Sometimes food exploring backfires. Here was my big idea: Find the next Salsa Limón. Long before the authentic taqueria started its rapid expansion, it was a humble food court restaurant at La Gran Plaza. “Surely,” I thought, “I could be-bop on down to the Plaza and discover what new, exciting culinary experiment was blossoming inside those nurturing environs.”
As far as I could tell, the Mexican mall’s food court proper consists of just two eateries: the aforementioned Salsa Limón and the 12-year-old Las Ranitas Restaurante Mexicano (4200 S Fwy, Ste 1715, 817-923-4344). On the fly, I conjured a quick-pivot second idea: Eat at Las Ranitas and write stuff. Brilliant!
“Ranitas” translates to “little frog,” and the owners really ran with that theme. Walking up to the ground-floor storefront, you’re greeted by a huge cardboard cutout of an anthropomorphized Mexican frog couple holding a sign that lists the hours of operation. Inside, the host stand is perched atop a frog a la Atlas. On the main wall, there’s a mural depicting a whole community of old-timey-looking Mexican frog people posing for a group portrait.