Ranchos hidden gem on Niagara offers great veggie selection and more

Ranchos provides a great selection of Mexican eats accompanied by a tight community environment that is simply pleasant to be around

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In a world awash with signals telling you to buy meat, Jack Porcari takes the easier path for the planet, sticking to vegetables, cheese and eggs. He details his finds for readers in Kind Cuisine, posted every Thursday.

You might expect the tacos at Ranchos to be good, but you can’t beat dessert: a black and yellow ATV roars down Niagara Street in wheelie formation as the sunset casts a golden spotlight on the rider. Characterized by its graffiti-splashed exterior and plentiful patio space, Ranchos fosters a community atmosphere that is as welcoming as it is bustling with energy. Modified cars, dirt bikes, motor cycles and four wheelers zip past the Mexican restaurant on occasion for patio dwellers to watch with relish.

Veggie tacos grilled to perfection with potatoes and topped with melted cheese.

The menu encompasses everything from burritos, fajitas and tacos to enchiladas, seafood and sandwiches. A small veggie taco paired with cheese enchiladas and a bean torta makes for a great meatless meal. The veggie taco ($3) included seasoned potatoes encased in a soft, steaming-hot tortilla prepared as a seasoned puree instead of chunks. The condiment bar inside is equipped with toppings like pico de gallo, guacamole, onions, radishes, cilantro and hot sauce. The potato mixture evenly soaks up flavors from your chosen condiments.

At Ranchos, enchiladas are served to please.

The cheese enchiladas ($12.99) came with a tomato sauce that offered a slight kick of spice like freshly warmed Totino’s Pizza Rolls on a cold winter night.

The bean and cheese torta ($8) was my favorite item on the menu. I haven’t had tortas before my trip to Ranchos, but the sandwich’s appearance reminded me of a six inch bomber you would get at Jim’s Steakout. The torta was stuffed with so many beans and so much cheese, I felt like the parchment paper holding it together might give way. The key takeaway from this sandwich was its freshness. The bun wasn’t falling apart, the avocado was buttery and ripe and the beans and cheese made the whole meal a success. The rice and beans were not so hot — practically cold.

Refried beans, mozzarella, and avocado unite to form this lunchtime sandwich.

On the whole, Ranchos provides a great selection of Mexican eats accompanied by a tight community environment that is simply pleasant to be around. Whether you are munching on a solid torta, or watching the small-scale motor show on the side of the road, this patio is sure to keep you coming back for more.

Taqueria Ranchos La Delicias

Location: 1516 Niagara Street, Buffalo, NY 14213 

Hours: Monday-Wednesday 11am-9pm, Thursday-Friday 11am-10pm, Saturday 11am-12am, Sunday 11am-8pm

Online: https://www.taqueriaranchos.com/ // https://www.facebook.com/taqueriaranchos

Phone: 716-882-2800

Wheelchair Accessible: Yes

Orders: Takeout, delivery and dine-in on patio

Questions or recommendations? Email: jackporc@buffalo.edu