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Restaurants & Bars 14

El Portal- I think it was my last time (long)

trolley | Feb 9, 200810:42 AM

last night my husband and i wanted mexican food so we decided to go to El Portal since it's a walking distance from our house. when we got there it was almost full but not quite. after we got seated about half of the room emptied. my point was it was busy but not crazy.

it took a while for a frantic server to come and take our orders. once we got to the drinks i ordered a juice and he said they make the flavored margaritas without alcohol. so i took his suggestion and ordered a virgin mango margarita. i emphasized it needed to be non -alcoholic b/c i am pregnant (it's odd to reveal this to chowhound and not to anyone else but it's still very early but this is the whole point) once the drinks got there i took a few sips and it tasted bitter. so i asked the server again if this had tequila in it and he said no.

ha later came back with our chicken tacos and enchiladas which were very average. the chicken in the taco tasted bad. so back to the drinks, after consuming about 1/3 of my drink i start feeling oozy. at this point im convinced there alcohol in it. i never thought it would be hard to detect alcohol but in a mixed drink it actually turned out to be not so easy. it's not like straight up alcohol.

it turns out the waiter did serve me a regular margarita. i was really really upset and asked to speak to the manager. about 15 minutes of avoiding us, he finally came over with major attitude. he said if my baby came out deformed b/c they served me alcohol there's nothing they can do about it and it's not the waiters fault. he said i should have known better to not get a virgin drink when they were so busy. i know that a 1/3 of a margarita would probably do no harm but that's not the point. i told them that what if i was an alcoholic or i had a serious medical condition? he said that they shouldn't be ordering virgin drinks. then he says "haven't you ever made a mistake?" i said no, not when i was a server and someone specifically ordered a non-alcoholic drink. there's a reason why people ask if there's nuts in something b/c most of the time they're allergic! he just didn't get it and kept arguing with my point.

i'm upset about how this guy handled the matter. yes, mistakes happen and thankfully i'll probably be ok. however, there were no apologies from them. not the waiter nor the manager. he basically said this was my responsibility and i should have known better not to order a virgin drink when they were so busy. at the end my husband said "you know what's wrong with this is that you guys aren't even apologetic about this" and he said "whatever! sure were sorry!" like we were scolding a 12 yr old. this was my last time at el portal.

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