Ranch 616 is the kind of place where you can enjoy yourself at full volume. Show up on any given night of the week, and you’ll probably run into a bachelor/bachelorette party kicking off their night on the large patio with a round of fire-in-the-hole shots—basically a baby margarita served inside a fresh jalapeño—or in the dining room with live music, taxidermied animals, and random trinkets that feel like they were pulled from little shops in West Texas. But despite the party-like atmosphere, and the downtown location on West 6th Street, this is a place where you can get a really solid Texas-inspired meal and leave happier than you’d expect.
The menu leans heavy on fried foods. If you’re unsure where to start, grab the Patron Platter that comes piled high with fried oysters, calamari, green beans, and okra, plus bacon-wrapped shrimp, a pile of semi-boneless quail, and dipping sauces. Then order chicken fried steaks, ribeyes, Texas red snapper, and other Texas-y dishes from the entree menu. Portions are large—grab a couple dishes to share with the table, or prepare to carry leftovers around while you bar hop on West 6th Street. Whatever you order, you’ll want to accompany it with a Ranch Water. Ranch 616 claims to have invented the ubiquitous drink. And while we can’t confirm whether or not that’s true, we can say Ranch 616 makes a very refreshing version, even if it tastes more like a skinny margarita than the tequila, soda, and lime version we’ve come to love.