Tag Archives: Slow Service

El Ranchero

Before you all lose faith in my drinking abilities, I assure you I’ve just been lazy about writing reviews (yes, I have 2-3 other reviews currently in my back pocket for a rainy day).  This week, I ventured to El Ranchero with coworkers.  We attended for a Thursday happy hour, which was a nice change of pace from the extended Friday Happy Hour.  Arriving a little after 5:30pm, we decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather and sat outside. They have a small part of the sidewalk in front of the restaurant dedicated for about six tables.  After we were quickly set up outside, our quirky waiter introduced us to the wonderful deals the establishment offered and took our order.  The deals we most certainly took advantage were $4 margaritas and $1 tacos.  These margaritas were quite tasty and our table got the full array (regular, strawberry and peach).  Personally, I spent the night sipping down peach margaritas, but sampled the others and can assure you of the overall quality.

After getting our initial round of drinks, our taco medley started to arrive.  These may not be gourmet tacos, but for $1 apiece, it’s really hard to complain.  The beef tacos were definitely better than the chicken or bean tacos…or maybe that was just the anticipation because we had a slightly longer wait for them.  To our misfortune, the beautiful weather faded, the clouds rolled in and so did the rain.  We were forced to continue inside.  The interior of the restaurant/bar was quaint.  El Ranchero has a distinct bar area and table area.  What started as us (a slightly loud/rambunctious group) entering a relatively quiet dining area, with time and more patrons, the area transformed to something more homogenous with our group’s attitude – drink and eat cheap tacos.  Now for the nitty-gritty, while I did enjoy this happy hour, the service was not the best.  El Ranchero let some things slip through the cracks – simple things like frequency of the waiter checking on potential refills, forgetting to bring us napkins, the assumption with the rain we would be leaving rather than moving inside, and then being slow with bringing the check.  Don’t get me wrong; I did like the laid-back atmosphere here.  However, if you or your friends are in a hurry (are impatient at all), you might want to reserve El Ranchero for another night.  Given El Ranchero’s proximity to my work, the nice outdoor seating and delicious (yet reasonably priced) margaritas, I would most certainly come back.

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Exterior of 901

I ventured to 901 on Friday evening in hopes of a relaxed night.  Catching the tale end of happy hour with a couple friends, we grabbed a drink (vodka tonic for me – $6, and the boys enjoyed a good sampling of beer) and two small plates (kobe beef sliders and duck rolls – $5 each).  Upon entering, it was fairly crowded and while the appearance is really contemporary and “cool” looking, it felt slightly disorganized.  If I were entering for the purpose of attending dinner, I would not have been able to find the hostess behind the mini sea of people.

Unable to find our friend that was already there with coworkers, we went to the bar to start with a drink. There were no shortcomings here.  After absent-mindedly realizing we were starving, we ordered the above-mentioned small plates.  Much to our dismay, it took an extended period of time to get our food (at least 20 minutes).  Initially thinking that it just took a while to prepare, this logic was quickly squashed by the fact that many other people were receiving their orders, some of which were placed after ours.  Once we got the dishes, they were delicious, but unfortunately the wait took away from that experience.

The staff was very friendly and had many staff working behind the bar.  Despite this, the service was still fairly slow.  In fairness, the friends that were eating/drinking in the restaurant part of 901 had no complaints and really enjoyed everything about this establishment.  Perhaps my friend and I just caught the wrong timing of everything, but the service was rather dissatisfactory for our purpose that night.  I would definitely consider coming back to 901 for a meal or drinks at a table because the décor was amazing and the quality of their product was very good.  I’d even consider going back at a later point during the night if looking for a hip lounge type bar.  However, coming here for a later happy hour was really not the experience I was hoping for that night.

Blurry Interior

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