Friday, August 24, 2012

A "So Bad It's Comical" Restaurant Review

SCM on Tuesday, as usual. Delish celebrations for @clairam's half-birthday (yes she celebrates those - haha). And then on Wednesday there was *great success* ! I managed to, on my own, get my Vietnam Lanterns open :D

Look, I won't lie, it was tough work. My hands and fingers were helluva sore. But I did it. And they're still open (ie. they haven't popped closed), which I feel is a very good sign. Now to get them hung & lit ... let's not hold our breath here, okay, it took how many years to get my Moroccan Lamp up? Anyhoo, how cool are they? :)

Then on Wednesday I went out for dinner with 13 of the work peeps. I actually organised this (of course I did). I'd booked a table for 11 last week and then increased it to 15 the day before. And we ended up with 14 people at Cantina Tequila in Fourways.

It was a truly disastrous experience. Just dreadful and I wouldn't recommend the place to anyone, aside from the fact that one of the guys at the dinner had actually been there the Friday before and had raved about the place. Maybe they were just having the most off-night of their entire existence? Either way, I won't be going back. I'm sticking with Cafe Mexicho in Melville from here on out.

I'm not even sure it is a real Cantina Tequila anymore ... I consider Cantina Tequila to be like the Spur of Mexican restaurants, you know, standard and reliable and pretty much the same whichever one you go to. I noticed as I was leaving that this place didn't have the signage using the logo or correct font. So who knows? I'll admit I haven't been to one in 3 years.

Anyway, here is how the evening went. It started mostly okay as everyone was arriving. We ordered a jug of Margaritas (they only had lemon flavoured. I myself am partial to the Lemon-Strawberry mixed jug). They weren't great but they were acceptable. Firstly from the moment we arrived the service was shocking. And to be honest if your food is stellar I'm willing to over look this as we're a table of 14 and chatting and what not. But seriously it became a little annoying when we finally wanted to order our food (we did this after 8pm) and our waiter would get distracted because someone ordered another Coke Light (or something) and disappear off to the bar area and stand there and wait for each individual drinks order. He definitely was not a multi-tasker.

We all ordered, I asked if they could bring everything at once as some people were having starters and some people weren't and some people ordered starters as mains etc. The food came out very erratically. I personally had received my starter-to-share (Chili Poppers that were the yummiest thing I ate) and my starter-as-main (Chicken Nachos) before other people had receeved any of their food.

Okay, the Nachos. I dunno what their policy generally is. I gather they tout them as "Home Made Nachos" but honestly they were like fried drop pastry. Or my other favourite description of the evening: Bow-ties with Cheese. I could hardly tell what was what but  can tell you that most plates of Nachos that had been ordered went back with the topping picked off and only a few of the Nachos touched.

I will point out here that I received guacamole with both my Chili Poppers and my Nachos. But people who received their Nachos later didn't get any guacamole or any salsa (chopped up tomato and onion, really). When they asked for this they were told, there was none. They'd run out. Then a Half-Chicken and Veg arrived. Only there were potatoes and no veg. Apparently they were out of veg. Someone had ordered a side-salad, nope, they're out of that too. Another girl had ordered a Vegetable Quesadilla and eventually she asked the waiter (after we'd discovered they were now out of veg) if she was getting her food. He just looked at her blankly and said "No". Our Biggest Joke of the Evening: They were out of Mexican Food ?!

We asked to see the manager multiple times. The waiters scuffled about and kept saying He was on his way. Eventually someone showed up, no he's not the manager, the guy who'd been serving us all evening was (Oh lord). But he'd phone his fiance who owned the place. They acknowledged that I'd booked in advance but I don't think they handled the situation smoothly at all.

They came around offering free-tequilas. Really? I think only 2 people partook. The rest of us were driving home.

Oh, and I forgot to mention. When we placed our order, we were categorically told that they didn't offer a doggie-bag service, so no take-aways or leftovers. Not that anyone wanted any by the end of the evening, but I wasn't impressed by that little revelation either.

I had to leave first and I paid for my meal on my card and left. After all, the only thing really wrong with my food was my own fault for ordering their peculiar Nachos. Apparently no one else ended up paying for food, only for the drinks. Fair enough. Although in my opinion, too little to shake the bad experience.

It has become quite a story around the office and we can laugh about the story now.

Yesterday after work we went for some drinks with our team and the guy who suddenly left a few weeks back. On the way home I met The Trucker for dinner before his Action Cricket game and then went home and had a lovely long bubble bath, it's been a busy week.

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