I went to Tu Casa to fulfill an AA Dining rewards points opportunity, but also based upon decent (albeit inconsistent) prior TA reviews. I now understand why the reviews are inconsistent.
First, service is quite good. I walked into the bar and asked the server to change the channel on the one and only TV montior in the bar, so that I could watch college football. No problem. Channel changed immediately! I was pleased. Excellent start. I ordered a glass of the house red wine, again immediately delivered, and settled in to enjoy a nice dinner. We're on a roll, I'm thinking....
Chips and salsa were simultaneously delivered to the table with the wine. Chips were crisp and fresh. The salsa is nothing particularly special -- just average in my judgment. Then, I reviewed the menu deciding that particular evening to stay away from higher fat/calorie traditional Mexican food or combo plate choices, and focus instead on a fish choice. I selected Mojarra prepared "a la Diablo" (spicy red sauce with mushrooms) based upon the menu description, even though it is among the most expensive items on the menu ($15.35). Must be really good, I thought. The menu says that the Mojarra is white fish, seasoned, and lightly fried.
It was too good to be true. I became concerned immediately upon delivery of the main dish after just 5 minutes. There were (only) four fatal flaws:
1) The fish was delivered whole -- head and tail intact, and not fileted. Nowhere in the menu description was this disclosed, and the waiter also did not explain this when I ordered the dish. He should have. (Most Americans, when they order fish, anticipate that it will be fileted, with head/tail removed. That was certainly my expectation.)
2) The fish had been deep fried, not lightly fried (hence the reason it could be delivered in 5 minutes or less); and
3) The fish was thin, with very little "meat on the bones". With the deep frying process, it became exceedingly difficult to extract whatever meat was there. Not much of a meal, and
4) As a result of these issues, the "a la Diablo" sauce completely overwhelmed the dish. It was tasty, certainly spicey, and loaded with mushrooms -- but with little in the way of fish to enjoy, it was very disappointing.
I debated sending it back, but decided not to make a scene. That's not my style. On my way out, I mentioned to the manager on duty all of the above. He acknowledged that the fish was deep fried, and accepted my comments as articulated above. But that was it. Usually when a customer doesn't enjoy his dinner, but doesn't complain until the way out, a good manager will make some kind of offer to encourage a return visit. This manager did not. So, I won't be back -- the extra AA miles just aren't worth it.
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