We're doing it. The Ranch House has been around long enough that we can declare it The Santa Fe BBQ Joint. Going on 14 years, with nine of them at its current location on the Southside, the spacious restaurant brings reliable, ample portions. There are so many favorites on the menu from Josh Baum and his wife, Ann Gordon that it's hard for us to narrow it to a few. If you have to pick just one thing: brisket, brisket, brisket. Baum smokes it all in Texas brown oak. Good thing, too, that one order comes with a choice of two sides ($14) and we'll make that easy too: corn bread (the kind that is moist, buttery and thick, with green chile tucked inside for flavor) and BBQ beans that make the plate even more toothsome. Start with queso waffle fries ($8) and add brisket ($3)—do you detect our theme? The menu's also loaded with salads and sammies, and one of our companions can't get enough of the steak and butter-glazed shrimp entree ($19). We can't believe there was even a conversation about dessert. We got the brownie sundae with Häagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce anyway ($5.95). Three spoons and top pants buttons unbuttoned.

2571 Cristo's Road, 424-8900
Lunch and dinner daily