Anyone near the Orlando International Airport with a craving for a killer delicious Mexican lunch or dinner look no further. Tacos El Rancho will more than satisfy and possibly surpass expectations. The outside façade is welcoming and colorful with menu items featured prominently in the windows in bright yellow writing, faux greenery, and shades of the Mexican flag. Inside, the dining room was spacious and spare. Tables have napkin holders and plastic utensils were located beside the register. An easy-to-read menu was located above the register, and the fact that rice and beans were not included with entrées was in bold letters.

First, do yourself a favor and for a few dollars order the fresh quacamole with chips. I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed guacamole so much! There were hidden little bits of jalapeños in the guacamole that heated my taste buds, but I pulled my sides of yellow rice and black refried beans a little closer and kept enjoying the dip. The chips were fresh, crunchy, and were extra tasty with both the guacamole and the refried beans. One scoop of guacamole and one scoop of refried beans equals one addictive side dish that prevented me from finishing all of my heavenly cow tongue quesadilla.


The beef was tender, well-seasoned, and chopped into manageable bite-sized bits between one huge folded-and-toasted flour tortilla. The ladies behind the counter were generous with the cheese and other toppings that were included with my “everything” quesadilla order. My quesadilla’s spice level was Hot, but the Hot was mild at best, which thankfully let me better enjoy the flavors of melted cheese, chopped beef, juicy tomatoes, and crisp parsley. I especially liked how the parsley filled my nose during every other bite while I savored the rest of the quesadilla.

Of the three aguas frescas behind the counter — the rice-based horchata, tamarindo, or hibiscus tea called jamaica — I recommend the super-sweet and refreshing tamarind juice on a hot day, although you can never go wrong with the more traditional hibiscus iced tea. There’s also a selection of familiar sodas and bottled water for the the unadventurous.

A lunch rush is inevitable around noon at Tacos El Rancho, so bring your patience. Plus, the portions at Tacos are generous so don’t forget to bring a healthy appetite. I’ll remember both of these tips during the many times in the future that I plan to revisit!

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T: (407) 438-8777

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