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Rancher's Grill (Closed)

7597 N. Mesa St.
El Paso, TX

The Rancher's Grill has two locations in El Paso and one in Deming, NM at the former K-Bob's locations. Not only are they in the same locations, they seem to have the same food. K-Bob's still operates in Texas and New Mexico, and if you look at the K-Bob's web site the menu items seem to be identical. I think the restaurants in El Paso, though, have a different owner, and thus the name has been changed.

Rancher's Grill's main accomplishment has been to reinvigorate what had become a tired franchise. I found the K-Bob's in El Paso to be inferior to the ones in Ruidoso and other cities, and the service had become even more disappointing than the food. The reinvented Rancher's Grill, though, seems to have brought the quality back to K-Bob's former level.

The Chicken Fried Chicken, listed as one of "Our Specialties" on the menu, is a good example of the improved quality. I have sampled quite a few chicken fried steaks around Austin, where it used to be one of my favorite things to eat. While I have been disappointed by quite a few attempts of various restaurants to produce a good steak, the one at Rancher's Grill has the main features nailed down correctly. The gravy is creamy as I used to find in Austin, and the crust is golden and flaky. The chicken version at Rancher's Grill uses breast meat that is so thin it is pretty hard to find in the midst of all the breading and gravy, but the meat was never really the point of this dish anyway-- it is supposed to be a poor person's way to eat steak.

Sirloin burger
Sirloin burger with mushrooms

Rancher's Grill also offers specials, and I used this opportunity to try the Sirloin Burger with mushrooms. I think the best comparison to this burger is the steakburger at Great American Land & Cattle Company. The sirloin patty at Rancher's Grill had more meat, but I thought the one at Great American had a better flavor, particularly with respect to not being as greasy. The mushrooms at Rancher's Grill were good, but I enjoyed the green chiles that Great American uses on request a lot more. The only advantage Rancher's Grill had, and this is an important one, is that it was cooked properly while the Great American burger was too red for the instructions I gave. In spite of being undercooked, though, the Great American burger had a better flavor and was not as greasy. I am not inclined to enjoy the large slabs of meat served at Rancher's Grill as much as what I would consider normal sized burgers, so this is my own personal prejudice. The Rancher's Grill burger was good, but I did not think it was great.

I do not know why I got so much meat with the burger and so little with the chicken fried chicken, so at this point I dod not know if the restaurant generally serves generous portions of food or not. I think K-Bob's usually served average sized steaks, trying to keep the prices down.

The Cole Slaw that came as a side was excellent-- the slaw tasted fresh and the cream was one of the few I have tried that accented the flavor rather than overwhelmed it.

The French Fries were greasy and not as good as at other restaurants, but I still enjoyed them enough to eat most of them.

Rancher's Grill has a salad bar that looks exactly the same as the totally uninteresting one I used to frequent at K-Bob's.

Based on the prices of the steaks I believe they cannot be using a very high grade of meat, thus I suspect it still relies mostly on the same tenderizer that K-Bob's seemed to use so liberally. I believe Rancher's Grill is perfectly adequate, though, when you are not looking for a high end steak house. In any case it is much better than the Golden Corral located a short distance up Mesa Street.

While I was never very impressed with the K-Bob's in El Paso, Rancher's Grill seems to have at least returned to the quality that was exhibited by its predecesor in the early days when it only operated in Clovis, NM and a few other outposts. It is still a cheap steak house, but the chicken fried chicken, and I'm pretty sure a few other items, would be worth trying. The sirloin burger was not my "cup of tea" but I am sure some who are bigger meat eaters would enjoy it.

Rancher's Grill does not seem to be lacking for business, so this is a sign that a lot of people like it. As seldom as I want steaks, though, I would be more inclined to pay extra and go to Great American. I am thinking, though, that I will give the chicken fried chicken at Rancher's Grill another try.



Cuisine: Steaks
Cost: $$
Hours: Open Daily
Accessible: Yes
Additional Locations: 9530 Viscount Blvd.; Deming, NM
Smoking: No Smoking

Most Recent Visit
Dec. 14, 2007

Number of Visits: 2

Best Item
Chicken Fried Chicken

Special Ratings
Chicken Fried Chicken:
Cole Slaw:
Sirloin Burger: