I have had varying experiences with El Pirata over the 4 years I've been coming to Bocas, but in this recent trip I experienced both the best and worst service on the island. One morning, I came in for a late breakfast (which seems common here), and received the most smiley, quick, and efficient service from a nice young black woman in a cap. If she's working, you are in good hands. That very same day, I stopped in to have an afternoon snack, imagining some shrimp and fries, and sat for 10 full minutes without anyone even noticing I had entered the building. Mind you--you have to pass by the bar and kitchen to enter, and the place is fully open with high visibility. My table hadn't been cleaned after the last guest, and had a big piece of carrot on one side. After being completely ignored, I just decided to take my money elsewhere, and as I left I noticed unhappy faces on another couple there. On my way out, I saw 4 employees, all too wrapped up in their own conversations to even care that there were customers in the place.
The next day, after checking out a few other menus, something compelled me to go back, and thankfully my favorite waitress was working again.
Overall, the food is simple but tasty, and a good quantity for the price. A nice budget option.
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