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lousy service EL SARAPE (weymouth) (kinda long)

  • t

we live in metro west & drove 50 miles to try this place. El Sarape (mexican food) in Weymouth.

Boston.com online msg boards recommended the mexican food some weeks back.

we went sunday 10/16. when we arrived for a late lunch around 2:00pm the place was about half empty. we have a 15 m old child who required a high chair & were promptly seated on a booth type table.

we were sitting for about 3 min when suddenly this server comes out of the blue & demands that we move since the high chair was blocking the hallway (there were about 2 more empty tables past our end). anyway, we obliged w/out letting him know that we didn't choose where we were seated, we were directed (that was my mistake for not pointing out).

anyway, the server had 2 other tables throughout our meal (both were small groups) & it seemed he was doing us a favor taking our order (appetizer/ meal, drinks) between serving these other 2 groups. i understand they were seated before us, but it seemed we actually were intefering with his schedule or something.. i don't understand why someone didn't just delegate another server to our table. perhaps short staffed, don't know.

the food was average (chicken/ rice soup was really good though); rest was ok. on the whole we felt rushed to order (i think b'cause we had a 15 month old) but if that's the case, that's sad.

the kid behaved well throughout. he dropped a toy under the table towards the end of our meal & when my wife & i realized, I went back after seating him in car outside; i was told nothing was found & table had been swept. the bartender saw this & actually apologized & gave me card to call & speak to manager later as i think he realized service was not up to the mark (incidentally he was the same person who seated us at the beginning - nice person).

like i said, we made a trip to enjoy our meal & afternoon (which we did, nevertheless).. but we could have done without the terrible server & service. i still left 18% gratuity (round #) because i felt our child dropped some nachos on the floor on his end & didn't want to be unfair to whomever was to sweep.

on the whole, a downer. will not be going back. i did try calling the manager & speaking to him -at first i was told he was out for the evening (sounded like the voice of our server who picked up!). seemed he knew! well i did call back because bartender had told me before i left that mgr would be in, in 1/2 hour. i did call back again & was directed to pepe. (pepe is name of mgr i was given) & explained our service experience. his answer - in a nutshell - a half apology & he would talk to server. g'bye.

well, that's all. i felt quite strongly about this so i posted. have been a long time reader; first time poster. its sad that the people in the kitchen might be doing their job; but 1 bad server is all it takes. if you plan on going w/ small kids hope you have better experience.

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  1. Wow, sorry your experience was so bad. We live on the South shore and never had a bad experience there. We have been going since my son was in utero (I went 3 times in one week when I was 2 weeks overdue since I was trying the old wives tale about spicy food). My son is now four and they have always treated us well They have never minded us having him with us or other kids for that matter when we we go with friends. El Sarape has always been considered family friendly, at least the times we go which is like you late lunches on Sundays or early evening dinners. They have never rushed us.

    About the food, personally there are a lot better Mexican that I would drive 50 miles for but on the South Shore it is the closest to authentic Mexican you are going to get. The cilantro shrimp is wonderful, the carnitas spicy, moist and tender and the "basic" traditional stuff is just that basic but fresh and well prepared. The rst of places around here is at the best TexMEx.

    I won't even try to suggest you give them another try because like I said I don't think it is worth a 50 mile drive, especially with a 15 month old unless you want him to nap in the car. ;) But when your choices are slim and you want a strong margarita and some solid mexican you can't get better around here.

    1 Reply
    1. re: foodiex2
      t
      try everything

      thank you for your reply.

      perhaps it was our bad luck. i'm not sure my wife will vouch going back, but if i'm ever in the area on business, might try them for drinks or lunch. (again, depends)

      although an incident such as mine does make me hesitate.. even while i type this. perhaps the drive had my hopes built up bit too much.

    2. Sorry for your lousy experience. I'm somewhat surprised, I was just there about a month ago for a weeekend lunch with friends, and I had my (then) 6 week old baby along. I didn't get the impression that were at all bothered by the baby and service was fine.

      I think driving 50 miles for this place probably built it up a little too much. I like it quite a bit when I'm in the area, but I don't think I'd invest a 100 mile round trip with an infant for it.

      1. Can't believe you tipped 18% to a bad server.

        How will he/she learn if you don't at least ding them on the tip, spilled nachos be darned.

        1 Reply
        1. re: StriperGuy
          t
          twentyoystahs

          I agree. I would have left a tip, but certainly one that made it clear you were unhappy with the service. Perhaps 10%.
          As far as I'm concerned, anything over 15% says you were happy w/the service.

        2. My family and I have been going to El Sarape since very shortly after it opened for business. My kids have more-or-less grown up there and the staff that's been around long enough recognize us when we come in.

          The carnitas, higaditos, pollo naranja, mole poblano, pollo espinacas, and enchiladas verdes are all favorites (I would recommend avoiding the more tex-mex oriented food - the specialties are excellent, however). I have to agree with the comments about not traveling 50 miles with an toddler to eat there, but I do understand that many people come from quite a distance. Any other readers: the food at El Sarape is definitely of high quality and worth a bit of effort to try.

          1. That's too bad about your experience. I've been to El Serape a few times and found the service to be so-so. The food wasn't so great, either. I would try La Paloma in Quincy instead. I know a million people are going to write back and say they don't like La Paloma--whatever … I've been going there for years and never had a bad meal. It's not authentic Mexican; it's just good food.

            3 Replies
            1. re: heatherfields

              Sorry, but I have to ... I just have to. I've never been to El Serape but live pretty near La Paloma and have given it more than it's fair share of tries. It's hideous. I'd go without dinner if that were the only choice. Or drive to the taco Bell on Hancock Street which is probably not there anymore. If you do try it, under no circumstances order the beef burritos which are filled with sickly sweet BBQ meat.

              1. re: C. Hamster

                I concur about avoiding La Paloma. I wish it were good, and I, like many, am desperate enough for Mexican food to overlook alot, but it is beyond bad. As in barely thawed out frozen vegetables bad.

                My local solution has been opening a jar of desert pepper green salsa and taking it from there, but I am looking forward to exploring East Boston.

                1. re: chowfamily

                  I also need to get off my butt and get over to Eastie