My daughter and I went to the mall today to do some shopping and catch a movie since she’s out of school on Thanksgiving break. We haven’t been there in a while and were pleased to see that a new restaurant had opened - a Mexican place we had heard about from others so we decided to try it out. Cute little place with roomy, comfy booths, table service and real napkins. Score!
We read over the lunch specials then noticed that you could build your own plate with a list of several items costing 99 cents each. The place wasn’t really crowded - maybe 4 or 5 other tables seated. It took the waiter about 5 minutes to acknowledge us then took our drink orders.
When he brought out the drinks, he seemed a bit confused as to which one was my diet drink and which was my daughter’s regular. He then brought chips & salsa and dropped the menus on the table. I barely had time to look at it before he asked if we were ready to order.
My daughter said she wanted to build her own plate, ordering two cheese enchiladas and rice. I wanted a cheese enchilada, tamale, flauta, rice & beans. He didn’t write any of this down, left our table and turned right back around, asking what kind of sauces we wanted. My daughter wanted cheese; I said cheese on the enchilada and chili on the tamale.
15 minutes later, the plates came out - hers with two cheese enchiladas covered in chili, rice & beans; mine with cheese on the enchilada & tamale, rice & beans and guiso (beef tips in a spicy gravy). I pointed out that this was not what we had ordered. He insisted it was and repeated the order we had in front of us. I told him the correct things we ordered and he took the plates back with him.
Another 15 minutes pass and the plates come back. My daughter had a whole new plate. You could tell that with my plate, they just scraped the tamale and guiso off because there was still a huge puddle of cheese under the tamale and the flauta was soaked with the guiso gravy.
We ate our food faster than we normally would, because we had to get to the movie. The same waiter was in our section several times, going to the tables on either side of us but never came over to ask if we needed anything else. We had finished our food and put our silverware & napkins on the plate, waiting for the check.
Twenty minutes, we waited, trying to get his attention every time he was nearby. Finally, he dropped the check on the table, saying, “you can pay me when I get back.” I told him we needed to pay then because we had movie tickets. He replied, “Fine, just leave the cash and tip on the table. I’ll get it when I’m done.”
The total came to $13.87. I dropped $15 on the table and we got up to leave. As we were walking out the door, he came after us and said, “Ma’am, you forgot something.” Thinking I might have left a shopping bag or something, I turned back. He was holding out an empty hand. I was confused so I asked what I had forgotten.
His answer? “My tip.”
I just turned and walked away so we wouldn’t be late for the movie. I called the restaurant later but was told the manager wouldn’t be in until tomorrow morning. I will definitely be calling back then.