Dress My Salad with Rancho

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

As we drove down Okeechobee Road toward Club Rancho Grande last Saturday, my friend started recalling the last time she was there: She got stuck in traffic for an hour, she remembered, because a gunshot victim was being airlifted from the rancho next door. That was Rancho Gaspar, site of more than one act of violence (a body was found on the rural road leading to the club in 2001), which has since closed.

What is a rancho? It seems to be a Hialeah thing, a nostalgic throwback to Cuba. Basically it is an outdoor barn-type arrangement with food, drink, dancing, and sometimes even pony rides. After turning off of Okeechobee onto a rutted dirt, we passed mataderos offering lechon-slaughtering services, pens of goats and geese, and at least one cow. In spite of a thorough frisking at the door, Club Rancho Grande seemed to attract a non-violent -- though scantily-dressed -- crowd.

Gnawing on rabo encendido, trying desperately not to think about the fact that I seemed to be eating 100 percent beef fat (it tasted good), I spent the rest of the evening watching the people who didn't grow up in the Midwest dance salsa and bachata. One kind, elderly gentlemen took pity on me and kindly guided me to the dance floor, where I proceeded to step on his toes for the course of an entire song. It was a fun night. --Emily Witt

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.