Dave

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Lunch Report: La Margarita...

As you may be aware, San Antonio is in the midst of Fiesta which is just another excuse for us to party and such. There are so many events to pick and choose from during the two week period, but it seems like every year, we do our own ritual that involves going down to the Farmers Market or El Mercado early in the afternoon, eating lunch at La Margarita, then seeing the sights and getting the heck out of the place before any real fun starts. I'll tell you about our brief Fiesta visit later, but first, an important lunch report on La Margarita.

Many of you know that there are three restaurants owned by The Cortez Family in the same general area. La Margarita, Pico de Gallo, and Mi Tierra. Of the three, we just happen to prefer La Margarita. I have nothing bad to say about the others, but my wife would probably be willing to share her thoughts with you if you asked her.

I have always liked the beef fajitas at La Margarita and I like the fact that they serve up a cold schooner of beer. I guess I'm pretty easy to please that way.

On out trip in this afternoon, we had no wait at all. I think we missed the real lunch crowd and beat the dinner crowd to be honest. And that's fine. I like it when we can get in, and get served fast, and today, that happened.
I'm big on atmosphere and for some reason I like this place. We sat in the main dining area, where you see a really nice mural of Mariachis and other paintings on the walls.I also enjoy the bar area. I recall once, we sat in what seemed to be an overflow area and it was really a back room of some sort with no other connection to the restaurant. We felt as though we were seated at the kids table at thanksgiving or something. But not this time.We were seated, our waitress got us the standard chips and salsa, gave us our menus and took our drink orders in near record time.From there, we no sooner ordered the mixed chicken and beef fajitas for two and I just have to assume they had a batch coming off the grill in anticipation because our order was on our table before I could wolf down more than a handful of chips slathered in salsa and flush it down my gullet with a swallow or two of beer.This order comes with a cup of beans, rice, a plate of guacamole and such, and then the huge steaming plate of fajitas with grilled onions and tomatoes. The smell is simply wonderful. For those of us in San Antonio, we could argue all day long about who has the best fajitas. I'm not going to say here and now that La Maragrita's make the top of my list, but let me tell you something, they work for me. As an ordinary rule, you order either chicken or beef, but we often like to mix. I'm going to tell you that the beef are far better than the chicken at La Margarita. But the chicken is good, just not as good as the beef.

Okay, so that was all I was going to say about La Margarita because really, we just wanted to get down there, eat, take a few pictures of Fiesta in the Market area, then get back home because we had something else going on later. And the way things started off, I was no kidding ready to tell you that this was the best service experience we had ever had at this particular restaurant. And then things fell apart.

In fairness, I am convinced that this had to be an isolated incident. But after we ate, we realized that we wouldn't be able to finish everything so we started thinking about getting a to-go container for the chicken fajitas, leftover rice and wonderful tortillas. And we sat there looking around for our waitress so as to ask for the container and our check. And we sat there some more. And we looked around at all the other waiters and waitresses and the mariachis and the other diners, but we could not locate our waitress to save our lives.

The fact that I saw so many other wait staff, I was starting to think that maybe they had gone through a shift change and our waitress may have passed on the bill to someone else. We look around some more and my wife decides to slip off to the powder room, thinking that will get us our bill. Nope.

Finally, I get up and find a man at the cashier desk and tell him that I seem to have lost my waitress and I need a to-go box and a check. He runs off, returns with the styro-foam container and then runs off again. Moments later, our waitress arrives, and almost as though we have interrupted her from some sort of international negotiation with the UN, hands us the ticket with a forced smile then spins around and is gone. And just like that, her tip which my wife had already laid out on the table got cut in half.
So we walk up to the counter to pay the bill and then head out the front door. What do we see just outside? Our waitress making lovey-dovey with a waiter from the restaurant across the ally. What the hell? No wonder she was so eager to get away from our table. I thought they were going to have to get a room for a minute. So I casually snapped a picture of them. By now, they had retrieved their tongues from one-another's lungs.

And my wife went right back inside, picked up what remained of the tip and then went to the cashier and told her that if the waitress asked about her tip, to tell her "that her "F'ing" boyfriend already gave it to her".
My wife is hard core like that. But aside from that little misstep, I enjoy La Margarita and we have never had service like that. It is a great place to take guests from out of town or just a good place for a little lunch. I give the beef fajitas a definite Tasty Treat, and you will too.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Eva say:
Now,now in all fairness I was going to leave her a nice tip but when I saw her sucking face with the not to bad looking guy I decided to take mine and I did point her out to the cashier and told her that a was a local and come out of my way to eat there and how she was making us all look bad. Not kewl.I told her that if i was a tourist I would not return.I am sure she will remember me when I go back. I work hard for my $$ shouldn't she ? Especially with gas prices. Also, as I recall Dave got lucky too. Her tip was 3 extra beers for Dave :) . All in all I still love Fiesta and will return next year.

KeithAlanK said...

Hilarious!
We totally support your actions and reasons, and had we witnessed this scene would have stood up and applauded.

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San Antonio, TX, United States
I love to observe the odd things happening around me as I go about my day. I especially like it when I can get a picture of people being themselves. Here, I attempt to report the various people and events I have encountered in my neighborhood, and my city. I'd also love to hear from you. Feel free to e-mail your experiences and photos of life in San Antonio.

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