On any Friday or Saturday night of drunken debauchery, there are three important things to remember: (One) it is not OK to drunk dial your ex; (two) no, you are not "fine to drive;" and (three) El Ranchito will deliver Mexican food to your house until 4 a.m. (and, if you're that kind of lush, until 2 a.m. the rest of the week). Armed with this knowledge, some vitamin B and an Aleve, you can stem the tide in the war against hangovers.
This Logan Square local favorite exists for more than soaking up your Blue Moon binges. Any given night, neighborhood families fill the huge space, and it's not uncommon to watch packs of giddy kids sway in front of the moment's champion of Mexican karaoke. Old men and neighborhood hipsters occupy the seats at the long counter, sipping coffee and waiting for dirt-cheap, delicious takeout.
A feast for two, or even three, can be had for far less than $20. Combination dinners average $7.95, but a near encyclopedia-length menu means you can also order a la carte. Fat tacos, filled with everything from steak to pork to tongue, cost $1.47, and a filling, hearty gordita runs just $2.07. Don't miss the huarache, or "sandal", a bed of thick tortilla dough topped with your favorite meat (or not) and tons of cheese and veggies. Pair it with the guacamole appetizer, which comes with spicy carrots, jalapenos and sour cream, and you're set, whether you just closed down the Whirlaway Lounge or you're about to head over.
Or, if you prefer, you can start the party here and order from several bottled beers ($3). If it's Monday, Ladies' Night, you can partake in 99-cent margaritas.
No matter your state, both Mexican and American breakfasts are served all day.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Bill Burman