There’s a famous military quote: "Time spent on reconnaissance is seldom wasted”. and it turned out to be so appropriate for tonight, as Ann and I checked out Kettering’s latest eatery - ‘Chimichanga’s’, in preparation for the meal there with friends Ian and Mags next Monday.
As you might guess, if you’re not familiar with the name, it’s serves Mexican food - and lots of it! The restaurant opened a month-or-so ago next to Prezzo’s in the re-invigorated part of the town. (The word, Chimichanga, as every Wikipedian knows, is a deep-fried burrito of Mexican origin).
There’s nothing better after hard day DoDO-ing including the thrill of emptying chemical toilets and Ann’s (slightly less thrilling) writing of sales bids, than a nice quiet meal-for-two in a local restaurant. We deliberately booked early as I hate noisy restaurants and we’d already been told when we booked, there was a couple of big parties ‘due later’.
On arriving, the place was already heaving downstairs - 95% full at 6.30 on a Thursday night is a good sign in my book. We received a really warm welcome from the duty-manager, and were offered a choice of two, tables-for-two. We opted for the one by the window (which turned out to be a big mistake as we realised later WE were burritoed between the table for eight and the the table for eighteen, and more practically speaking, the table was hardly big enough to accommodate all the plates and side dishes. It was so tight for space even the servers were having to squeeze between us for access to the other tables
Being slightly OCD didn’t help when I discovered our table was suffering from WTLS (that’s Wobbly Table Leg Syndrome) - new restaurant, new floor, new tables - how did that happen? Fortunately, the waitress was soon on her knees in front of me with a wedge! - and you don’t get that in every restaurant!
Suitably stabilised, we perused the menu, which was pretty impressive - I’d defy anyone not to find something they didn’t like - it had an excellent range! The service was efficient and within a few minutes our order for drinks and starters was taken. Now, call me an ‘old codger’, but what is it with this trend where no-one drinks beer out of a glass anymore*? Why not follow this through to its natural conclusion, and just take customers out the back and lay them underneath the barrel, or take us to a wheat field and we’ll make it ourselves (I AM turning into Victor Meldrew).
*I’ve just been reminded by a young-person that beer actually tastes different out of a bottle
Having asked the unthinkable, a beautiful iced glass was offered - nice touch! (but why did I need to ask in the first place? I’m SO last century!!!)
By now the place was filling up, including the promised table for eight and the one for eighteen - and it was also now getting very noisy making it difficult to hear our server and each other! Our sharing-starters arrived quickly and although they were very tasty, could have done with being a lot hotter. My main course was fine, but Ann’s fish (apparently marinated in lime and coriander) had obviously gone for a final swim at the swimming baths close by, when the marinating process began, resulting in it being bland and tasteless. We mentioned it to our server, but the ‘buzz’ of the restaurant, made it difficult to communicate. Desserts were fine - thank goodness!
Trying to pay was a time-consuming experience. No matter how much we waved and stared, we just couldn’t attract the attention of anyone. Eventually, after what seemed like ages (but was probably only ten minutes or so), our server arrived to conclude the experience. Price-wise, I think it was about ‘normal’ for these parts. In true DoDO fashion (I’m on a pension you know!), I’d located a voucher giving us the second main course for just £1. With starters, drinks, mains and desserts, the total came to just over £40.
All-in-all, I guess our overall experience was that we were just slightly disappointed by it all, and I’d put that down to their newness and the fact they were VERY busy. I’m back there Monday night with friends, and it’ll be interesting to compare and contrast the two experiences.
‘Beunas Nachos!’, sorry ‘Noches’