Comfort food, non-existent customer service

Comfort Food
Comfort Food

A piping hot bowl of chili has always been my comfort food. There’s just something about the deep, earthy taste of ground beef, soft-boiled beans and a myriad of spices laced with the goodness of mozzarella cheese that erases any bad juju I might have accumulated during the day. To get my fix, I either go to The Soup Kitchen or to MexiCali.

This post is about MexiCali, particularly their Glorietta 2 Branch. I don’t know why I never learned, realizing that I have gripped before this particular branch and its crummy seating in an earlier post. But last Sunday after I’ve gotten a really bad craving for chili, I dragged the hubby to the exact resto which he despised.

Since there were just a few people inside, we went directly to the long table. One of the staff immediately asked us to vacate the table because it is “reserved.” I asked what time is the reservation, but the staff did not answered and instead directed us to the four-seater small tables in the middle of the resto. We shrugged and just went with it, figuring that someone must have reserved the tables in advance. It is only after I observed two large groups of people, whom we espied deciding a long time on the door if they should come in or not, that I realized that the long tables are reserved for large groups only, preferably five and above. And since, it’s just the hubby and I, it will be unfair to allow us to occupy the space. This is a valid argument and we could have understood completely, if only the sullen looking staff took the time to tell us this, instead of just saying, “It’s reserved.”

This habit of literally scaring people off the long tables was repeated again when a group of three went inside and went directly to the other table positioned in the side of the restaurant. Again, the same sullen-looking girl pounced on them and said, “ma’am it’s reserved…” When one of the waiters gave the group of three the go-signal to occupy girl, sullen girl looked at the waiter pointedly and said, “ano ba?! (what the…) It’s reserved!.” After a bit of to-and-fro, the three girls gave up and decided to occupy the four-seater near the door.

Same sullen girl served the drinks just by putting them on the edge of our table, no “Here’s you water, sir or whatever…” It’s just *puts glass of water by the edge of the table and leave.* When I tried to ask for my bill, I had to wait for ten more minutes only to realize that she didn’t acknowledged my request. The attentive waiter was the one who attended to us after we asked for it the second time.

I know these are just small things, and yes — I am not dining at Mario Batalli’s restaurant. But is it wrong to expect common courtesy from people whose job is rooted in customer service?

I love MexiCali — their MOA branches and the old one located at the Anson’s “The Link” Building in Ayala Center were some of the most pleasurable branches I’ve been. In MOA, servers are nice and very accommodating. But Glorietta 2’s “sullen girl” has ruined my chili experience for me. So, while I look for other MexiCali branches nearest me, I decided to steer clear of this branch for a while. Hubby told me that he’d rather eat at Landmark Food Court (cheap, filling meals!) than go back here again.

Meanwhile, I can always cook my own chili at home.

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