Thursday, January 19, 2012

Rancho Market

Ranch Market 9th East and 3300 South SLC

It says something about Rancho Market that I was so eager to check it out and then review it. I doubt you'll ever see me rush to post about the fried chicken and potato wedges at my local Smith's. The real selling point was when my co-worker told me the butcher shop sold chicken feet (there will be a post about what I do with those coming soon). Rancho Market is clean well lit and still in the honeymoon phase of opening its new location at 9th east and 3300 South in the home of the old Fresh Market.

Whole Fish waiting to be cooked

Oxe Tail, there is a future post in this
The butcher shop was stocked with one of the widest variety of meat and fish I have seen in any of the grocery stores I frequent in the valley. There are a number of the harder to find parts of beef and chicken like ox-tail and the aforementioned chicken feet; along with a large selection of whole fish. The bakery was large in scope and filled with nearly every Mexican pastry you could ask for. All of the bakery prices were incredibly reasonable (cheap).

Just one end of the mammoth bakery section
The restaurant area offers a great selection of authentic Mexican food prepared upon order. I ordered the Barbacoa de Borrego (lamb) and the Petite Copine ordered the carnitas (pork) tacos with one additional chicharron (pork skin) taco for me. The borrego came in a broth that added great  flavor to meat when I wrapped it in the soft corn tortilla. The lamb was spicy in a way that still allowed you to taste the fruit flavor of the chilies with notes of roasted cumin and white pepper. The lamb still retained some of the natural earth flavor so synomynous with lamb. The cuts of borrego retained a good bit of fat that added flavor and texture to the meat. The cilantro, onions and key limes that it was served with were all very fresh. I was particularly happy about the inclusion of the Key Limes as it reminded of what I received when I had Mexican in Mexico, they also provide a subtle tart and bitter difference than their larger more common Persian cousins.
Our meal, note the Mexican Coke

The tacos were also excellent. The carnitas was flavorful with out being overly greasy (which is an all to common failing in carnitas). The carnitas had the perfects balance between crispy edges from the frying and soft tender meat that was in less contact with the oil. The chicharron was at something of a disadvantage because I ate it after I had eaten most of my borrego, so it was not as fresh from the fire as it should have been. It was still flavorful, but the gelatinous nature of pig skin loses its appeal when it is even slightly colder than hot.

Pefect little street tacos

The beans were also well seasoned and the Key Limes a great touch
The pasteries we purchased for dessert were fantastic. The very common tres-leches cake provided the perfect amount of sweet for after dinner consumption with feeling a sugar rush prior to bed. The crumb on the tres-leche was particularly nice as it was not too delicate, but certainly not heavy. The budding (I don't know if that was a typo on their part or what, Google offered no help) flan was something of a hybrid between flan and cornbread-breadpudding. It was sweet and caramely with a great contrast of texture between the silky flan and the crumbly bread.
Tres-leche Cake
Budding Flan


  1. I like the Corona in the seafood display. The food you got looks delicious. My mexican friend moved last year and that ended my weekly visits to the local bakery, better for me, but they do have a lot of cheap, tasty bakery items.

  2. Yummmmm! This is going in the mental file for future dinners. Thanks for the review!

  3. I miss having Mexican food that I don't have to cook myself. Lucky.