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Mamacita's 45N@Richey

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I just wanted to pass this experience along, in case any of my fellow HAIFers has considered dining at this restaurant. I hope my take on the horrible experience gives you a little smile as you read the tale, as I sure wasn't smiling as it was happening. Worse yet, and not that I really care at this age, but it kinda was my birthday. Geez.

Anyway, so Friday night, my wife and I decided on Mamacita's for dinner. We sat down at the table, and waited to be approached by a waiter (literally) for 15 minutes. When he comes to the table, his question is "Has anyone taken your order yet?" No, so let's get some drinks. I'll have a Corona Michelada and she'll have a Vodka Red Bull.

So...we go back to talking, mind you the place is not fully packed by any means, and after a few minutes here comes the girl with some chips and salsa. Mmm, thank you! So now we have a basket of chips, salsa, and...wait, no drinks. Hmm...well honey, I guess it takes a few minutes to mix some Red Bull with Vodka. Maybe the hold up is the chili powdering of my mug for the michelada, let's give them another minute.

"Hello, Chicken Fajitas?" Uh...we haven't placed our food order yet, but hey those smell really good. Believe that's what I now want. "Sorry!" she says with exasperation and off she goes aimlessly with her plate of steaming fajitas.

Another few minutes elapse, and here comes the drinks. Can I have a lime for my michelada? "Sure, everything else ok?" You mean with the basket of chips and my now approaching 30 minute dinner that still hasn't involved placing an order for food? Yeah, so far so good. No big deal, let's order.

So we place our order, wife goes for green enchiladas, my nose is still smelling those delicious fajitas. I'm going with that. "Ok, let me get your order in" he says, and things are looking up. We sit for awhile and I take a few gulps of my spicy beer and realize, he forgot my lime. No big deal, I see our waiter coming, quick touch on his shoulder as he floats by our table, "When you got a chance, could you grab me a wedge of lime from the bar?" "They didn't bring you the lime??" he asks incredulously. Well, no, but who are they? Aren't you our waiter?

"Ahh! You know how it is! Can't trust people to do you a favor!" Apparently, can't trust you either. "I'll be right back." We'll see...

Ok, so as soon as he's off to lime land, here comes a girl to ask if we're doing alright. We're doing alright, but at this point I need another michelada to go with the ever evasive lime that's now on the way...I hope, and my wife could use another Vodka Red Bull. "Sure, be right back".

Now, comes the big tray with our food on it served by the manager. Everything looks good, what's that hon? "Can I get some sour cream?" she inquiries. "Yes ma'am, anything else?" Just our drinks, and I think we're all set.

Now, the food is good, friends. My fajitas were piping hot, great seasoning, and my wife's enchiladas looked very good and stuffed full. Large portions, great presentation.

Hmm...where are the drinks?

We have had our food for another 5 minutes when I realize our waiter is standing out on the patio chit chatting with another server. No drinks, no lime, and at this point, a refill of chips would be a nice touch. So, the hell with this, I grab my mug and her glass and approach the bar for our own drinks. Paco, who introduces himself and asks how he can help me, is the bartender. Nice guy, I tell him what I want, he does his thing, and I've our drinks in hand heading back to the table. I even have a couple of lime wedges on top of the mug, hooray!

That's when things got bad. Apparently, visiting Paco at the bar royally pissed off our waiter. His entire demeanor changed and he went from inept to downright worthless from there. He didn't acknowledge our table again until I reached out to the manager, who had brought our food in the first place, and explained that while I wasn't trying to insult our waiter, I figured he must have forgotten our drinks whilst in the middle of his conversation out on the patio.

Within a couple of seconds of this conversation, here come our waiter to the table. "Will there be anything else?" Yes, let's get the check." Without a word, he walks away. I figured, its taken this long to get to this point in the meal, better go ahead and get the check started so we get out of here by midnight. Mind you, we arrived just aftet six. We finish our meal, which again was really good, and wait for the check.

Here comes a waitress with another Red Bull Vodka and a fresh michelada. "Um...we didn't order those." "Compliments of Paco, for the bad service you've experienced tonight." Well thanks Paco, that's very kind. You just completely turned that around. You should be commended for going that extra mile.

Until...here comes our waiter with the check. "Where did those come from?" he asks. Are you serious? They came from someone with a little know how in customer service, you dolt. "The bar." I say dryly, and hand him my credit card and the bill. When he comes back, he puts the tray on the table and without saying a word goes away. I sign the ticket, fat zero on the tip line, walk back up to the bar, hand Paco a $20 and thank him for saving our evening. Even then, he tried to refuse the cash and tell me it wasn't necessary, but to me it most certainly was. This guy gets it.

So, the moral of this story is, if you find yourself passing Mamacita's on the North Freeway at Richey and decide to stop in for a bite, do yourself a favor.

Sit at the bar, or out on the patio. You'll be much happier in the long run.

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