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Eatbeat: Nothing better than the burrito at Las Ranitas in Thief River Falls

He was right about that.

Adrian Alaniz of Grand Forks told me there was nothing better than the burrito Mojado at Las Ranitas. That's the large Mexican restaurant that opened eight years ago at Thief River Falls.

He was so enthusiastic, I decided I would have to try it. When I went over to check it out, I could see what Adrian meant. The burrito is, indeed, a worthy meal. It's the choice of steak or chicken burrito stuffed with rice, beans, cheese, lettuce, sour cream and guacamole. All covered in cheese sauce.

It was my choice ($12.99) on a nice Saturday afternoon when I went over to check things out. I was "Eatbeating" with Susie Shaft (SS). She was pleased with her choice of Philly Cheesesteak Burrito ($11.99). It was made with green bell peppers and onions smothered in cheese sauce.

Our drive over to Thief River was pleasant. And the large restaurant was busy long after the traditional lunch hour. SS and I chatted with other customers who come regularly to the large Las Ranitas. They enjoy the upscale and colorful Mexican décor.

The restaurant can seat 200 and is busiest on weekends. The chairs are padded and comfortable, and there is soft background music in Mexican style. Our waiter was Jorge. He was pleasant and efficient. And it seemed everything in the kitchen was done routinely.

There was a steady flow of customers throughout the afternoon. Many of them said they come back regularly.

There is a kids menu with eight choices for $5.99 for those up to and including 12 years old. The extensive menu also features seafood choices under $14.

My request on another lunch visit would be one of the 14 luncheon specials for $6.99. And then if a companion wanted to split a dessert ($4.99), it would complete the meal. There is a choice of fried ice cream, xango, flan and sopapillas.

Las Ranitas Mexican Restaurant

1845 Hwy. 59 S., Thief River Falls

Owners: Luis and Heidi Ortiz

Telephone: (218) 681-0644

Hours: 11 a.m. daily; closes 9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 10 p.m. Friday-Saturday

Report card: An unusually large, attractive Mexican restaurant where a host of regular customers find their way. Prices midrange. Service excellent. Most comfortable seating.