Wes Hennings never met a meal he walked away from and is an opinionated eater! Each Thursday he shares the results of a business lunch he’s had with a colleague as a way to advise our business community on the good, bad, and tasty across the CSRA. He doesn’t let ABD or the restaurant know where he is going and his opinions are his own. He grades the restaurants he visits on a 1-5 scale with “5” being outstanding. We call this our “Real Business Lunch Review”.
Food Quality: 5
Business Meeting: 4
Average Score: 4.75 of 5
Sorpresa is Spanish for surprise. And that is definitely how I’m feeling after a visit to the newest Mi Rancho location in Martinez on Furys Ferry Road.
Honestly, I feel like most of the Tex-Mex restaurants in the area are interchangeable. You’re going to get the same five ingredients arranged in a different fashion. And Mi Rancho has been part of the local Mexican fare for years. So a genuinely good meal from a place where I expect the same old food was a very pleasant sorpresa indeed.
Mi Rancho took over one of those cursed locations I often visit in my culinary travels around the city. It’s in front of the Publix on Furys Ferry and originally opened as a Raisin’ Cane chicken joint. When that failed, it went through several iterations of sandwich and burger shops before sitting empty for the past few years. That’s when I saw the signs that Mi Rancho was coming soon.
This was not an exciting revelation as Poblano’s is literally across the street. I could probably throw a chimichanga from one parking lot to the other. And then El Alazon is a three-minute drive down the road. But every time I think Augusta is done buying enchiladas and margaritas, we just support another one of these pop-up faux Latin eateries.
One of the remodels for this restaurant added a patio, so that’s where we ended up for this visit, sitting on the shady side. We were greeted promptly with chips and salsa like anywhere else and were able to order quickly as well. We started with cheese dip (because of course) and then my companions had a quesadilla and chimichanga plate. I opted for steak street tacos, but with the added addition of bacon.
Now I love a taco, but you’re not going to delight me very often. This was a good taco. The steak was cooked well and you didn’t have to work to pull it from the corn tortilla. The bacon was the star, though, as it was cooked crisply and the flavor paired perfect with the steak. I’m craving it again just writing about it.
This is the point where I’m starting to realize I’m not having my typical Tex-Mex experience, when my eating amigos look at me and say, “This is really good.” It was the rare unprompted response a wannabe food critic hungers after, so I knew I had found a winner.
I don’t know that you’d want to have a serious business meeting over beans and rice, but the space is not too big and noisy, and the patio is nice if it’s one of the three weeks of the year where eating outside in Augusta can actually be pleasant.
I also couldn’t put my finger on how this location of a typical Mexican restaurant ended up feeling different. Maybe it’s that it’s in a new and fresh location where everything is still clean without a cheese and tequila residue everywhere. Or maybe it’s that the venue is smaller than most places where these taquerias end up. Whatever it is, so far it’s working for the newest location of Mi Rancho. Give it a try. It may just end up being your new spot for a fajita fix.
407 Furys Ferry Road