OK...so for the last seven years, we have enjoyed the consistent, delicious taste of Panchito's Tex-Mex food!
However, this morning, at approximately 1:15PM, April 29th, as a traditional closure to the Fiesta season, we went to PANCHITO'S WEST AVENUE for brunch.
When we arrived, the doors that we usually enter through on the "sonic" side of the building were uninvitingly gated and locked. We walked around the street side of the building and found NO HOST! With no greeting, and no certainty of what our brunch adventure would hold, we went in search for a seat.
We were intercepted by the would be hostess. A 14-15 year old skinny little blonde cheerleader who said, "Welcome to (and I will spell this out pheonetically) Pawn-Cheetos!"
Once finally seated, we were NOT given the traditional Tex-Mex "appi-teaser," chips & salsa until we finally asked. It took our server (an ill-trained 16 year-old) three times to get the order, get it right and get it entered. And that took 15 minutes. Now, it is 1:37PM and we were here for brunch! And we still have no chips & salsa!
We should have known something was wrong when she asked how we wanted our eggs cooked in the Chiliquiles. Now while regional variations are common in Mexican food, we San Antonians eat them scrambled in with the tortilla chips. This lack of familiarity with the menu would continue as she brought our Chicharrones & Egg plate with fried eggs and giant fried pork skins (a al the truck drivers favorite snack in a bag) much to my sister's disappointment!
When we approached our young server about the issue, she said she had been there for only two days and didn't really know the menu! We assisted her through the labyrinth that is Tex-Mex food so that she could decipher our order and get it entered! It is now 1:44 and we still didn't have our chips & salsa.
I went to the bar to ask the bartender for chips & salsa to find that Panchitos was no longer own by the Reyes family! It had sold and was under new management. To which I responded, "Well, that's great. Do the new owner's serve chips & salsa?" He sent them to our table at 1:53!
Once the order arrive, as described previously, we were very displeased. We summonded our server again to explain our displeasure and she informed us that she was in trouble with her manager and was afraid.
At that, I simply had to ask for the manager. Once caught up with the issues, she began a litany of excuses regarding food, flavor and the overall lack of training on the part of all staffers. We were reassured that this was NOT normal....at least not at the restaurant she USED to work at "Pico de Gallo."
"This restaurant is much smaller and doesn't have the issues Pico did!" she proclaimed!
"Well then, why are WE having them then???" I asked. She was speechless!
I am sure the new owners would be appalled at this service....but from reading the many reviews on Urban Spoon and City Search, it would appear that this will be the future of Pancitos A future we shall not be seeing! This review was rather lengthy, but I believe these sites to be helpful to all of those of us searching for quality food, good flavor and reasonable customer service!
And with that, we bid you a fond farewell!
JJ...The Fine Connoisseurs of Food, Flavor and Flair
P.S. Be on the look-out for more reviews from JJ!