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“Panchito's - Past, Present and Future!”
Review of Panchito's Restaurant Cantina - CLOSED

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Panchito's Restaurant Cantina
Price range: US$5 - US$10
Cuisines: Mexican
Neighbourhood: Downtown
Restaurant details
Neighbourhood: Downtown
Reviewed 30 April 2012

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!

Date of visit: April 2012
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1  Thank JeffreyNJeffrey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviews (9)
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2 - 6 of 9 reviews

Reviewed 19 March 2012

The food was good the drink were even better. Italian Margarita is a must try if you go.

Date of visit: March 2012
Thank Joel N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 January 2012

For my family no trip to San Antonio is complete without dinner at Panchito's. The place is mostly favored by locals and a few tourists. While the entry is very over the top Mexican, the restaurant is very simple. White formica tables and fake flowers, but that also allows the staff to quickly arrange tables to accomodate many different sized parties. There are always mariachis playing. While you don't have to pay them to come to your table and play, since they serenade for several hours, it is expected that you will tip them when you leave.

The food is quite good, my cousin loves the Chile Relleno, my partner is fond of the Mexican Plate and I love the empanadas. The only item I would not recommend is the Gordittas. The staff is very accomodating especially when it comes to the pickiness of young children. The prices are very reasonable.

One other suggestion is to go there early for dinner. Reservations are not accepted and can result in a long wait. 6:00 is a good time, but definitely avoid arriving after 9:00. The cook is gone by 9:00, but the staff will still take your order. On the one occasion we did this, the food was virtually unedible. So early is better.

Date of visit: December 2011
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1  Thank Jan F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 November 2011

The food and drinks were great and the family had a wonderful time!

Date of visit: November 2011
Thank Jeff D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 June 2010

I don't quite remember how exactly we found this place, but we've been coming here for over 5 years. We actually live in Houston but make it a point to dine here each and every time we visit San Antonio. The location is a bit odd though. This establishment is located in a courthouse, next to the Mercado. The address is: 121 Plaza de Armas
San Antonio, TX 78205
Phone: (210) 222-2650
From what they tell me, the family has two other locations around town (http://panchitos.net). We haven't dined at the other locations.

Most tourists visit Mi Tierra when walking around this area. However, I would submit that Panchitos has a better breakfast than Mi Tierra. First, the tortillas are home made, with the real lard. Second, the pricing is very reasonable. The salsa has a nice little kick to it and the food is very fresh. I've been told that the Chipotle Chicken tacos are espcially good for lunch. We had 'puffy' tacos and tacos with Eggs and Potatoes. Both were excellent. We will be coming here again

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Thank Cameron K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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