Our family visited Frank's Bait & Taco at the end of our one week stay in the area. I couldn't believe how different our experience was from the reviews so I had to write a review.
Frank's Bait is full of personality. The owner took a genuine interest in us and seemed to do the same with others who came through the door that night. Essentially the decor consists of thousands of gifts the family has received from restaurant- goers over the years, glued to the wall and hanging from the ceiling. Stuff was beginning to accumulate on the floor which shows how many gifts they receive from people because of their friendly service, but it also seemed like we might be sitting in the beginning stages of someone's hoarding addiction.
Our waiter was the only person working that night and seemed to be the owner. He was a very friendly person and offered lots of great local tourism advice. Had we not been on the tail end of our trip we would have tried out several of his suggestions.
While he was a nice man, the service was very slow. We waited about an hour for the food, which for tacos and enchiladas is way too long. We were promised that "we're slower than the rest, but better than the best." I can appreciate that because let's be honest it's all about the quality of the food.
Despite the issues with the decor and the service, I was patiently waiting for the food because of the reviews on tripadvisor. The owner promised that everything we were eating was authentic Mexican and he was so happy we could try it. As it turned out, very little was authentic or homemade.
For starters, we ordered chips and salsa (they don't offer unlimited chips and salsa like every other mexican restaurant I've been to in my life - the first small basket is free however). The waiter warned us that there was no salt on the chips or in the salsa. Basically that's him saying "this has no flavor." This pretty much set the scene for the rest of the evening. I order a chalupa plate with crispy taco (who makes crispy tacos in Mexico? I've never heard of that) with rice and beans. Unfortunately my food also had very little salt, leaving it very bland. The beans had an awful taste to them - almost a rancid burnt taste. There was basically nothing authentic about my food. Betty Crocky probably has much better recipes for what I ate. So I began to wonder if 1) the restaurant caters to mostly olderl snowbirds who either can't eat much salt or don't care enough to argue or 2) this place is simply a tourist trap, offering low quality food to people with few choices. Needless to say, the food was a huge let down.
My plate consisted of 1 chicken chalupa, 1 crispy taco with rice and refried beans. The price was over $11 after tax - a price I would gladly pay for excellent food - but not for what I received. On top of the high prices, there was no mention of not accepting credit cards so when I tried to pay with my card I was surprised when I was told it was all cash. Thankfully but embarrassingly someone else I our party could cover me until later.
Pros - friendly and informative waiter, interesting if not overwhelming decor
Cons - flavorless food, slow service, expensive, not accepting credit cards
I will not be returning to Franks as there are much better options in the area. I was really hoping that I would find a hidden gem in Frank's Bait & Taco but it turns out that all I received was fool's gold.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.