a sweaty production


Matt's El Rancho - 2613 S. Lamar Blvd 3.0/5

Matt's El Rancho is an Austin icon with a rich history so the boys had high expectations. It's a big place but they finally arrived at their table and ordered up a couple of Matt's Footlong Enchiladas. Instead of two smaller enchiladas Matt's divvies out one long enchilada.

 Steve and Rusty dove into the chips and salsa while they waited for the enchiladas. Matt's makes their own chips in house which is a plus; however, they use tortillas which are quite thick. The result is a chip which, while quite tasty, is really a bit too thick and crispy - be careful if you've got dental work! The salsa was very nice. A peppery, more orange salsa not quite as tomato-y as most. A nice texture and heavy enough on the burn, showcasing the pepper flavors.

 The enchiladas arrived in quick enough time and the boys dug right in. The chili con carne was good tasting in the Tex-Mex style, although these enchiladas could have used more of it. The meat filling was spiced well and there was an adequate amount. The one enchilada did seem a little shorter than a foot long maybe even a little shorter than two more traditional enchiladas. The rice and beans were a tad on the short side as well, though tasty. The rice was Spanish style and very flavorful. The refried beans had a nice lard element that really kicked up the flavor. They had a great texture, thick and a little chunky. I don't think these beans had ever seen a can.

The service was just fine. As with most places this busy they had multiple service staff with dedicated roles - tea filler, chip and salsa guy etc. The value at Matt's is in the eye of the beholder. At $9.95 the lunch special is no good deal. Especially when coupled with $2.79 for a glass of iced tea! And no sweet tea either. You're paying for the location and the decor and ambiance here. Great for impressing an out-of-towner maybe, but you will pay. -¡!-