I already have done reports for this chain of Mexican Restaurants under Report #9. Normally when I try a new location, I just add the new info under the old report as a supplemental report. But this place deserved a report of it’s own, so I’m doing a Report #9A to differentiate!
When I first moved to the Westbank of New Orleans, I discovered El Paso. Loved it! The location near my house closed, but another opened up in Belle Chasse. I visited it and also loved it. I mentioned that to a couple of foodies I know and they said they hated El Paso! I was shocked! Then they told me they had only tried the Metairie location. So I got the impression that location wasn’t very good.
In the current aftermath of Hurricane Ida, many restaurants are closed. We were in Metairie and they were open. I figured I’d give them a try to see if the criticism I’d heard was warranted.
My dining partner had gone in to get a table while I was parking down the street. When I came in and joined her there was only one menu on the table. I asked for another menu so I could get through the numerous pages on my own terms, but was told they only allowed one menu per table. Uh, ok.
First, we ordered nachos:
They were pretty good! So I was thinking maybe the criticism of this place was unwarranted. Anyone could have a bad day now and then. Maybe my friends caught them on one of those.
But then, as I was searching for it to slather on my nachos, I noticed guacamole was missing from the condiment plate. When our waiter returned I pointed that out. He told me they were out of it. Ok. If that’s the case you tell me you’re out of it when I order. You don’t just bring out what I ordered without it. But I could excuse that.
So then I ordered this for my entrée, after my dining partner ordered something else.
THIS time he tells me they’re out of chili rellenos, and for good measure tells me they’re also out of fish. So now I’ve got to start over. I told him to go ahead and put my dining partners order in so she wouldn’t have to wait on me.
I neglected to take a picture of it because things went downhill after that. I ordered another combination plate that only came with refried beans. I asked our waiter if they could throw some rice on my plate to make up for shorting us guacamole on another dish. He told me he was sorry, but they couldn’t. I asked to talk to the manager.
When the manager arrived I explained to him that our nachos were served without guacamole, and we weren’t told that in advance. Just served our order without it. So to make up for that I was simply requesting some rice to be added to my entrée. I’m assuming to keep a customer happy, throwing a spoon of rice on a plate would be a no-brainer!
Boy was I wrong! He told me that would require an upcharge. That in the hierarchy of things, only certain things could be substituted for guacamole and rice was not one of them. Funny thing is for the price of an avocado you can buy a whole bag of rice! So the way it works is if they don’t have something you’re supposed to get with a dish, they won’t tell you, serve it to you and charge you full price. But anything additional is out of the question without an upcharge.
We went back and forth a bit and he wouldn’t budge. I was going to pay extra for a spoon of rice. So I told him bring us the check for the nachos, I didn’t want anything else, and in fact cancel my dining partners order. Y adios, amigo!
Maybe that was the reason my friends didn’t care about this place. Customer service vs food. Whatever it was I’ll never set foot in this place again.
601 Veterans Blvd., Metairie, LA 70005 Ph: 504-218-4590