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“Very ordinary food” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Casa Margarita

Casa Margarita
266 Debeyers Road, Pokolbin, New South Wales 2320, Australia
+61 2 4998 7776
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Ranked #38 of 52 Restaurants in Pokolbin
Price range: $8 - $29
Cuisines: Mexican
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Outdoor seating
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Description: Casa Margarita lies in the heart of The Hunter Valley’s bustling wine country, on the grounds of world-renowned, Harkham Windarra Winery. Casa Margarita combines the simplicity of authentic family recipes with fresh, high-quality ingredients to bring diners unparalleled, delectable Mexican cuisine in a charming, turn of the century cantina setting.
Cessnock, Australia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
“Very ordinary food”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2013

We booked a table in advance but had a 20min wait as no free tables. Large group also waiting outside for a table. No offer of a drink or menu to peruse whilst we waited. Short staffed so a bit more waiting. Staff were pleasant and apologized for delays. Food lacked any flavour, presentation dull and not very hot with no vegetarian option, (pricey for the food we were presented) Guacamole and corn chips the tastiest part of the meal. Enjoyed the Sangria although McDonalds style of a jug full to brim with ice and Sangria poured over meant we had to order a second jug. The setting is casual, noise level high with no sound bats but cool for a Mexican. Food would need to improve for us to recommend to friends.
Suggestion to owners; look at your menu to improve your taste, pay well for good staff as they tend to not let you down last minute, also have the ability to read the customers, Offer free drinks if delays or at least put free dip and corn chips on table. Shame as a local I was looking forward to good mexican food closer to home. I know it's early days for you but your locals will keep returning if it's good food. Good luck

  • Visited August 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Max S, Owner at Casa Margarita, responded to this review, January 7, 2014
Hello Sheila,

My name is Max, and I am the owner of Casa Margarita. Thank you for visiting our restaurant; we really appreciate your business. Although this response is a bit late, we would like to sincerely apologize if your experience was not satisfactory. Casa Margarita’s management is currently addressing logistical issues to better accommodate our customer's needs. We plan to improve booking systems, menu options, logical food order, staff accountability, and serving speed. If you return to our restaurant, I would love to have the opportunity to speak with you directly, so please ask for me. We hope to see you again in the future and wish you the very best.

Sincerely,
Max Soto

P.S.
When you first came, we had been open for barely one month, so I hope you will return and give us a second chance. IF you are still unhappy with your experience, I will gladly comp your meal.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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52 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    21
    6
    6
    7
    12
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
1 review
“great”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2013 via mobile

can't understand tge bad reviews this is my first time here and its great, service is fast and friendly in beautiful atmosphere

  • Visited August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Slop on a plate”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2013

Having spent time in San Diego a short jump over the border to Mexico I thought I had a pretty good idea of Mexican food. I have now truly understood that Mexican food quality and flavour varies, from very good to very bad. THIS IS VERY BAD! Sangria with little flavour that sangria should have, fruit citrus, red wine; instead we had watered down cheap red with a magic sprinkling of fruit. The food was pure slop on a plate, full stop. Presentation was non existent, flavours nearly acceptable but still short. A pre frozen mexican dinner in a supermarket would be 5 star in comparison. Condiments , ie the staple of Mexican food, sour cream and guacamole, meagre. Don't get me started on the cost of this plated trash!

Really if you must visit this restaurant, then halve and halve again your expectations then lower them further, even then you may be dissappointed.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Max S, Owner at Casa Margarita, responded to this review, January 7, 2014
Hello,

My name is Max, and I am the owner of Casa Margarita. Thank you for visiting our restaurant; we really appreciate your business. Although this response is a bit late, we would like to sincerely apologize if your experience was not satisfactory. Casa Margarita’s management is currently addressing logistical issues to better accommodate our customer's needs. We plan to improve booking systems, menu options, logical food order, staff accountability, and serving speed. If you return to our restaurant, I would love to have the opportunity to speak with you directly, so please ask for me. We hope to see you again in the future and wish you the very best.

Sincerely,
Max Soto

P.S.
When you first came, we had been open for barely one month, so I hope you will return and give us a second chance. IF you are still unhappy with your experience, I will gladly comp your meal.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pokolbin, Australia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Terrible food, terrible service waste of money”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2013

Do not go to this place.

