It’s not me. It’s you.
Trust me on this one.
You’re two blocks away from my house, and over the last few years I’ve found reason after reason not to patronize you. I in fact take inordinate pains to visit other restaurants of your kind far from where I live, sometimes paying extra for a ride home when the buses don’t work out from there to here.
The reason is fairly simple. You’re not good. And whomever you’re paying to write your yelp reviews, you’re certainly getting your money’s worth.
Today, circumstances forced me away from my normal commute, and landed me on your doorstep in a moment of weakness. I still remember our first meeting, which led me to another bar within minutes of leaving you. I remember your soulless interior, the monosyllabic service, and the drinks which emerged from a small corner of your kitchen tasting vaguely of dishwater and broken dreams.
I remember all of these things, and yet, I was hungry. And thirsty. And there you were, asking in your sexy cantina voice, “how bad can it be?”
I’m not listening to you anymore. Your food is bland. Your drinks are moderately potent, but lacking in character. The dudebros siting to my left on the patio were more interested in their beers and each other than their food; the couple behind me moreso in whoever was on the other end of their individual phone calls.
After one bite of my enchilada, I seriously considered walking out. But I come from a family of restaurateurs, and I have an old Irish grandmother living inside me who insists, “never send it back!” I ate the food I was served, drank my drink, and called for the check.
Thirteen minutes after I walked in the door. I honestly believe I spent more time waiting for the bill than I did enjoying any part of my meal.
Yes, I tipped. The family who works hard for you is not entirely to blame. Having grown up in one, I expect a lot from cantinas, and I understand it’s not really fair to judge you by a childhood memory.
Instead, I’ll judge you from last week’s. And the week before that, and the week before that. I judge you against every good meal I’ve had in Seattle over the last 20 years, and to be perfectly honest, you have failed this city.
There’s a part of me that wants to hop a bus, and hightail it to my normal watering hole. But considering how much you charged me for tonight’s meal, my inner Irish grandmother is screaming a different truism at me regarding “good money after bad.”
There’s a part of me that wants to post this tale on yelp, but I just don’t care enough about you to bother.
But the part that actually matters is the grownup with a full liquor cabinet, good chips, good salsa, and all the time in the world.