Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Matt's Rancho Martinez - Review

Here's a quick review of Matt's Rancho Martinez, a new restaurant in Colleyville. It's located in the shopping center at the southeast corner of Glade and Colleyville Blvd. (Hwy 26). It is next to the soon to be opened Whole Food Market. A very good spot. This location has been open for a few weeks.

Matt's is a small family owned chain. This is their third store with a fourth scheduled to open this summer. As you may have guessed, Matt's is primarily a Tex-Mex restaurant but there are a few twists on the menu.

My son, Matt (no affiliation), and I went there for a fairly early dinner on Father's Day. We had about a five minute wait for a table. The restaurant has a large dining area, smaller dining room that can probably be used for private affairs, a full bar with seating at the bar plus a few tables and a covered patio. All together there are probably approximately 35-40 tables. The kitchen is visible through a large glass wall. It's all hard surfaces with exposed ducts and lights hanging from an unfinished black ceiling. While it wasn't too loud on our visit, I suspect the main dining area could get a little noisy. 

One of the things that stood out from the minute we walked in was how much staff the place had. There were four people at the host/hostess stand. Once seated we noticed a whole battalion of servers, bus boys, kitchen help and management. Matt (my son, not the owner) did a quick count and figured that no server had more than about three tables. Most of the help was very young. In spite of this apparent service overkill, our waiter was not overly attentive. About average, but not exceptional.

On to the main attraction, the food. There were the required complimentary tortilla chips and salsa which were served as soon as we sat down. The chips were fresh and seemed homemade. The salsa was medium consistency with good flavor and a little heat.   

Matt had the Bob Style Chicken Fried Steak (CFS). That's a CFS topped with chile con queso, sour cream and fresh guacamole, refried beans and rice sides. According to my certified CFS connoisseur son, it was delicious. Minimal breading, good toppings and fork tender. His knife was never used. Now CFS is not a typical Tex-Mex menu staple but it is a Texas delicacy. Somehow Matt's became semi-famous for them. Besides the Bob style, they also have three other variations including the standard Texas style with cream gravy and Texas toast. 

I had the spinach and mushroom enchiladas topped with tomatillo sauce and Monterrey Jack cheese, charro beans and rice for sides. This too was delicious. The enchiladas were made with fresh, bright green, spinach and mushrooms. No canned stuff. The rice was good and the charro beans were very good. These were the best spinach enchiladas I've had since Via Real in Irving. The charro beans were not overcooked and the onion, peppers and herbs in the broth were all fresh. My only minor gripe was that the waiter put my plate on the table backwards. My main item enchiladas were on the far side of the plate and the bowl of charro beans was on the near side. The plate was piping hot and not easy to turn around. That is a sign of an inexperienced and/or nonchalant server. Is it a law, at least in Texas, that Mexican restaurants have to serve food on dangerously hot plates? 

Most of the entrees are between $10 and $15, lunches are $7 to $8. Reasonable prices for a full services, nice restaurant. For all you geezers, the senior discount allows ordering off the lunch menu all day. If you are in the neighborhood, Matt's would be a good choice. The menu is large and diverse so every palate should be able to find something to their liking. There is a kid's menu too and it's family friendly. The full bar has drink specialties and several beers on tap to keep the adults satisfied.

Matt's is Billy recommended. I plan on returning again to work my way through the menu. Maybe I'll see you there.  


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