Like other reviewers I love Mexican food. I also never ever complain. If i eat out and it is bad, i ussually smile, nod and cop it. Not this time.

$125 bought us two hot beers, quesadillas, a couple of corn chips with bland toppings, and two servings of fajitas: the flavour from a old el paso burrito kit would have surpassed the non existant flavour of the cardboard tasting meal. I apologise to el paso in adavnce.

The lovely waitress who served us, could not say the name of any dish on the menu, bless. Our miserable entrees came out quickly as did our cold beers. Not a bad start. Disappointed by the quesadillas and other "really nice dish" recommended by the waitress, we proceeded to order two more beers. They were nice and cold. Awesome. Some 40 minutes passed, no mains. We ordered two more beers and asked after our food.

Our waitress returned. "What did you order again"?....

Couple of minutes passed. Two hot beers arrived. It is August, we were sitting outside, the wind was blowing it was cold, the beers were hot.

Then the cardboard came. Tasteless, dry, small. There was a tablespoon of guacomole, the chicken and beef was chewy and dry. None of the above one ever associates with Mexican food.

Ate. Got up. Went to counter to pay bill. Did not get a chance to see the itmised bill to see if we were charged for the hot beers, obviously no "compensation" for their stuff ups.

Disappointed, dumbfounded, frustrated and hungry, paid the bill, said thanks, left and went past Dominos in Cessnock....

  • Visited August 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Max S, Owner at Casa Margarita, responded to this review, January 7, 2014
Hello,

My name is Max, and I am the owner of Casa Margarita. Thank you for visiting our restaurant; we really appreciate your business. Although this response is a bit late, we would like to sincerely apologize if your experience was not satisfactory. Casa Margarita’s management is currently addressing logistical issues to better accommodate our customer's needs. We plan to improve booking systems, menu options, logical food order, staff accountability, and serving speed. If you return to our restaurant, I would love to have the opportunity to speak with you directly, so please ask for me. We hope to see you again in the future and wish you the very best.

Sincerely,
Max Soto

P.S.
When you first came, we had been open for less than one month, so I hope you will return and give us a second chance. IF you don't like the food or service, I will comp your meal.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“If your floor staff are going to be that rude, your food needs to be a lot better...”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2013 via mobile

We had a large group but booked more than a week in advance. When we arrived we were made to wait around 45 minutes, outside in the middle of winter because they had obviously double-booked the tables.

We were on a group menu so we did not get to choose our meals, which is understandable with a large group, however the waitstaff made no attempt to explain what any of the meals were as they dropped the plates in front of us. The food was brought out in no apparent order, with one of our tables receiving the rice to go with their meals before they came out but our table not receiving that part of the meal until we had got sick of waiting for it. We had to wait long time for our food, which is surprising since we were on a set menu. The food was also distributed unevenly on the tables, which gave the impression that there was more food coming but it never came.

The food was pleasant enough but it wasn't good enough to make up for the service. I asked the waiter for a wine glass (BYO wine was allowed). He scoffed and told me that "everyone is looking for one of them". More than half an hour later he hadn't returned so I guess he's still looking for it. The margaritas were nice but after putting in our first orders of drinks we weren't asked again if we wanted to order any other drinks.

Our set menu included churros as dessert and our table of around 12 got one plate of 6 or 8 to share. Another plate came out more than 20 minutes later, after we had asked for it and were treated like we were asking for something extra, rather than simply requesting what we had been told was part of the meal. It's a bit rich to call that a third course, especially when the first course was corn chips and guacamole.

The floor staff were very focused on telling stories and entertaining the customers but not at all focused on feeding customers. Frankly I don't care about your life story if you can't do your job properly.

The waiter was bragging that a very important food critic had been out there during the day. It makes me wonder whether they exhausted themselves trying to impress her and forgot that a large group of locals also needed to be fed. I will not be recommending this place to anyone.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Max S, Owner at Casa Margarita, responded to this review, January 7, 2014
Thank you for visiting our restaurant; we really appreciate your business. We would like to sincerely apologize if your experience was not satisfactory. Casa Margarita’s management is currently addressing logistical issues to better accommodate large groups. We plan to improve booking systems, menu options, logical food order, staff accountability, and serving speed. If you return to our restaurant, I would love to have the opportunity to speak with you directly, so please ask for me. We hope to see you again in the future and wish you the very best.

Sincerely,
Max Soto
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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