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“Bad Food, So-So Service”
2 of 5 bubbles Review of Zapata's

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Ranked #204 of 261 Restaurants in Columbia
Price range: $1 - $20
Cuisines: Mexican
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff
Level Contributor
177 reviews
120 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
“Bad Food, So-So Service”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 21, 2014

Being empty at 12:15 on Sunday should have told us enough to leave.Took over a minute for someone to come out of a back room & tell us to sit anywhere.

Starting with the complimentary chips, not a pleasant dining experience. Chips were greasy and bitter. In fact, everything we ate had a somewhat bitter taste. Strange for Mexican food. The water wasn't cold.

My "shredded" chicken enchilada had chunks of tough chicken with skin attached. The rice had dried up peas and carrots in it and butter, I think. Strangest rice I've ever had in a Mexican restaurant. The black beans were bitter. Husband said the shredded beef tacos were okay, not great.

Want to complain about your food? Forget it. Once we were served, we never saw our waitress until she delivered the check. Speaking of the check, the prices here are high for Mexican food.

There was nothing in the restaurant decor that had a Mexican motif. I think the only positive is it seemed clean.

  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Sue in reho K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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38 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
112 reviews
100 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Excellent Mexican!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 18, 2014

I was almost turned away by the low ratings, but it was close & on a Friday evening in Columbia, MD, that's important.
It turned out to be a great dining experience. Yes, you do have to walk theprough the bar to get to the restaurant & it's not the easiest to find in the centre, but it's worth all that.
There is a nice outdoor seating area which at the time is was host to a kids' party with a magician so I chose to sit inside.
Waiter was prompt & attentive without being overbearing.
I ordered a draft DosEquis and the Fajidilla appetizer both came speedily and the appetizer proved to be a great choice. Took home half of it. Great taste, hot & well made.
If I had come with another, I'd order one of these & just one entree.
I had the pork fajitas. The pork itself wasn't to my taste & the waiter offered to exchange it for the steak but I declined.
After I assembled all the sizzling fixings & added guacamole & sour cream to the tortilla it turned out to be a very tasty offering.
When I return though, I'll order the steak fajitas. Had to get another box for that!
One of the better Mexican meals I've had.

  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank billPADutch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbia, Maryland
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Good food - never too crowded”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 26, 2014

This place is a little harder to find, but I think it is the best Mexican Place in Columbia, and I have lived here 30 years.

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank johnO615QG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rigby, Idaho
Level Contributor
295 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 140 helpful votes
“Waited forever for my check”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 18, 2013

Typically I only review restaurants when the experience is outstanding. My experience at this Mexican restaurant was outstandingly bad. I do not live in the area, so I was looking for a decent Mexican place, and found Zapata's on both Open Table and restaurant.com. I ordered a stacked enchilada plate, which was large, but contained broccoli, squash, zucchini, carrots, etc. Those types of veggies don't exemplify Mexican food in my mind, but I'm sure others find it delicious. I did enjoy the steak strips that came with the dish. I ordered tres leches cake for dessert, and what a mistake. It had obviously been pre-frozen, then microwaved when served. One side of the cake was warm, the other side still frozen. I sat for over 30 minutes waiting for my check to arrive, unable to get the attention of the only waitress. I had to correct a mistake on the bill when it did finally come. And then the restaurant had the audacity to add an automatic gratuity of 18% (for just me). I will not be back.

Visited December 2013
Thank ajnuff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Parker, Colorado
Level Contributor
75 reviews
60 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Good Mexican Food”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 8, 2013 credit card Amex Card Member Review

I'm from Southern California and when I moved to Maryland I expected to never have good Mexican food again. I'm happy to report that Zapata's crushed that expectation. Zapata's has flavorful Mexican food and great salsa. The service is decent and the bar in the back seems like a good hangout. I think my favorite dish is the burrito Arizona style. It will give you a heart attack, but it is worth it.

Visited November 2013
Thank Smithasaurusrex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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