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“Bland Mexican Food” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of La Malinche - CLOSED

La Malinche
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: Mexican, Latin, Southwestern, Spanish
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Large groups
Dining options: Drinks, Lunch, Dinner, Full Bar, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Television, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining style: Casual Dining
St. Petersburg, Florida
Level Contributor
322 reviews
285 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 148 helpful votes
“Bland Mexican Food”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 12, 2013

I gave this 2 stars on Yelp because of their rating system (3 stars = A-OK, 2 stars=Meh, I've experienced better). Meh that sums up La Mainche nicely. But I don't think it was bad enough to call it poor. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't good. It was just tasteless.

My brother and I went with a Groupon. Its a cute restaurant with some outdoor seating in a nice area of Sarasota called St. Armand's circle. But its not actually on the circle, its off on the side about 1/2 block down the street, so its not as nice as sitting on the circle. Anyway, the waiter was very attentive, the bartender (who I get the feeling was an owner or manager) checked on us, and the food was at least hot and served promptly.

However, the first problem occurred when we ordered tacos but wanted pork instead of steak (their pork tacos came with pineapple slices and no bacon whereas the beef ones had bacon and no pineapple). The kitchen said they'd do it, but because it was going off menu, they warned us in advance that if we don't like it, we can't send it back. Have you ever heard of a restaurant doing that? If we got something crazy, I would understand, but all we did was substitute steak for pork. Weird.

The next issue was the chips and salsa. Chips were fine. Salsa may as well have been water and red food coloring. I have never been so disappointed in a Mexican restaurant's salsa before, especially when its made in house, but this was tasteless and watery.

When our tacos came out, it was the same issue. Bland. Very very bland. We tried adding salt, pepper, even some of the weak watery salsa, but nothing. They had a refried bean dip that didn't even add a lot of taste.

The best part of the meal - far and away since it was the only part with taste - was the tortilla soup. I love tortilla soup. It was good, but even this was a bit weird. The tortillas floating in the soup reminded me more of crispy wantons you get with chinese takeout then Mexican tortillas. Tasted more like they belonged in wanton or hot and sour soup. Still, it was a tasty soup.

I'll also give the restaurant this - a LOT of their items were gluten free. We didn't need it, but its nice that they cater to their patrons with specific dietary needs. Maybe that was the problem? Does gluten add a lot of taste to things? I don't know, I've never eaten gluten free before.

In any event, I haven't eaten in many Mexican restaurants in Sarasota. I can only think of one in Lakewood Ranch on main street, but the name escapes me. In any event, that one is 1000 times better. I've also eaten at a number of Mexican places in Atlanta that are really good. This one was just bland bland bland, and expensive, too. You're better off going elsewhere. Skip this one, unless you're in the mood for some tasteless food

  • Visited April 2013
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank tbow77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

193 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
World
Level Contributor
72 reviews
52 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Real Mexican Cuisine”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 8, 2013 via mobile

I've been to this restaurant +10 times since it opened. The food is fresh, flavorful and original. If you're looking for Taco Bell type gloppy food covered in cheese sauce then this is NOT for you. But if you enjoy flavorful Mexican food this is the finest in Sarasota. I have read the comments on the service, which can be slow. However, I've never found the servers to be rude, quite to the contrary in fact. We are always asking for extra fresh tortillas or some of their homemade HOT sauce which they provide no extra charge. Hopefully, service will even out. And by the way, I do not understand comment on children's menu-it is printed on the main menu and they are very accommodating when we request children's portions etc. We have gone with large groups and small. 20% is the normal tip given even if some are children.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Chefintraining4ever
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Roy, Washington, United States
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“overpriced with rude service”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 7, 2013

we ate lunch here today. once our server finally did show up, he was rude and pushy. he disappeared for long periods of time; was slow to return to take our orders, didn't keep drinks full or follow up on food satisfaction. the food was flavorful however nothing amazing. once we completed our meal, we waited for over 10 minutes for him to realize we needed our check. finally, i went and found him myself to get the check- again, he was rude. for what you get, the prices are too high. better off finding somewhere else to go.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank chickeymama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Highly not recommended!!”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 31, 2013

Extremely bad service, to start they tell us there is a kids menu available & we sit there for 10mins staring at our menus waiting for them to bring us one(3 of our 6 people were kids). They finally came back to take drink order & asked about kid menu waiter just verbally rambled off three or four items w/ no prices or nothing. Took our drink order(wrong), then brought them back & we had to wait another 10 mins to order! He then quoted wrong price when I asked about that w/ several other issues on bill he argued w me & stated he never said that even though the rest of my party all heard the same thing. So the topping on the whole experience ---20% GRATUITY THEY ADDED TO OUR BILL FOR THIS HORRIBLE EXPERINCE! Not for a party of 8 as you would expect, part of 6, 3 adults & 3 children. No I would not recommend this place to anyone.

    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank ShannonCa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sarasota, Florida, United States
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Food is good, but the service and manager kill the deal”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 25, 2013

The food is good (when they have what you want to order avaialble). The manager lacks any customer service skills and should probably look for another place to work. The service is very slow and very inconsistent. We have tried this place three times and now will not go back. Like I stated earlier the food is good, but that's the only thing good about this place.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank xxxsrq
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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