Andrea’s View: How did it come to pass that I ended up with a dish as pedestrian as steak tacos while Dave enjoyed quail? Oh, it’s quite a story. We met friends for lunch at Carniceria Guanajuato in the former Galayans at Pike Plaza. This is a very authentic Mexican restaurant tucked in the back of a very authentic Mexican grocery store. The restaurant is honestly beautiful (as beautiful as any restaurant in the back of a grocery store can be) with its ornately carved wooden tables and wood and brass bar. Yes there is a full bar in the grocery store. Anyway, our friends ordered steak and pork tacos and a burrito of some kind, I can’t remember what. Dave ordered the quail in red sauce. I ordered the rabbit in pepper sauce and was told they did not have any rabbit. Okay, so I ordered the mourning doves in abobo sauce. They don’t have any doves either. Okay. I then order a chorizo taco and a tripe taco. Okay. Our friends’ food arrives in a timely fashion. Dave’s quail arrives about 10 minutes later. A few minutes after that, a woman, not our server, comes up to me and says that there was some confusion about my order. I tell her what I ordered a second time. Okay. Some time passes, and our server comes up and tells me that they do not have those items either. At this point I say, just give me two steak tacos, since I know they have those. Oh and by they way, I completely forgot about the order of fried plantains. But that’s okay, they did too. Any way about an hour after we arrived and well after everyone else had eaten, I finally had two steak tacos. How where they? They were fine. Just fine.
That’s how I felt immediately after the experience. The next day, after some time to cool off and reflect, I now accept some responsibility for the confusion. Like I mentioned, this was a very authentic Mexican restaurant. Our friends ordered asada taco, carnitas taco, and cartintas/asada? burrito. Dave said “quail” and pointed. My fear of butchering the Spanish language and/or pointing to items, led me to order in English. That was my mistake. Had I ordered, or tried to order, in Spanish, the confusion over my order would have been cleared up immediately. Now granted, they did not have 4 out of the 5 things I ordered, but I would have ended up with my tacos asada much sooner.
Dave’s View: I came in first. Andrea came in second. It has been a long time. Usually, I’m the one who gets the bad service because I look mean. I let her do all the talking because she can get things done. But not this time. I was sitting across from the significant other and she looked like a lost soul. Her jaw would get lower and lower on every attempt to order food. By the third attempt, her jaw was on the table and my quail was safely tucked away in my belly going “yum, that was good!”
Here’s the thing though! When we first ordered, our waiter came up and spoke in Spanish. I wasn’t expecting it and I looked at Andrea, and asked “What did he say?”. Andrea knows some Spanish and she told me what he said, but I still got the better service!!! Stupidity and ignorance pays off for once! I ordered the quail in red sauce, got quail in green sauce. She tries to order the rabbit.(They don’t have it.) She tries to order the dove.(They don’t have it.) I was thinking to myself, “Wow, I must have sucked away my wife’s positivity for one afternoon.” She ordered steak tacos, but didn’t get it for another half hour. I felt sorry for her and pull out of my green sauce, the proverbial olive branch called, the quail leg. She kindly took it. Well, okay, I had to ask her four times to take one, but she finally caved in and sucked on a leg. My quail leg that I got thirty minutes ago.
The quail by the way, was very crunchy, but hot. It was served with rice and refried beans. The rice was typical and the beans would have been excellent if they weren’t cold (Probably, because they were waiting on some Andrea’s mythical food that was never going to be). The beans were cooked in lard and if warmed up would have been some of the best refried beans I’ve ever tasted.
For the restaurant Carniceria Guanajuato, all I can say, is that I was impressed. This restaurant has a large latino community following. The place was packed and there were many families and everybody was very hospitable. When you see the actual words, United States, the definition of united, is in this very restaurant. That’s all I can say.
Food: 7 Service: 7 Ambiance: 9.5 Total: 23.5 out of 30
$15-$25 with adult beverages
Oh, by the way, pointing to the menu. Don’t listen to Andrea. Remember they loved me.