My eating life often flows in odd patterns. I recall visiting Los Argentinos, the Argentinian steakhouse on West Preston Street after an event at Summerhall, a wee while back. After another event at Summerhall, I had a hankering for something similar so wandered homewards towards Rancho on Morrison Street.
With South American beef at its heart, the place has been open for a couple of months in a venue that has proved a little tricky to make successful in the past. I enjoyed my meals at both Papoli and Atithi, but the places soon faded into memory.
Although I’ve seen some positive early reports on its quality, I found it sparsely populated, albeit on a dreich Wednesday evening.
Given its similarity to Los Argentinos, I opted to order the same as I’d had there, starting with the house sausages then following with the tres carnes meat fest, which brought together fillet, rump and sirloin steaks.
The sausages promptly arrived and were much as expected with punchy seasoning and deliciously aromatic fat to mop up from the plate. It was a good opener.
There was a big wobble with the main course as the steaks were very unevenly cooked. The sirloin was entirely cooked through when I’d ordered it rare so the dish was sent back and re-prepared.
When it came back, things were on a much surer footing, but this was a high volume of moderate quality meat, cooked accurately second time around. It was well seasoned but a little characterless. The accompanying baked tattie was fairly unspectacular, also. The chimichurri was poor.
So overall, it was a bit of a mixed bag from Rancho. Given that a couple of pretty good restaurants have found it hard to make this location work, I think it may struggle to find an audience, particularly when the cooking of the steak seems rather haphazard. Still, if you’re looking for a substantial, reasonably priced meat feast, you could do worse. But I reckon I’d opt for Los Argentinos more often than not for this sort of thing.
I ate: chorizos caseros, tres carnes, baked potato
I drank: house red
I wore: red
Total bill: £32.20
Address: 244A Morrison Street, West End, Edinburgh EH3 8DT