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Mar 8, 2009 09:05 AM

Don Emilio at Lobo Cafe- the jury's still out...

So, last night we ate at Don Emilio at Lobo Cafe for the first time. I can't quite decide how I feel about the experience, so I thought I'd report and see what people thought about it.
I made the 8 o'clock reservation a week ago and let them know it was for my friend's birthday. I spoke with Don Emilio who was friendly and warm and said" No problem. You will have a great time. See you then."
On the drive over, I was concerned that we might be a few minutes late ( behind a slow driver) and I called to let them know we were on the way. I was assured "no problem". We arrived at 8:05 pm and we were asked to wait just a few minutes at the bar. At that time, there 2 other groups of 4 besides us waiting at the bar. I asked how long the wait might be and he reminded me we were late, and encouraged us to have some drinks.
At 8:30, I politely asked Don Emilio how much longer the wait would be. He put his finger up and told me he was just waiting for a table to get up. He offered to "get our drinks" because of the wait but reminded us that we were late. At 8:45, I inquired again and looked in the dining room just to see. An obnoxious waiter said, " nobody's left yet." Thanks for stating the obvious, jerk!
At 9pm, we really weren't sure what to do and contemplated leaving. The table we were waiting for finally got up and they gave us our bar bill. $102!!!! For 2 rounds of drinks??? My husband reminded the bartender that D.E was "getting the drinks". After he inquired, the bill was reduced to $72 dollars. At that point, we just wanted food.
It took a very long time to get menus, but when the waiter finally came over, he was friendly, professional and on the ball. We ordered a table-side guacamole to start, a chicken quesadilla to start and entrees. Both appetizers were quite good. We ordered the guacamole mild, but perhaps should have asked for medium. Entrees were good as well. My enchiladas poblanas were excellent. A nice sized portion, and the mole sauce was superb. Too bad it was 10pm and I had filled up and chips etc...beforehand. I couldn't finish it. My husband and friend had burritos which they said were quite good, too. Our other friend had fajitas which looked great.
We order dessert, as it was my friend's birthday. She wanted the fried ice cream and my husband got the mexican crepes. I didn't have any, but was told dessert was good too.
The bill for dinner was approx 170 dollars, I believe. We were the absolute last people in the place.
As we were leaving, D.E approached my husband and did say he was sorry for the long wait, but again reminded us that we were late! I thought my husband might kill him!
Not sure if/ when we might return. I kinda missed the Flaco...

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  1. Five minutes late is no excuse for a 1 hour wait.. Glad the food was enjoyable, but if they can't manage the tables and honor reservations, there's plenty of other places who can use the business and will treat you like a guest.

    1. Why would you want to return?

      - you called them to tell them you would be a ferw minutes late. Then he tells you that you were late several times.
      - the prices of drinks sound outrageous
      - Dinner was guac, a chicken ques, 1 enchilada, 2 burritos and a fajita, and 2 desserts for $170. Sounds like way too overpriced.
      - DE acted like a complete idiot to the point your husband wanted to kill him?

      Which part wants you to give the guy more business?

      1. We had a very similar experience. i don't feel they ever really plan to honor their reservations. We were actually a few minutes early for our 8 pm reservation and were told the table was paying their check; however, it ended up being half an hour (and a number of reminder visits to Don Emilio) before we were seated. We had a round of drinks while waiting, and then they 'bought' our other round while we were waiting. They apologized for the wait but didn't seem to make any real efforts. While the food was decent, it wasn't worth the experience, and we don't plan on returning.

        1 Reply
        1. re: new_west_foodie

          Some people we know went recently and said the service was so absentee...They wanted to order a drink at the bar, but the bartender just ignored them. I don't get it. The place seems to be doing well, though. It is always jammed.

        2. My husband and I went last night and had a good experience. We were 10 minutes early for our 8:00 reservations. (After reading the post I was nervous about being late and having to wait) We were seated immediately and given tasty tortillas and delicious salsa. I had a "sopa de lima" and chicken enchiladas suizas, which were both very good. I was impressed with how authentic and fresh the food tasted. I also had the mexican crepes which I highly recommend. Our bill was $95 for: 4 drinks, 2 appetizers, 2 entrees and 1 desert.

          1. I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS PLACE!! 8 of us were squeezed into a table for 6. The service was terrible, the food was burnt and tasteless. Lastly, while their website lists an affordable children's menu, we were told by our waiter "we don't have a children's menu- everyone complains about that. We have told the owner and he does nothing about it ". Pretty pathetic- save your money and stay away from this place!!!!