Restaurant of the Week: El Perico Ranchero, El Cerrito

This week’s restaurants: El Perico Ranchero, 1401 E. Foothill Blvd. (at Grove), Upland, and El Cerrito, 7201 Archibald Ave. (at Base Line), Rancho Cucamonga.

Yes, we’re riding the El this week and we’re nowhere near Chicago. El Perico Ranchero was pointed out to me by one of you readers recently when I wrote about Mexican restaurants in Upland. I’d overlooked it. So I rectified that omission by dining there for lunch on Tuesday.

It’s mid-range Mexican with table service and some seafood on the menu. I had the chile verde ($9.95). The plate itself was hot, which always makes me suspicious that the plate is prepared in advance and stuck in the oven. The chile verde, though, was very good. And there was a lot of it. I don’t know who can eat all that; I could barely finish half. I took the rest home and got a snack out of half of it Wednesday night. I had the other quarter Friday night. That’s a lunch that keeps on giving.

On Thursday I hit El Cerrito after a visit to 4-Color Fantasies, the comic shop across the street. Entering El Cerrito was disconcerting because it looks like half a restaurant. All there was to see was a long, narrow space with booths along each wall. No employees or even kitchen in sight. I sat myself and saw the kitchen is tucked away through a doorway on the left. The lone employee I saw during the meal was pretty busy.

I had three soft tacos with chicken, beef and steak ($2.25 each). They were big too and loaded with cheese. I should have asked if they were Mexican style (small) or American style (big). Oh well. They were fine for what they were. The menu was fairly extensive, just like El Perico’s, but I wasn’t in an ambitious mood, so this is a feebler than usual account, sorry.

Maybe next week, instead of eating at another El place, I can do the opposite: a Le place.

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  • meg

    What Le places does the IE have to offer, now that Le Provenal is ferm?

    On an entirely different topic, how does 4-Color Fantasies compare with Comic Bookie in Cmt.?

    [Le Pain Quotidien is the only Le that comes to mind, but there may be others. 4-Color and the Bookie are both small shops operated by men named Chris. One difference is that 4-Color is open until midnight-ish because they have gaming and an Internet cafe. Neither of which I care about, but the late hours come in handy sometimes. — DA]

  • meg

    Yeah, Comic Bookie’s hours are suboptimal for my schedule. Although I would hate to take business away from Claremont Chris in order to give it to Cucamonga Chris.

  • Gary

    There is a Le Bellesimo Restaurant in the shopping center on the southwest side of Rochester and Foothill. This place is excellent, truly is unbelievable.

    [D’oh, you’re right. I’ve been there and can second your recommendation. — DA]

  • Lynnda VanNoorden

    I want to share a wonderful Thai restaurant that I found about a year ago. I moved out here a few years ago from the Westside of LA and seek out the small and flavorful. This is just one of those. I highly recommend the soups, satay, the shrimp dishes, and for a treat, give a dish called “Mussaman,” a beef curry, a try.

    I only get the paper on weekends, so you may have already reviewed it, but if not, I highly recommend it.

    Thai Family Restaurant, 130 S. Mountain Ave. #P, Upland, Ca 91786 909-920-3640, in the Fresh and Easy Center.

    I enjoy your column and culinary recommendations very much.

    [I’ve noticed Thai Family but haven’t yet visited. But now I’m looking forward to trying it. — DA]