My favorite tex-mex in the area has gone to the dogs... worse: to the gringos.
Right off the bat, the salsa was different - ok, but absolutely zero heat. I had to ask for the El Yucateca to give it some zip.
Yesterday's chile verde was abysmal - tough strips of pork, hardly any flavor in the surrounding sauce. The chile rellenos had a thin, tough plain scrambled egg coating. The grande burrito was certainly grande, but once again, the meat - shredded beef - was tough.
But the real kicker - the rice was out of a box - par-boiled Uncle Ben's with catsup, and the beans were a complete tasteless mess - right out of the can, but a bad brand. You can easily take a decent can of frijoles and doctor it up with some bacon grease, garlic and s&p. Better yet, use a can of beans and squish them - I mean, we're not talking rocket science or major time or money here. They served us crap on a plate - no excuses.
I can see a bad night in terms of the chef being gone or something - but when the fundamentals like the rice and beans are completely and amateurishly boffed, the place is being run by accountants.
I looked around and saw all gringos - customers and wait staff alike. That's a really bad sign. It used to be that most of the wait staff were hispanic, and you'd occasionally see then speaking Spanish to a customer or two. None of that last night. If I said cerveza, they probably would have asked me what service I needed.
My son tells me that the La Carreta's in Derry is still very good and has lots of hispanic customers and staff. The bar TV has a Spanish channel going. It could be that they have decided to purposefully gringofy the restaurants that serve mainly gringos - cut costs where they will be less noticed, and keep the good stuff where they will be appreciated. What a grievous error. What are they saving, 10 cents a meal?