Dear Jeffrey Chodorow:
Hi. Long-time eater, first-time writer to you, here.
So, listen - your Tuscan Steak replacement, El Scorpion? You've got some kinks to work out ASAP, or this place is gonna tank.
I'm going to give you the Stewie Griffin "compliment sandwich," so we can discuss my dining experience.
You're in a prime location!
You've got to do something about the noise level. The acoustics are AWFUL, and your diners can't hear each other, let alone the servers. Maybe it's the liberal use of chalkboard-paint? Gotta be fixed.
The Guacamole was pretty awesome!
It came after our entrees (which came out about 5 minutes after ordering them).
My bacon taco was great!
My tacos came out a minute after my drink did, and, as I said, before the Guacamole; the other tacos were lackluster.
The complimentary chips and salsa were pretty tasty, and the chips were warm and fresh-fried!
The server pointed out that they were complimentary. Um... duh. You GET free chips n' salsa at Mexican restaurants. Also, he "zeroed out" the chips on the check. Don't effing do that... You're not comping me chips, so don't pretend like you are.
My margarita was pretty tasty!
Except I paid 12 bucks for about an ounce of liquid, which was thinly coating my cupful of ice.
And let's talk about the Service, shall we?
Our waiter was enthusiastic to the point of annoying and/or insulting. Also, he was an idiot. He asked if we would like him to make some recommendations. Gael said "no" while I said "yes." I won. The waiter's recommendation? "Many people like to order Guacamole and margaritas before their entree."
No. Fucking. Shit. Really?
It was like he was talking to people who don't eat in restaurants far more than they should. When Gael ordered a Corona, he actually asked her, "You're not having a Margarita?" "No, I'm having a Corona," was her reply.
The exchanges with the waiter actually became comical at one point - my friend Ashley happened to be seated one table away from ours, and watching her facial expressions during an exchange with the waiter actually caused me to... wait for it... point and laugh. That's right, Mr. Chodorow, I pointed and laughed. Loudly.
Less funny was the waiter's Beetlejuice-like way of popping up between us, from behind and barking questions at us. I almost jumped out of my skin. Thrice.
And when he came to put the check down, he pushed my hand out of the way with the billfold - of course, attacking from behind, which was really... weird.
We left him 18%. I never leave 18%. I was a server in years gone by. For awful service, I still leave 20%. Not tonight, though. That guy... that guy was a maroon.
And expennnnnnnnnnnnnsive?! Two drinks, two taco plates, and a guacamole? $73.00.
Jeffrey - no one's gonna play pool in the back room you've installed. Because no one's gonna hang around. Because we were seated at 8:15, and paid the check by 9:00. For serious. If a seventy-three dollar check for two, doesn't buy you an hour at a table in a Houston's-level restaurant... who's gonna want to hang around to drink ten-dollar beers and shoot pool in the belly of a noveau-Mexican restaurant?
Oh, and also two last nitpicky items - the Chairs? (replicas of those at Rosa Mexicana - the kind made out of woven seatbelt material) They're definitely not three weeks old. Either that, or there was a massive food-fight at El Scorpion within the first three weeks of its opening, causing them to look prematurely... stained.
Might want to do something about that. I noticed.
And your Hostess? Might want to hire someone who speaks clearly. Your current hostess... does not.
Will I go back, Jeffrey? Yes. The good things were good enough to bring me back to eat them again. And I'm a sucker for hot chips n' made-to-order Guacamole.
But next time, Jeffrey - if my entree comes before my appetizer, I'm sending the entree back, and I'm going to want a new one when it comes back out again... 20 minutes after I've had my appetizer.
El Scorpion - it sure ain't no Blue Door, China Grill or Asia de Cuba...