I chose to eat here after seeing it recommended on the website for the city of Salem. I usually ignore those types of things and use tripadvisor or some other rating system, but I figured I'd give it a shot.
It is downtown and I came just after 6PM so I could park for free. I think if I had a lot of trouble finding parking I may have given up and gone elsewhere. I went into the restaurant and it doesn't look like your typical restaurant. I believe it was converted from something else. There was no flow and it looked like it needed some TLC. The restrooms are out the back, so not even in the restaurant, and then to get back in you have to go around. Very annoying.
I was given water almost right away, but I had to wait quite a while for my soda I ordered. The chips and salsa are very good. The salsa has a bit of a lingering spice, but it tastes so good I ignored my burning tongue.
I ordered the chimichanga. While I waited I saw lots of other people come in. Some the owner must have known because he went over and chatted and the staff was extra attentive.
Usually when I dine solo I receive 2 types of service. The pity service, where the staff is extra nice because I am dinning alone, and they go out of their way making sure my drink if full and I have everything, or I get the disregard service, where I am almost ignored completely because I am alone I must not tip well, or I am to much work to serve only 1 guest. Of course you will not get a 20% tip if you are ignoring me!
This time I was getting the "disregard" service. I watched others get food and drink very quickly, even tables right next to mine. I was always an afterthought. Just completely disregarded.
I got my chimi. It was really good. A chimi is a deep fried burrito. Sometimes they are crispy and dripping with the frying oil. This one was not. It was perfectly fried to get the crispiness without the dripping oil. No gut bomb eating this! They gave a good portion of guacamole and sour cream with it. The rice was not that tasty, very bland. I did not want beans so no review on that.
I had to wait a significant amount of time each time my soda needed to be refilled. A lady only refilling water came by and refilled that. I would see my server at the tables right next to mine. I'd see her look at my table, but continue not to bring a refill. I am not the type that waves a person over. I think it is rude. I just sat and waited. I used to be a server, even when a homeless person would come in with just enough money for a meal and no tip, I still served them like they were going to tip me. When you are making $2.35 and hour that is mighty hard to do. I am not homeless, I was dressed decently, I am young, but I guess because I am solo I will be a bad tipper. I guess I wouldn't be changing this girl's mind during this trip.
Overall the food was a 5. I am so disappointed with the service I really can't give it more than a 3. HOWEVER, if I went through Salem again I would eat here, but only if I was dining with others.
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