Food 8, Organization 3
I can’t stand it anymore, I need to write. We’ve got a president so crass he drives his golf cart across the greens, and there’s nothing I can do about it. So I went out to dinner.
Gail and I found a very good Mexican restaurant in Lafayette called Rancho Cantina. Not only do we like the food, they have a patio in front so we can bring Claudia with us. That has somehow become very important in a short time.
Tonight we went there for the 4th time, meeting friends Mike and Gretchen. Our experience was pretty much the same as the other times–very good food, disorganized and random service. We keep going back, so it isn’t that terrible, but it’s irritating.
We began with the tapas platter. Barbecued boar, manchego cheese, flatbread and olives. Nicely presented and a different way to start the meal.
Gail ordered some enchiladas to go, for tomorrows lunch. That was the first dish they brought to the table, plated and ready to eat. We sent it back to be packaged for takeout.
The dish she wanted for dinner was a chili relleno, and that made up for the early confusion.
I had the grilled fish tacos. They are a bit spicy for me, but so good I choke them down anyway.
We split an order of the grilled asparagus with fennel slaw. Not at all what you think of in regards to Mexican cuisine, but the slaw was innovative and the asparagus were prepared expertly.
Mike had the guisado, a stew of wild boar, cactus and potatoes. I didn’t much care for it, thinking it was just all boiled together into tasteless mush.
Now here’s the problem: he also ordered a chili relleno and the kitchen couldn’t manage to get it to the table before the rest of us were completely finished with our meal. Last week, Gail had nachos and was close to finished before my very good chicken came to the table. There appears to be no organization or system to the operation. It occurs to me that I have never seen the same waitperson twice, either. I feel like they have a decent chef but no management whatsoever.
Still, it’s a good, local, casual Mexican place with better than average food and outdoor seating so we can bring the dog. That goes a long way these days, and if you can handle a little chaos in your life, you will probably like Rancho Cantina.