JSpicoli added a topic in Restaurant ReviewsTaco CasaI've been to this establishment twice now.
I was initially hesitant to supply my opinion at first. But, after today I thought it necessary to relay to all of you my feelings of this restaurant.
Taco Casa is located on Montgomery Road just South of E. Kemper Rd.
The décor is rather nice and the seating is very atypical. Nothing fancy.
The first time I went in (about 9 months ago) I ordered two soft tacos. 1 chicken and 1 beef. I ordered with chips. I strolled down the counter where a worker assembled your food in front of you. The first thing I noticed was the fact that nothing was in containers on the block that were steaming. One might expect to see black beans or red beans and rice in a container steaming. Nothing like that here.
The worker assembled my food in a container and when she got to the end of the counter she put in a microwave. Huh? Yes, a microwave. She popped it out the microwave and placed in a plastic "to go" container that has a lid on it. She took a handful of tortilla chips out of box that had been shipped from a local distributor and placed them in the lid of the plastic container and then closed the container. I told her that I had ordered my meal for "here". She responded that that is the way it's served.
I took my plastic tray and "to go" container to a table and sat down. There was a bar area in the middle of the restaurant that contained a salsa pump for salsa (hot and mild). The bar also had plastic forks and napkins on it for people to grab. Mind you, the forks were in a heap in a open bin. None were in a plastic wrapper. Ever witness one of those "from the stall to the hall" people? Well, that is all I could think of when I picked up one of those forks to use. After picking it up I threw right in the trash. I grabbed several napkins because I knew I wasn't about to use any of the forks that were being provided.
I ate through the two tacos and chips thinking full-well that none of the food I was eating had any more character, pizazz, or personal pride than stadium food. I ate about 75% of it and then could take no more. I threw it away thinking to myself that I just ordered $10.00 of food which had zero personality or personal touch put into it. I felt bad the rest of the day either from overthinking about the fact I just paid that much money for garbage or there was something in it that made my stomach feel bad.
Now, right about now you're probably saying to yourself, "Why in the heck would he have gone BACK to this place again if he had had such a bad experience last time?" - Rightfully so and good question.
I was in the area stopping by the bank and was starving. If you are familiar with that area you would know that there aren't many fast food or quick stop restaurants in that immediate area. There is a Buffalo Wild Wings and a First Watch. But, I had no time to sit and wait. I needed something fast. Pulling out of the bank I saw the Taco Casa sign. I thought to myself: "I'll give it one more try."
So, I walked in and ordered a Chicken Chorizo Burrito. It was one of their specialty items. I thought that maybe I'll get lucky at what they make as a signature item. WRONG!
I walked down the same counter like before and this time the kitchen swinging door was open. A worker was spooning out cheese from a large can. There were bags labeled "cooked chicken" and "ground beef" on the floor near the door way of the kitchen and front. This restaurant makes nothing! They are an assembly line from vacuum-packed bags to burrito shells. Granted other restaurants do this, but when I've already had the first experience with this restaurant on the negative - to see it first hand was the last hammer strike to set the nail of the coffin on this place for me. The worker placed my burrito in the microwave to heat up and then handed it to me.
The burrito was horrible. I dissected the burrito on the tray they had given me kind of like Chef Ramsey would do on an episode of Kitchen Nightmares and looked at the different pieces of meat placed in the burrito. I washed my mouth out and ate one bite of the chorizo which I pulled from the "body" of this laid open burrito. The chorizo - I wouldn't have fed it to my dog.
Now, sitting there dissecting this animal was seen to others in the restaurant as an interesting oddity because I think they actually thought I was either Chef Ramsey's brother or I was a critic. Maybe I was making funny faces. I don't know, but I intrigued a good portion of the clientele.
A worker came around the sitting area to clean some things up and noticed what I was doing. The worker asked me how everything was and I told him I was trying to get an "A" in science class. He looked a little confused and I told him that if I could figure out what kind of meat I was eating that I would get an "A". He laughed and moved on.
1. Never going back.
2. Letting you know that if you want fast food cafeteria food just save your money by going to the Kroger located across the street and eat a frozen Hot Pocket. It's highway robbery.
3. Delivery truck comes in. Worker cuts bags and open cans. Worker dispenses solids and liquids in containers.
4. Food assembled.
5. Microwave on. Ding!
6. You get food.
What a hell of a business model. Similar to many, but this is blatant.
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JSpicoli added a topic in Restaurant ReviewsHouse of BelgiumSo, I had been wanting to go to this restaurant for several years now and, particularly, any time I passed the house of Belgium location in Over-the-Rhine it was packed. I had heard wonderful things coming from this restaurant, thus my interest.
Special occasion rises up and guess what - I go to the House of Belgium - Rookwood location.
There were five of us. The place was a little more than half full and they had the "garage doors" open for outside seating. The waitress initially placed us in the restaurant at a 6-topper. It was extremely noisy as the floors and walls were tile, leaving nothing left for a private conversation of any kind. Plus, there a tale right behind us that some type of after work engagement. So, we told the waiter that we wanted to move outdoors on the patio.
The outdoor patio was very nice and they lit up a gas fire outside more for ambience than functionality, but still a nice touch.
I had heard wonderful things about the food, so I was prepared for the best. I ordered the Chicken and Waffle, others ordered Crepes, and orders of waffles. We ordered the pretzels and Beer Cheese as a snack.
The snack came out and it was pretty darn good. A bit on the pricey side for what it was, but still good.
The main entrees came out and I was little unimpressed with the quantity of food. For instance, the waffle was about the size of two Eggos put together. Don't get me wrong, they were good, but if you were trying to get your stomach to stretch a little after a meal then that wasn't going to be the result. The chicken and waffles, again, were good, but the quantity was less than acceptable at the price tag. If you are not familiar with this dish - It comes as a chicken breast which has been battered and fried on top of a waffle with hot sauce and maple syrup. If you think the combination of the two sauces wouldn't come together then you be wrong. Yum!
Overall, the restaurant is nice, but I did not come away thrilled or even satisfied with my experience. Probably not go back. I was bummed when I left because I had expected so much more because of everything that I had heard about the place.
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