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Rancho Viejo
2525 E. Seltice Way
Post Falls, ID
(208) 773-6600
Cost: $$
(Also in Hayden, Kellogg, Spokane, WA and Pullman, WA)
15 Mexican
10-Jun-03 1
Rancho Viejo is a mini-chain of Mexican restaurants out of Spokane, with a couple of locations in suburbs of Coeur d'Alene. Chains can be a source of dreadful food, but in this case I think Rancho Viejo strives to maintain a fairly high level of quality.

I cannot make comments that are quite as positive about the authenticity of the food. With pretty much generic cheese and sauces, the food did not resemble traditional food from Mexico, but neither did it taste like Tex-Mex, sort of the "default" style for Americanized Mexican restaurants. Instead it was much like the "dumbed down" style I have seen throughout the Northwest and Midwest.

Despite this, I had an overall good experience at Rancho Viejo--something that does not happen very often at Mexican restaurants in the Northwest. The Combination Plate I ordered had a good flavor--it was somewhat toned down in both flavor and spiciness, but was still good compared to many others I have eaten. The default spiciness level of the food here is the totally mild "one chile" rating that is common in this part of the country. However, the spicy hot sauce I requested, along with the already more flavorful than average food, made for a pretty good meal.

I found both the waiter and the kitchen staff to be very helpful in preparing a meal that I would enjoy, and I consider this a definite plus for the restaurant.

I feel that the major opportunity in getting good Mexican food at Rancho Viejo is not as much from the plates that are normally served as in making special requests for the food to be more authentic, or at least for it to be more spicy.

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