El Rancho Grande Mexican Restaurant 3

Nacho Ordinary Tex-Mex

When it comes to great Mexican food, fresh ingredients, great service, and the proper level of heat are important. But, let’s be honest, it’s really about the cheese—messy, totally satisfying, gloriously gooey, cheddar cheese.

Welcome to El Rancho Grande. It’s a wonderland of cheesy goodness. The delicious aroma hits you square in face the second you walk through the door. After the chips and white queso arrive, it’s time to order. How about some loaded up steak fajita nachos covered in a mountain of jack cheese and spicy jalapenos? Or maybe you’d like a crunchy, deep fried (yes, we said deep fried) Chile Relleno stuffed with meat and cheese and then covered in your choice of five different sauces. Oh, and make sure to order a beer with it…or two.

El Rancho Grande Mexican Restaurant on Historic Route 66 has been serving authentic Tex-Mex food to generations of Tulsans for more than 60 years. The Tulsa favorite with its iconic neon sign originally began in 1950 on Boulder between 6th and 7th streets and has been in its current location on Historic Route 66 since 1953. El Rancho Grande revels in authentic Tex-Mex recipes handed down over generations and is known for its fiery hot salsa, “Tulsa’s Best” cheese enchiladas, and “Tulsa’s Best Margarita”.

Hearty specialties include spicy pork Chile Colorado, homemade Tamales, Wet Burritos, and the famous Night Hawk combo, named as one of the “Five Greatest Mexican Meals in the United States” in Gustavo Arellano’s book, Taco USA. The Night Hawk is definitely man food—served with two cheese and onion enchiladas slathered in chili con carne and cheddar and teamed up with a soft cheddar cheese taco drowned in chile con queso for only $10.99. You’ll have to dig through the sauces to find the enchiladas and taco, but that’s part of the fun. Right, guys?

Sixty plus years is a long time to be in business. And while there is much to be said for change, there is even more to be said for tradition.

“We like being part of Tulsa’s history,” says John Walden, El Rancho Grande co-owner. “We have people from all over the world stop in as they travel Route 66 to eat and take a photo of our famous neon sign. We considered moving but have remained in the same location because our guests know we are here. We have four generations of family members as regular customers.”

He and co-owner, Jeff Walden, are currently renovating the second floor for a cantina and taco bar. The restaurant doesn’t have a separate bar, so it will be a welcome addition for folks that want to drop in for a drink, watch a game, and eat their favorite El Rancho Grande combo.

So, come in and eat without shame. And bring your friends—they like cheese, too.