at flickr.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

So, uh, how did the food taste and stuff? I realize you have reviewed other locations before, but I want to know more about the food at the $5 Taco Tuesday. Since you are the premiere reviewer of Orange County Mexican restaurants, I expected more.

ChristianZ said...

I have added some more information. One of the drawbacks about this "hobby" of mine is that I eat so much Mexican food that the similarities really start to blur into each other. For instance, at this place I'm pretty sure the tortillas were Mission brand corn tortillas, lettuce is lettuce, onions are onions, etc. The only area where maybe there could be some uniqueness was in the meat and I must say that it was better than I expected it to be considering the fact that they would be feeding it to tons of people who were probably more focused on drinking and socializing. During this particular visit I kept thinking, "I need to come back and soak this up some more." But I'm always in such a hurry and off to review other places that I hope people who have been to a restaurant that I have reviewed will leave comments that round out and augment what I have said. Their information actually becomes valuable to future visitors. Still, good call on your part.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for updating. You and other food bloggers greatly influence my decisions to try new places. I guess that's why I'm critical at times. Anyway, I'm definitely going to try this Taco Tuesday out now that more information has been provided.

lilmisslainey said...

Was it really loud and crowded? What time did you go? I went about a year ago and it was so noisy and so many drunks that I couldnt bring myself to go back again. Id love to go again if there was less people.

ChristianZ said...

It was quite loud but I left at 8:30 before things got too unruly.

Griffin said...

How is it possible that you, the Mexican food guru of OC, haven't participated in any other Taco Tuesdays?

ChristianZ said...

Just one of those weird unexplained mysteries.