"Having always had a great experience at this location before, I figured this would be safe for dinner today, 6/28/12 at 6:30pm. We called ahead of time to let them know there would be 8-10 people in our party. Apparently we should have warned them that most of our party is heavily tattooed and modified so they could have told us to go elsewhere.
We filtered in over a 15 minute period, but just ordered waters and snacked on chips til our whole party arrived. The first strike was asking for queso dip to accompany our chips. We had to ask three times, and the dip only made it out when our food did (about a half hour later), rendering the ordering of it moot. We ordered all our food at the same time to avoid confusion. Half the dishes were incorrect, and two of our party received their food ten minutes after the rest of us, despite their food just being a quesadilla and a soft taco, both incorrect as well. One of our group asked the waiter what the sauce on her dish was, and instead of finding out, he shrugged and said, "I don't know," and walked off. We had no refills at any point until we chased down our waiter. I ate half my food, and when I went to the restroom for a few minutes, the waiter snatched my food off the table so quickly that my fellow diners couldn't tell him that I was still eating. Strangely he made no move to clear the plates that were clearly finished.
Right after the waiter made off with the rest of my meal, he dropped off one check out of the five expected checks. At this point we decided to complain about the service. While waiting for the manager, the waiter came back (still without the rest of the checks) and snatched the sole check presenter out of my hand, and returned several minutes later with a check with a higher price on it than before.
When the manager (who's name I never caught) finally arrived, she never once apologized, and made excuses for the server, blaming us for arriving and ordering at different times, despite all of us ordering at once. We asked for the late and uneaten queso to be taken off the menu, and perhaps the half of my meal I didn't get to enjoy, but she refused. One of the members of our group went up and talked to her again and asked for the items to be removed, but she again refused and said that her only option was to suspend the server for a couple of days, or give us a coupon for one free meal. Our group member stated that we wouldn't be dining here again, and once more asked to have the items removed, at which point the manager broke out the most offensive part of the night. She removed the queso and half-wasted meal, but looked right at our group member and said, "I bet you were all planning on doing this [getting comped meals] from the moment you walked in here." We immediately paid and left, none of us have ever received such offensive service from any establishment. Ever.
The funny part about this visit was that every other table in the restaurant was getting wonderful service except for our table of heavily tattooed and modified people. I'm incredibly disappointed in the service today, and I won't be patronizing El Vaquero again, which is a shame since a good deal of their food is delicious."
I'm thinking of sending this letter to corporate as well, though I'm not sure what that would accomplish beyond coupons.