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Santi's (Charleston, SC) was awful

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observor Nov 25, 2009 06:02 AM

I had a vegetarian burrito last night and the place was very crowded, and it was late, so i thought it would be good. It was awful. The squat grilled burrito was not very stuffed and it was predominantly lettuce and tomato with sour cream...I barely tasted any cheese, beans, or avocado, as advertised. The splat of "refired beans" was diarrhea in consistency and the crappy cold rice was awful. Laughably, they included more lettuce and tomatoes! The service was nonexistent and awful, and they left my empty dishes sitting there interminably even though no one was doing something! I would never set foot there another time.

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Santi's Restaurante Mexicano
1302 Meeting Street Rd, Charleston, SC 29405

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    General Knowledge RE: observor Nov 25, 2009 07:49 AM

    Sorry you had a bad meal. It's one of my favorite places in Charleston and I go there at least once a month. Never had a bad experience. I recommend the tacos and the chimichanga. The chips are amazing. It does get crowded, I usually try to get there around 6:30 or 7, and there's usually no wait and good service.

    7 Replies
    1. re: General Knowledge
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      observor RE: General Knowledge Nov 25, 2009 08:06 AM

      What made those chips different from any other homemade chip? They were fine, they were good and crisp and the salsa was fine, but that is not enough to recommend a place. Other dishes I saw them taking out didn't look much more substantial than what I got, and I thought 9 dollars was stupid for that lump. How could you possibly think the liquified beans and cold rice, both of which I would believe are part of most of their dishes, is something to make it one of your "favorite" places. That food would be insulting to Mexican culinary people. I will say that the late hour and busyness may have kept them from their finest production, but I don't see why people standing around can't remove my dirty dishes that were sitting there forever and never did anyone ask if the food was alright, did I need anything, etc. I was thinking about not leaving a tip.

      But the massive lettuce and tomato in the burrito...that's just bad. They may not prepare many vegetarian burritos, maybe they were shocked.

      1. re: observor
        Sue in Mt P RE: observor Nov 25, 2009 09:12 AM

        We enjoy Santi's. I've been there many times over the years and never been disappointed but I didn't expect culinary nirvana or a fine dining experience. For something more upscale try Uno Mas.

        1. re: Sue in Mt P
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          observor RE: Sue in Mt P Nov 25, 2009 10:37 AM

          I would just like to try something competent. ..imagine, a lettuce and tomato burrito.

        2. re: observor
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          General Knowledge RE: observor Nov 30, 2009 06:28 AM

          Do you know of some other place that makes better homemade chips? I really don't know of too many places in Charleston that make homemade chips at all, so maybe I'm just missing out, but I love those chips.

          The beans are saucy. What do you want from beans? I don't like mine dry.

          I don't have anything to say about your veggie burrito because I've never had that menu item, though I've had several other dishes and enjoyed them all.

          I'm sorry you seem to hate every meal you eat here in Charleston.

          1. re: General Knowledge
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            observor RE: General Knowledge Nov 30, 2009 06:38 AM

            I have not dined at many Mexican restaurants in Charleston so I am not fully aware of the effort to make homemade tortilla chips, but I seem to recall that Yo Burrito perhaps makes housemade chips, as does maybe Moe's Southwest Grill, if I'm not wrong, and perhaps Barberito's. In any case, it is quite hyperbole to say I have hated all meals I've had here. The steak I had at High Cotton was very good, the shrimp and grits I had at The Swamp Fox was quite good, I have had a couple of decent hamburgers, I got a wonderful chicken Caesar salad at Five Loaves Cafe the other day. I really don't think I have had enough of the options here yet. I like to have things done well, which is seemingly an impossibility today, and leaving dirty dishes and serving bad food is, in my perspective, bad. I am willing to keep going. (Mexican food seems highly susceptible to being quite genericized it seems, at least the further one is from Mexico...)

            1. re: observor
              Naco RE: observor Nov 30, 2009 07:40 AM

              There is plenty of fairly authentic(with regard to ingredients and, to a lesser extent, prep) Mexican in South Carolina and the South more generally. You just have to know what to look for.

            2. re: General Knowledge
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              observor RE: General Knowledge Dec 6, 2009 12:52 PM

              I will allow that the late hour and the lack of many people ordering vegetarian burritos could have affected the product.

              You may be able to inquire at some Mexican places and see if you can buy their housemade chips, if there is no tortilleria in Charleston.

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