I've come to really enjoy some decent Mexican food. Now, I suspect that given Mexico's size and varied natural resources, population and mixed historical cultures, that what I associate with Mexican food is but a small small subset of what could be had in various parts in Mexico.
But given the number of Mexican restaurants in and around the Atlanta area, I'm hoping that some of that diversity is reflected here and I can learn to differentiate Mexican equivalents of Sichuan and Cantonese cooking.
Anyhow, our foray into Mexican restaurants in the area was Gorditas La Rancherita in Norcross. And it was good, but not mind-blowing.
Rompope - An eggnog-like drink. This one with a strong cinnamon taste. As an unitiated boob, it tasted like a creamy orchata. Decent in a fairly simple way.
Taco Chorizo - flavorful, oily ground pork. Tastes sort of familiar (poblano chili?) in that I could picture this flavor inspiring the American instant taco mix flavoring. The accompanying salsa had with flecks of charred chili's, giving a distinct well charred taste. But with a slight green chili kick too.
Mole Rojo - Heavy chocolate flavor w/ smoky chili pepper flavor and a slight kick. On the heavier side. The chicken seemed to have been boiled then covered with mole sauce. The drumstick was cooked okay, but some other pieces were rather overcooked. The rice was tasty (I couldn't quite place the familiar flavor) and the beans were lovely, looking like your standard refried beans but were slightly less gooey than your standard mush. The accompanying tortillas are what I associate with corn tortillas in appearance, but they were actually quite light on the corn flour.
Pambazo Azada (steak) - Strips of steak, refried beans (the same that accompanied mole rojo), lettuce, jalapeno, onions, avocado, tomato, cream, queso fresco (crumbly cheese like feta in texture, but without the strong flavor). I've never had pambazo before (And link to wikipedia as a lazy reference). The bun reminds me of store-brand bready croissants, but with a nice guajillo flavor and a nice grilled to a crunchy toast texture. My favorite dish of our meal.
As I said before, the meal was satisfying, some of the dishes working better than others in flavor and execution, but nothing really jumped out at us. Maybe we should have tried the gorditas?
Gorditas La Rancherita
2055 Beaver Ruin Road Norcross, GA 30071-3650 (Map)