Mi Ranchito Opens in Former Bistro 29 Space, Plus More Dining News

In addition to the new Mi Ranchito in Santa Rosa, Scowley's Burgers comes to Petaluma and Grata opens in Windsor.

Our fish tacos on their way from the new Mi Ranchito restaurant seemed to have stalled out somewhere between the downtown Santa Rosa post office and the fairgrounds. Our Uber Eats “driver” was actually on a bike, and as we watched his GPS movement grind to a stop, we were worried, frankly, that perhaps someone had accosted “Ted,” our delivery person, for those delicious tacos.

Fortunately, within a few minutes, the much-anticipated tacos arrived, still hot and absolutely delicious with their pineapple sauce, chipotle aioli and sweet corn tamal (the world’s tastiest little nugget of sweetened masa). Heavenly hosts, those Baja tacos were good, and they were about to make my list of some of the best tacos in town. Ted was safe as well. Phew.

Mi Ranchito recently opened at the former Bistro 29 in downtown Santa Rosa, the third location for restaurant owners Jaime Rodriguez and Jose Contreras. They also operate in Cotati and Larkfield.

More than a taqueria, Mi Ranchito has a menu that includes most of the usual taqueria suspects — burritos, excellent tacos, tortas and enchiladas. They go a step further with specialty items like fajitas, creamy chipotle chicken breast, molcajete, whole fried fish and ceviche.

Perhaps our favorite dish, along with our tacos, was the cochinita pibil, a slow-roasted citrus-infused pork dish from the Yucatan. Served with cilantro rice, beans, pickled onions and a few microgreens, it too was snatch-worthy, so we’re happy our delivery cyclist got that one to us, too. The only complaint? I think my jamaica agua fresca may have gotten lost along the way. Overall, however, excellent service, flavor and unique delivery for the win.

If you want to try Mi Ranchito in person, they’ve created a darling outdoor patio on Fifth Street near Ausiello’s. Open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, 620 Fifth St., Santa Rosa, 707-623-9258.

More dining news: Scowley’s and Grata opening

Once upon a time in Bolinas, there was Scowley’s Burgers, near Smiley’s Saloon and Snarlie’s Deli. In homage to the gone-but-not-forgotten Scowley’s of his youth, Robert Gaustad has opened a new Scowley’s in Petaluma. The soft-opening menu includes a very simple, very focused list of quarter-pound grass-fed burgers from Stemple Creek with toppings like homemade Russian dressing and tomato jam, along with vegan burgers, steamed Casper’s hot dogs and chili dogs. Fries, chopped salad also available. We’re stoked to go in for a try. 229 N. McDowell, Petaluma, scowleys.com, 707-981-7746.

Also Grata, which we mentioned a few weeks ago, will be opening shortly at the former Chinois space in Windsor. The preview menu includes lots of fresh pastas, burrata, chicken parmesan, albacore crudo, fritto misto, halibut piccata, wine-braised short ribs and seared scallops. Stay tuned for more details.