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Unpleasant Mexican meal

Ed K. | Sep 13, 2004 09:18 AM

My wife and I had a thoroughly unpleasant experience at Mariachi’s Mexican restaurant last evening.

One problem, which was admittedly beyond the control of the restaurant’s personnel, was the presence of a family group complete with a baby, who proceeded to yell and cry through a good deal of the meal. Why do people insist on bringing very young children, obviously too young to appreciate either the experience or the food, to restaurants, where they proceed to become restless and create a disturbance? Obviously such people either don’t know, or don’t care, that a screaming child is not everyone’s choice of an accompaniment to dinner. Or perhaps they think
their kid is just so cute that everyone will just love every last whine and scream.

When we sat down we were give a small dish of chips and some salsa, which is standard in many Mexican restaurants. What was not standard was being told, when we asked for more chips, that there would be an extra charge. We have been to many Mexican restaurants in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico itself and usually you can have all the chips you want.

The food itself was mediocre at best. We were told that the nachos were authentic, but they were just a pile of chips, soaking in a rather tasteless sauce and topped with a few gratings of cheese. (I would advise anyone who travels in northern Mexico to go to the Hotel Camino Real in Saltillo, and try their nachos with a margarita. These are the best I have ever had, quite authentic, Saltillo being, obviously, in Mexico, and in a different world entirely from those found
at Mariachi’s.)

The enchiladas were hot without being really flavourful, and had overly large pieces of green
pepper in the filling. These were accompanied by a small scoop of watery rice, no beans.

Service was poor. The food arrived promptly, but trying to get anything else was futile. My wife
had to get up twice, first to get someone to bring us some water, the second for some hot sauce to enliven the moribund nachos.

The final indignity was the bill. We found that they were trying to charge us 75 cents for the hot sauce. Bottles of hot sauce are usually found as a condiment in most Mexican restaurants, to be used as freely as salt and pepper. They had, of course, a right to charge 75 dollars for hot sauce if they wished, but they should have certainly warned us in advance, either verbally or on the menu.

Also, the enchiladas, listed on the menu at $10.45 each, were on the bill for $12.95. The menu
states that they are available in “your choice” of chicken, beef, chorizo or vegetarian. We both
ordered one beef and one chorizo, which, they claimed, made them “special” enchiladas, necessitating the additional charge of $1.50 each. Again, they can charge what they want, but should put this on the menu, perhaps “$1.50 charge for two different fillings”.

After much haggling, the bill was reduced. We paid and left - permanently.

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