Review of El Rancho Authentic Mexican Restaurant, Blair, NE

We haven't been going out as much as we used to (could it be the 5 kids?), so when I asked hubby where to go on our date night, he suggested the new El Rancho Restaurant in Blair, NE that just opened up next to the new Walmart.  The front of the store had several doors, so we were a bit confused walking in.  (There were actually two signs on the side of the establishment: One that said "El Rancho" and the other "Mexican Restaurant.")

Since it was a new restaurant, everything was clean and new.  Here is the view from our booth in the brightly lit dining room:

I really enjoyed the spacious, high ceilings and natural lighting.  The place was pretty packed for a weekday evening, too!

We ordered right away, and I noticed that the beer selection was generous, while the prices were very reasonable ($3.50 for an import).  We received free chips and salsa upon being seated.  The salsa was fresh, but hubby wished for more spice.  Then we ordered.  I got their version of a seafood enchilada and was thrilled to see corn tortillas and a red sauce.  The fish inside was likely an imitation crab meat and very tiny shrimp, but they were full of good flavor and had char marks to prove their "grilled" beginnings:

I also really liked the guacamole.  It wasn't as spicy or lime-infused as many, but actually more salty than I'm used to (which complimented the other toppings quite well.)

My husband got the giant platter.  Reasonably priced at less than $12, it was actually two full plates of food. He received this:

and this:

Essentially, he got one of every classic favorite on the menu, as well as generous portions of rice and beans.  (The beans were great; I was jealous mine didn't come with them so I kept swiping.)  The best part of hubby's plate, in my opinion, was the amazing chile relleno.  If you haven't had it before, think of it as being cooked like an eggplant Parmesan, but with a big, flavorful green pepper inside.  It wasn't spicy but was fresh.  This was definitely a big portion.

Did we eat it all?  Surprisingly yes.  With a bill of less than $36 for two huge plates and two premium drinks, I can't say it's not budget-friendly.  And yes, it's "authentic", but consider it more Tex-Mex than purely Mex.

El Rancho in Blair, Nebraska doesn't have a website at the time of this review.  Look for at on Hwy 30, next to the Walmart.