Sunday, September 28, 2008

Taco Chulo

Priya, Jonathan, and I met for dinner in south Williamsburg and, after some wandering, ended up at Taco Chulo, on Grand near Havemeyer. It seemed like it was getting busy, but we got a seat without waiting.

And then proceeded to wait. And wait, and wait. We looked over the menu and weren't very excited by it--we didn't see anything that appeared to be worth the price they were charging for it. Chips were $2 (plus $1 for salsa, I think) per basket! (shouldn't a restaurant be giving these fairly inexpensive items away like bread?). A michelada was $3 more than a regular beer! At most places it's the same price, or MAYBE a dollar more (all it is is a beer with a glass of ice, some salt, and lime juice). The entrees all looked like they were maybe $1-2 more than they really ought to be.

We were wrapped up in conversation or we might have simply left without placing orders beyond the drinks and chips we'd ordered when we sat down. (I had an horchata, which tasted more of "red cinnamon" than "brown cinnamon", probably meaning it was overcinnamoned?) Fifteen minutes went by, and no waitress appeared to take our orders. Finally, a gentleman (maybe the manager) saw us craning our necks and came over and took our order, apologizing and saying, "She's really busy right now, we just got slammed, lots of phone orders..." (the place was full but not packed, from what I saw).

And again we waited...and waited...and waited. Forty-five more minutes went by with no sign from the kitchen--no food, no waitress coming by to check on drink refills...our $3 basket of chips was long since emptied and we didn't want to pay for another. My stomach growled.

Jonathan espied an almost-full basket of chips on a nearby empty table and, without warning, jumped up and made for it. Too late, Priya and I saw that the girls who had been there had left their purses on their seats--they were just having a cigarette or something. We yelled, "Jonathan!" but someone was quicker--the manager guy made a beeline for him and barked, "Sir! Sir! Those women are still here." (no idea why he was so attentive to that kind of thing, yet couldn't be bothered to check on our food).

Jonathan covered well. He muttered something about how we had dared him to do something, and he was just joking. He returned to the table, abashed, and we continued to sit.

Caputo randomly arrived and sat with us. He ordered some tacos and beer. After more than an hour's wait, our food showed up (and Caputo's came not too much later). The people next to us had been seated, ordered, eaten, and left by the time our food had come at all. there was no explanation, no "we'll throw you guys some chips or drinks" or anything.

and the food was fairly standard. I had opted for a pork taco, which was flat-out okay. nobody else seemed very impressed, either. no pictures because it was dim, and anyway the food wasn't really worth discussing in detail.

won't be returning.

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