‘Watts for Dinner’: La Rancherita for Mexican food on the go

Will Watts

Not too long ago, I ventured up to the Golden Gate area for a lovely, authentic and exquisite Mexican dinner at Taqueria La Sierra. Shortly after that story was posted, one commenter suggested I visit La Rancherita, also in Golden Gate.

Although there was no website, I did find the information I needed online (and by that, I mean the address).

Elotes (aka Mexican Street corn) from La Rancherita, Golden Gate.

The first surprise of the night was to discover that La Rancherita was a take-away place. Being a flexible diner; I ordered a bag full of goodies and headed home for a feast.

First up, elotes (aka Mexican street corn). What’s that, you ask? Traditionally it’s corn grilled on the cob until its slightly charred on both sides; covered in crema or mayonnaise, lime juice, chili powder and cayenne; and garnished with crumbles of cotija cheese.

Our elotes was yummy. While the corn did not appear to be charred, all the other trappings were there to create this sweet-meets-savory delight.

Tacos al pastor from La Rancherita, Golden Gate.

Also in our to-go bag were tacos al pastor. For those of you who have never had tacos al pastor, the name refers to the way the meat – in this case pork – inside the taco is prepared. Unlike La Sierra, which draws inspiration from the mountains, this dish comes from Central Mexico, and is based on shawarma spit-grilled meat brought by Lebanese immigrants to Mexico. It is also like the Turkish kebab and the Greek gyro.

The meat gets its red coloring from being marinated in a rub for several hours. Typically, pineapple is involved in the cooking process as well.

Packed with meat, the tacos al pastor did not disappoint; and with three layers of corn tortillas each, they withstood the drive home just fine.

Carnita tacos from La Rancherita, Golden Gate.

Carnita tacos were also included in my bag of goodies. The slow roasted pork topped with cilantro, onions and a spritz of lime awaken the senses. Confession time: Carnita tacos are my favorite; and these were amazing.

If you’re looking for authentic Mexican cuisine on the go, look no further than La Rancherita. The small store is unassuming, but the food inside is the star.

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If you go

La Rancherita

  • 4970 Golden Gate Parkway, Naples
  • 239-331-7220