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Betsy

Getting mighty uppity at Ajijic Tango

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I realize that in the grande scheme of things I am an unimportant factor in Tango's success as a restaurant, they will not miss me or the many guests we have brought to that business over the years but they lost some clients tonight.

We went there to celebrate a birthday , after waiting for over an hour ( largely due to an inefficient way to seat people) we finally sat down at a table that had been prepped and ready for at least 20 minutes.

One of us ordered the Chicken Alfredo which we always get with Fettucini, no problem. Tonight the waitress came back to our table to inform us that the Chicken Alfredo dish comes with spaghetti and if we wanted Fettucini instead we would have to purchase an order of it at $75.00. This came from the owner/chef , she explained.

so we canceled the chicken/spaghetti dish and two of us shared a steak.

Why would a restaurant lose clients over a plate of pasta? Seriously, they need to take the stick out of their pork butt and put more consideration into their clients dining experience. There are some pretty big egos running that place. I'm over it.

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Went recently and felt like I was in a race to the finish line.

The service personnel couldn't wait to clear things from the table.

They would touch the plates to remove them before we knew they were there -

by then, I didn't want to argue.

I was told that the management didn't like to leave plates at the table.

Well for me, they can keep them in the cupboard

They won't have to serve me or rush me again.

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I have dined at Tango for years and I have never left the restaurant without being impressed. Not on the lake, no parking and full every time I go in, I fact, there is no other restaurant in Ajijic that serves and satisfies as many folks Tango.

I would never go to the restaurant on a weekend night and not expect to wait for an hour, not having to wait because of their inefficient seating, but because they are full. I realize that just because a table is open and set doesn't mean that it is ready to be seated , perhaps the kitchen will only take a certain number if orders at one time, or maybe the server in that station had just been given other tables??

Regarding the pasta, that is a decision they made , my guess is that they have good reason, I would be thankful that the server returned to your table to let you know of the up charge and giving you the option.

I had a delightful steak there last week , they were extremely busy , my guest and I never felt rushed.

I would hope that other restaurants in the Chapala area would use Tango as a model and follow their lead.

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I have been in the food and beverage business for my entire career, 35+ years, the price difference between fettuccine and spaghetti is pennies if anything at all. There is another reason this was done, and it just does not make sense. I have seen this happen for years, never could understand the logic of some of these poor decisions. Sometimes it is a simple as being out of the product and not wanted to admit it.

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The wait - when we arrived we were told there would be an hour wait. It was fine with us, we went down the street and had a cocktail, strolled around the malecon and poked in a few shops .
We got back to the restaurant 50 minutes later to make sure we were there when we were called to be seated. About 10 minutes later we noticed that there were four tables all set up and ready. My husband went up to see where we were on the list and the hostess said that there were 3 parties ( 4 persons or less, like us) ahead of us. He pointed out that three were 4 empty tables . The hostess explained that she had to seat the 3 parties on the list ahead of us only they had wandered off and had not come back yet...they were not even in the restaurant. We sat there for another 20 minutes waiting for each of the parties on the waiting list to return and be seated in the order they were on the list. That is what I mean by inefficient.

The pasta - they were not out of Fettuccini . They wanted to sell me a whole dinner portion instead of giving me a small side order of Fettuccini instead of the Spaghetti. We have always ordered this dish at Tango this way and it has never been an issue. The waitress agreed that it was absurd for the chef to dig his heels in on that small request, but he is the owner so that was that.
I would not have minded paying a small surcharge for the substitution but demanding that i buy a whole entree is absurd. It´s Pasta.

The Rush - the waitress kept trying to take our appetizer plates while we still had half of the appetizer left. She succeeded in taking mine while I wasn't looking. Entrees were brought out before we finished the appetizer.
While empty plates may be an issue for the management, sitting there with your tounge hanging out with bone dry water and beverage glasses in front of you dont seem to be an issue.

The food was excellent as always but the other factors just make for an unpleasant dining experience. Its just a shame that the caprichos of the overly confident owners are getting in the way of their staff providing a irst rate experience.

