Austin >Food & Dining >
Catering >Matt's El Rancho Mexican Restaurant
2613 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX | Directions 7870430.244970 -97.780421
Sun-Mon and Wed-Thurs 11am-10pm; Fri-Sat 11am-11pm
Neighborhoods: South Lamar, South Lamar
Matt's truly is the king of Mexican food. Aside from the enchiladas, the pecan brisket tacos and fish tacos are my favorites. The menu is massive and there's definitely something for everyone.
I confess I'm not familiar with Bob Armstrong, though I'm a fan of his work: The Bob Armstrong Dip at Matt's El Rancho, i.e. queso shamelessly filled with taco meat and a scoop of guacamole with salsa on the side, brings to mind a live-and-let-live character, a football coach who ate with gusto and invented this recipe during his retirement. That, or a hungry, stoned hippie.
Worth the drive!! – My wife and I went to Matt's El Rancho for a date night. Our waitress was fantastic. We really enjoyed the laid back atmosphere. The menu was extensive, prices were reasonable, and food was delicious. We look forward to going back soon!
So So – The last time we went there the food was o.k. but the waiter acted like he had a burr in his underwear. The time before that the food was cold and the manager was a jerk. We waited two years before we went again. Thought by then the people had all changed. No such luck. The food was fair AND the waiter knocked over my water glass. Never went back. It's too loud and clang bangy in there.
Very Consistent and Good – Love Matts!! Been coming to this place for 5 years now. Drinks are great! The Brisket quesadillas are da bomb!! Shrimp Nachos are great too!!
RITAS!!! – GREAT FOOD AND GREAT RITAS! FUN, FAMILY-FRIENDLY ATMOSPHERE!!!
Serious down grade... – Well first I want to say the service was absolutely on top of things! Every one that we saw from the time we walked in until we were seated, served and left was very nice.
The food on the other hand was the pits! It's like they down graded their cook and the quality of the food. I have eaten there a long time ago, and was expecting to be WOWed like I was then...Sad to say, I was not..
My friend had the veggie fajitas and she said they were horrible, no flavor and rubbery. Her rice was also not seasoned in a Mexican style. She could have brought her own soy sauce, and just put the veggies on the rice and she would have had make shift Chinese food. She also ordered a side of queso, which was good and the chips were great!
My brother had the chile relleno and said that the pepper was cleaned out so thin that he could not even taste the pepper and that the beef inside of it was so bland, no season or flavor what so ever. He also had a side of guacamole which would have been very good if the would not have ruined i with putting salsa on top of it.
I had the guacamole enchiladas with beef inside and a queso/ red sauce on top. I asked for queso topping but i guess the cook didn't think that I needed it..So I only got it on one side of my enchilada. The beef inside was VERY bland no flavor and my rice was over flavored.
I was just so disappointing that we paid so much money for such horrible food. I wish they would go back to what ever they used to do about 7 years ago..
Pros: Great service
Cons: Horrible food
Great Lunch Prices – Always a bustling restaurant, the great thing I think is the lunch special prices. Despite the rising prices of restaurants nowadays, this restaurant keeps the lunch specials at a low flat $5-6. I must say i was a little disappointed in the salsa though.
A True Austin Tradition – For those of us born in Austin, Matt's is more than a restaurant. It is where we grew up. Our families took us once a week and we take our families once a week and so on. The place has been in business for over 58 years so they must be doing something right. I know Austin has changed a lot in the last 15 years or so. Now trailer taco stands are all the rage and if a place has been in business 10 years, it is considered a landmark. I am not knocking those places because I like them too. But I was born in this town. I know the real deal. And I am in no way condemning people who move here. Heck I love it. If you love Austin that is great. The more the merrier. For those that don't know, Matt Martinez was an Austin legend. A legendary boxer and a legendary man. The Martinez's started with nothing and built everything from scratch. Matt Sr. and his wife Janie worked 18 hours a day in a little place with just a few tables while Janie cooked and Matt hosted, waited, and bused tables. I've been there so many times I know the story. I am attached to the place for different reasons. I love the food. Despite what some think, the food is all homemade, from the chips, flour and corn tortillas, salsa, guacamole, etc. And no, the cheese is not processed. It is old fashioned queso. The decor is classy. The staff is friendly and the family is more than accomodating. If I have ever had any problem it was resolved immediately and for going there literally thousands of times I can count on one hand the times that I've had a problem. Great place. Great tradtion. They are busier than ever and it is crowded but sometimes there is a reason for a crowd. It's good. It's always good!
Austin's Best Tex-Mex – In 1968 I visited Matt's on a High School trip with about 13 other people. It was the first time i had ever eaten Mexican Food I loved it . Couldn't get enough of it. I have eaten Mexican all over Texas... I have eaten mexIican food in Mexico. Matt's is like coming home and eating Mexican food how it should be. I now live outside of Austin on Lake LBJ. I have driven back and forth to Austin for both business and nonsense for almost 30 years and i refuse to go to Austin on Tuesdays because Matt's is closed. I have even been known to sneak off by my self and drive the 70+ miles just to eat the Chicken Rellenos with the Green Sauce on the Luncheon Menu. I recommend it to everyone...
Yum – My family and I love this place. It's not really close to our home but whenever we go to the Big Top Candy shop, we make it to Matts for lunch or dinner!
Don't fill up on chips! – The chips and Bob queso were awesome! The kids Tacos lacked some flavor but most kids would find them right on the money. I prefer the migas which were bursting with flavor with the right balance of crunch and ooze. Mom would not switch plates with me so I had to be happy with three bites. The kid bean cheese nachos were good..but then not good enough to get more than a 1 shrimp trade of my dad's Shrimp Ala Matt Martniez which was nicely flavored and grilled. Sis had a plate of beautiful melted yummy cheese enchiladas and rice and beans which she devoured( high praise from the non-eater) The service was amazing very friendly and attentive without being cloying(my new word this week :) )...the pralines to go were a fun little bonus.
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