Ramón Sanchez, Southern California Mexican Food Icon, Passes Away

Categories: Mexi Meals
ramons_cactus_patch.jpg
Courtesy of David Allen

Ramón Sanchez might not be as familiar a name in the annals of Mexican food history as, say, Glen Bell, Larry Cano, or King Taco, but he was nevertheless a titan. His Ramón's Cactus Patch in Ontario was one of the oldest remaining Mexican restaurants in the United States, a Cal-Mex shrine that had been in business since 1938. Virtually unknown outside the Inland Empire, Ramón's Cactus Patch was a favorite for generations of Mexican-American families, a living, breathing, delicious museum. And Ramón was there right up until very, very recently--in fact, virtually up until two weeks ago, when Ramón's Cactus Patch closed its doors for good.

Sadly, Sanchez passed away last week at 99.

I cannot do proper tribute to Sanchez, so I'll direct everyone to the eulogy penned by Inland Valley Daily Bulletin columnist David Allen (one of the Southland's unheralded journalistic gems). Allen was the person who introduced me to Ramón's Cactus Patch, and I had been meaning to write a post about the restaurant and the man to spread his gospel. Unfortunately, those who never had a chance to eat there will never be able to.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Sanchez family. And we will always remember Sanchez's fabulous tacos, hard-shelled symphonies of crunch.

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7 comments
JV Joaquin Vazquez Jr.
JV Joaquin Vazquez Jr.

Every time I did pass by I always imagined that place has some history behind it.

JV Joaquin Vazquez Jr.
JV Joaquin Vazquez Jr.

That place is down the street from my suegra! I've passed by there for over 15 years, always looked abandoned. RIP.

Marco Torres
Marco Torres

Pouring our a little salsa for the deceased. Que en paz descanse.

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