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???