Wednesday, November 19, 2008
The Bad News: Disappointing Delivery from Maria's
We've had very positive experiences when we've gone to Maria's for lunch/dinner. Well, perhaps just positive. When they first opened here in Sunset, it was excellent. It was worth the extra dollar or four added to the items on the menu (compared to other local establishments). Now that they've been here more than a year, it seems that some things have been slipping. The brunch is still a darn good deal if you get a bloody mary or mimosa. The pozole with the tostada is an especially good deal.
What kept me going back, however, and what kept me ordering in from them, was the guacamole. The last three times we ordered delivery were guac disasters. The first (of the last three) time there was more onion than avocado. Really. It would have been good as a spread on a burger (veggie for me, thanks), but as guacamole? Just too crunchy and, well, oniony! Still, one terrible guac encounter didn't deter me from trying again. The next time we ordered in with Maria's, the guac was better, but not amazing. We also noticed that their prices had climbed considerably. I understand raising prices a little. Really, I do. But to add three (or was it four) dollars to the vegetable enchiladas? What? Also, my maduros were as dry as tostones. I think someone got mixed up in the kitchen. Well, okay, but at least the guac was tasty. So we ordered a third time (this is over about six weeks, by the way). The guacamole was back to being chunky onion salsa with some avocado added. The tostadas were still good, and the pork burrito was "really good," according to my husband.
The other problem that they have had recently is a staff attitude problem. Some formerly friendly, talkative, sociable staff members have become apathetic, error-prone, and - at least on the phone - hard of hearing. If there's no time to take my order, maybe there shouldn't be delivery. The only person we've still had positive interactions with has been the man who delivers. He's awesome. My many years of experience in a restaurant tell me that when staff start making lazy errors and stop caring about even pretending to be friendly, there's something wrong at the top. Perhaps the working conditions have changed dramatically? Perhaps some changes in management?
Three chances is all I'll give a place. Despite the past successes we've shared with Maria's, I think that will be it for their delivery.
Besides, the tacos and burritos are cheaper and just as tasty at Matamoros...and the Mole at Nuevo is really good.