Tango probably has the best food in town but in my opinion it has just become a tourist trap and they have forgotten about what is important.

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Pasta isn't instant fix, it's cooked ahead and kept in water then heated for the order. Obsiously, they've decided to keep only spaghetti on the ready table.

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I doubt that this was a capricho of the owners/management ... probably more like a decision to, in their minds expedite service by not having to make the side dishes all in a different manner ... such as not giving an option as to what vegetables you are going to be served if you choose mixed veggies for a side order. It takes more work to personalize and order. As to them being "uppity" ... what a choice of verbage.

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A restaurant is a restaurant; they only have one purpose. to deliver good food in a timely and efficient manner, thereby to make a profit. Because it is so often very busy, the wait staff are under strict orders to keep things moving. This does sometimes result in over-zealousness, which yes, I find very annoying. However, almost every restaurant I've been to in Mexico rushes to take your plates and drinks. Just yesterday the waitress started to walk off with my limonada at another place, with a full two inches left in it.

There is no excuse for the pasta incident. As pointed out, the price difference is insubstantial. And the time to cook it fresh is minimal. So he had some other insane reasoning, especially to try and charge almost a full meal's price. It's the sauce that costs, not the noodles.

The chef is not the owner. He married into the family. He can be a bit of a hothead, and that is why he has not been allowed to be in charge of anything more than the kitchen.

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I'll bet that while you were waiting for an hour, you could have walked a couple of100 yards in any direction of Tango and found a seat immidieatly in more than ten other restaurants.

My point is they run an extreamly professional operation, a great, reasonably priced menu, a good wine selection and a well trained staff.

I no longer live in Ajijic, but you can bet that my first stop when I visit is Ajijic Tango.

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I agree that people wanting to open a restaurant would be well advised to spend time at Tango's and learn. Their success belies the disadvantages of having no easy parking and a downturn in the economy as well.

On the downside, they could use a little attitude adjustment in the ways already pointed out by others. Personal gripe: some time ago a small group of us were having lunch at the "gringo hour" among the many gray heads while music suitable for a late night disco was blasting away and making it hard to converse. I approached one of the owners about the choice and volume and her response was "the staff likes it". I said no more, and did not return for a very long time until friends wanted to do so.

Other than that, they do it (mostly) right.

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I wish the owner, manager will make a comment...did you discuss your feelings with the Management?

To whom are you addressing this post?

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I wish the owner, manager will make a comment...did you discuss your feelings with the Management?

I did try to talk to a young woman who was pointed out to me as being a manager and family member of the owners but she was clearly not interested in talking to me. I got in about 5 words before she blew me off and walked away while I was still talking.

I was told that chef was an owner but I had serious doubts about that...I couldn't go into the kitchen to talk to him but I was communicating with him through the waitress.

That "attitude adjustment" that Gringal referred to is what I meant by "uppity" .

I don't agree that they are a business model for other restaurants to follow, their food is very good but I expect more from a restaurant like Tango.

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The relationship between this site and Ajijic Tango is well known ...... by most folks.

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We had lunch there yesterday. The staff was attentive but not pushy. They were swarmed with 2 really large groups and still managed to keep the rest of the tables serviced. Still one of the best lunch specials in town.

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The relationship between this site and Ajijic Tango is well known ...... by most folks.

But you don't see this thread being censored or deleted, do you?

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We're huge fans of Tango, but avoid it Fri-Sun during the high season. Yes, they should be able/willing to please customers all the time, but they are sometimes a victim of their own popularity. I'm a local and can walk over anytime, but we leave Tango to the tourists on weekends this time of the year.

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I too generally avoid Tango´s on the weekends--and especially during high season.

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Ajijic Tango is a class act! Their success started the day they opened and they've achieved a balance in that they've well served both their Expat and Mexican clientele. It's particulaly hard for restaurants here at Lakeside to deal with GDL clientele on weekends and holidays as there is absolutely no guarantee that the people will leave "any time soon" after they've eaten......but they're still spending!

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