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    GREATMARTIN   41,975
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CARLOS & PEPE'S CANTINA--FORT LAUDERDALE--RESTAURA
NT REVIEW

Saturday, April 06, 2013


I've experienced better right here at Carlos and Pepe's but let me explain. The first time I came here was about 3 weeks after they opened in 1979. At that time there wasn't a 'Cantina' or a Tex-Mex franchise on every other corner in Fort Lauderdale. For the next couple of years it was a favorite place to go and then not only did I discover other places like La Bamba but I worked in a Mexican restaurant called Who Song and Larry's and I stopped going to Carlos & Pepe's. The last time was about 15 years ago.
I no longer get 'sticker shock' as little by little I get use to restaurant prices going pretty high and/or the new 'gimmicks' they are using to make extra money--more about that in a minute.
My first surprise was how they had redone the place. I asked the hostess and a couple of servers but obviously they hadn't been there long as no one knew when the change took place. I preferred the old, comfortable place instead of the new TVs all over the place, everything very trendy.
The waitress, Fernanda, greeted us and took our drink order which was water as I didn't want to drink coffee as we were going to the theatre. I told Fernanda that we were going to Miami and would have to be out by 6:30 and she said no problem, that she would put our order in as soon as we gave it to her. In the meantime she brought us chips and salsa each of us getting our own monkey dish of sauce.
Okay, now back to the 'making extra money'--I usually order fajitas in Mexican restaurants but when I saw the extra charges I threw my hands in the air.
Directly from the menu: Fajitas
Grilled Skirt Steak or Grilled Fresh Chicken, tomatoes,
onions, bell peppers, cheese and fresh warm flour tortillas.
Your choice of guacamole or Daisy sour cream (For both add $1.00)
Pepper and Tomato only add $1.00
Pepper, Onions, Tomato and Portabella Mushrooms add $2.00
Have your Fajita blackened add $ 1.50 As it was the price for their fajitas were on the high side.
While the salsa was fine the chips weren't fresh and that should have warned me. I ordered the chimichanga ($14.60) as did Allen. As the order was put in at 5:31 I knew Fernanda had brought them to us as soon as they were put up but the beans and rice looked as if they had been sitting under heating lights as they fried the chimichanga and they fried it too long. Both ends were very hard and the chicken extremely dry. All in all we didn't have the time to order something else or go to another place so, as usual, I cleaned my plate while Allen didn't.
With tax our check came to $30.95 plus a $6 tip.
Though I don't need it you know the restaurant is in a tourist area as they have tip rates from 15-20% on the bottom of the check!
I don't think I will be going back to Carlos and Pepe's.

PS Do you like the table lamp???
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TENNISJIM 4/7/2013 8:09AM

    Thanks for the review.

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GREATMARTIN 4/6/2013 10:07PM

    I was a professional server for 38 years and though I am very lenient with servers I have certain minimums I expect in service and from restaurants--one thing I have noticed is that very few managers/owners are visible to customers.

I LOVE IHOP for their cheese omelet with a side of pancakes--tell your son to give them another chance!! :O)

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DIET_FRIEND 4/6/2013 9:24PM

    I appreciate all your restaurant reviews. I've often thought I would have enjoyed being a movie or restaurant critic. Nowasdays, I just critique with my husband whenever we try a new restaurant. Was the service good, the dining area, etc. clean? Did the food meet or exceed expectations? Did the food arrive in a timely manner? When we had toddlers, we were turned off at a place that didn't have high chairs. Once at IHOP, my son ordered a fruit cup/bowl or something from the kids' menu, and it arrived in a monkey dish. My son will never eat at IHOP again and whenever I suggest it, he reminds me of that chintzy monkey dish of fruit. He's 13 now and he was about 8 then. Think of all the dollars that restaurant has lost due to this monkey dish of fruit! Ours is a family that has dined 4 times a week at restaurants (at least prior to my job change we ate out a LOT). I don't live in S FL, but I still like your reviews...maybe because I'm a foodie/food addict.

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