Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Nacho's Mexican Cantina/Mexicali Rose

We had dinner last Saturday night at Nacho's Mexican Cantina or Mexicali Rose in Lower Plenty. We think that it's in the process of changing names and/or management, cause the signage outside said one thing, but the menus said something completely different.

That of course was no excuse:

To whom it may concern,

Do you know how there are times when you drive past a restaurant all the time and you say to your driving companion, "We really should try that restaurant out"?

That's how we were with your Lower Plenty restaurant.

So finally, last Saturday night, we thought we'd give your establishment a go with a few friends.

Melbourne is, of course, the eating out capital of Australia. However, Mexican food is one area that Melbourne's restaurants can clean up their act.

But based on our experience on Saturday night, it's not going to be your Lower Plenty restaurant that does it.

We arrived at the restaurant at 7pm. It was busy, I'll give it that. We ordered drinks.

They took a little while to arrive. And in the meantime, we ordered food.

Our entree was dips for the whole table - two serves. It took 45 minutes for these to arrive, and when they did, only one was forthcoming.

We asked the waitress where the other one was, only to be greeted by, "They've run out of the dips."

Fortunately, another one was able to be scraped together with a cheese dip and something else, arriving at our table no less than ten minutes later.

So we sat and chatted while we waited for our mains to arrive. At about the hour and a half mark from when we placed our order, we started getting antsy, as you do. We looked around but there was no waiting staff in sight. And when they did appear, it was to serve people who appeared well after us.

We took turns to go up to the front counter to ask where our mains were, but to be honest, your waiting staff should have come and informed us that there was a delay, and the reasons for the delay.

Slowly, our table got more and more frustrated with the lack of service.

Seriously, this is the one time when I wish that there were mice in the kitchen, because you needed Speedy Gonzalez to shake things up. I had to be physically restrained from running into the kitchen and yelling, "¡Ándale! ¡Ándale! ¡Ándale! ¡Arriba! ¡Arriba! ¡Arriba!"

By this time, we were going up at ten minute intervals. One of our party was greeted with, "Yes we already have your complaint. Could you please wait."

Talk about pouring tequila onto a burning fire. How would you feel if someone said this to you?

Finally, when our mains came out, some of us were in danger of falling asleep. This was now 9pm and there was barely anyone left in the restaurant.


I didn't hear a complaint about the food, except that my Chili Colorado was as tough as leather.

Our whole evening was a disgraceful exhibition of shameful amateurism. It will be a long time before we return, if we ever do. You need to wake up to yourselves.

Yours sincerely,


And that was very satisfying.


The Hulk said...

I like the reference to Speedy Gonzalez even if it is a little cliche` but still way too nice. A ho hum 2 star rating from me.

Dikkii said...

2 stars???

Hulk, you're a harsh taskmaster.

I don't think you qualify for a star rating if they're not going to respond to your initial complaint.

Ms Dikkii said...

You're right Hulk, it is only deserving of 2 stars. What about the "complimentary" late substitute cheese entree that was charged to the bill. Or the eye rolling waitress when we enquired about our mains after 1.5 hours....I'll give them some credit for their optimism though as we were walking out and were farewelled with "see you next time"!

Dikkii said...

I would have thought that my wife would be supportive, but you're right, Ms Dikkii. I did forget some stuff.

Personally, I still give it 3 and a half stars.

sm said...

I have been to the Lower Plenty Nachos several times, and mostly it's been great, though I do remember one time having really slow service. The food has always been excellent though. Thankyou for your review as they are no longer listed on the Nachos Mexican Cantina website, so I thought they must have closed, but clearly they are just changing name :)

Dikkii said...

Thanks SM. Although I'd hardly classify it as a "review", per se.

I might have been a little harsher if I was doing a proper review.